Heart Health: We all try to be as active as possible because it helps in boosting our heart health. However, a recent study suggests that consuming a diet rich in carotenes can be extremely helpful for heart health. — Carotenes are bioactive compounds found in yellow, orange and green fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, mangoes, papayas and apricots contain carotenes. These fruits and vegetables, along with others, can help reduce the build-up of fats in arteries and blockage.
Consumption of these fruits and vegetables increases the level of carotenes in the blood. The study showed that a high level of carotenes is linked with a lower degree of atherosclerosis in the arteries and therefore lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition
Atherosclerosis is the build-up of fat, generally the LDL or “bad” type of cholesterol, on the inner walls of the blood vessels. It results in the narrowing of the blood vessel’s internal diameter. This hinders blood circulation. Furthermore, these plaques can rupture and form clots obstructing the blood flow. This can lead to heart attacks or myocardial infarctions when the blood doesn’t reach the heart and ischaemic strokes when it doesn’t reach the brain.
The study, which observed 200 people in the age group of 50 to 70, has been published in the journal Clinical Nutrition.
As part of the study, researchers analysed the volunteers taking part in the study with regard to two parameters – the concentration of carotenes in the blood and the presence of atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid artery.
“The study concludes that the greater the concentration of carotenes in the blood, the lesser the atherosclerotic burden, particularly in women,” said Gemma Chiva Blanch, associate professor and researcher at the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).