Combining unsaturated vegetable oils with nitrite rich vegetables protects you from hypertension, according to research by King’s College in London. This new finding may be the reason why a Mediterranean diet is healthy.
But why are nitrates and nitrites in vegetables healthy, while nitrate preservatives in meats increase your risk of cancer?
Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, like natural vitamin C, prevent the natural vegetable source of nitrates and nitrites to convert to the cancer causing molecules called nitrosamines. In meats, however, the nitrates and animal proteins readily react to form nitrosamines.
In addition to not forming nitrosamines, the fruit and vegetable sourced nitrites and nitrates react with unsaturated vegetable oils to form nitro fatty acids. And it’s the nitro fatty acids that inhibit an enzyme called epoxide hydrolase, which regulates your blood pressure. When this enzyme is inhibited, your blood pressure lowers.
A good reason to eat a vegetable salad with healthy vegetable oils every day.
Healthy sources of vegetable unsaturated fats are nuts, olive oil, canola oil, avocados and flaxseed. Nitrate and nitrite rich vegetables include beet roots, romaine lettuce, carrots, spinach, celery, green beans and collard greens. Strawberries are the best fruit source.
Be creative. Make your own salad creations using the combination of healthy vegetable oils and vegetables mentioned above. And throw in a few strawberries to enjoy a long and healthy life.