Popeye loved his spinach and his olive oil and you should too. In a study including 30,000 Italian women followed for about 8 years, those who reported eating at least 1 serving of dark leafy greens a day were 46% less likely to develop heart disease versus those who ate two or less servings a week. Knowing that dark leafy greens are home to potent doses of the most important heart-healthy nutrients, this is not surprising. Be good to your heart and eat at least 1 serving from any of the following foods daily: dark lettuce greens, kale, collards, spinach or Swiss chard.
You would really be wise to go ahead and include a bit of extra virgin olive oil with your greens too. In this same evaluation, women who downed at least 3 tablespoons of olive oil daily also enjoyed a 40% risk reduction in heart disease. Remember olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and a big kick of anti-inflammatory polyphenols. (Inflammation in the arteries is the root cause of heart disease.)
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(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2010)