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All that time you’ve spent shopping the produce section and the farmers’ markets is paying off in more ways than one. A recent study from the University of Copenhagen is boasting another advantage to an abundance of fruits and veggies – a 15% reduction of cardiovascular disease and a 20% drop in early death, all thanks to a healthy dose of vitamin C.
The study of 100,000 Danes, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed the heart-helping and life-extending health boons in participants who consumed plenty of produce, compared with those who are relatively fruit and veggie-free. Researchers observed high concentrations of vitamin C in the blood among those who consumed the most produce, suggesting a positive correlation between the vitamin and a reduced risk of heart disease.
The reason behind its heart-healthy benefits? Powerful antioxidant vitamin C works to shield the body’s molecules and cells from damage that can lead to disease. Want to “squeeze” more vitamin C into your diet? Oranges, of course, are one way, but red, green and yellow peppers along with beloved kale are all excellent sources, too. To cover your daily C needs, strive for at least six to 10 servings of fruits and veggies per day – although here at CE, we like to aim even higher.
How would you like to add more flavor to your meal plan minus the guilt? You’re already aware of the benefits of probiotics for gut health, but get this: Studies now show they’re beneficial in easing anxiety as well. A recent study performed on over 700 young adults in the journal Psychiatry Research revealed that the probiotics in fermented foods can be helpful in easing social anxiety for those who are genetically at higher risk. Study author Matthew Hilimire, PhD, says that although the study didn’t compare the effectiveness of different fermented foods, his personal favorites are kefir, yogurt, miso soup, kimchi and sauerkraut.