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A new study has revealed that high protein foods improve cardiovascular health. Eating foods rich in amino acids could be as good for your heart as stopping smoking or getting more exercise, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA). The resaerch reveals that people who eat high levels of certain amino acids found in meat and plant-based protein have lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness. And the magnitude of the association is similar to those previously reported for lifestyle risk factors including salt intake, physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking.
They found strong evidence that those who consumed the highest amounts of amino acids had lower measures of blood pressure and arterial stiffness. But they found that the food source was important - with a higher intake of amino acids from plant-based sources associated with lower blood pressure, and a higher intake from animal sources associated with lower levels of arterial stiffness. Lead researcher Amy Jennings said that this research shows a protective effect of several amino acids on cardiovascular health, adding that increasing intake from protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, dairy produce, beans, lentils, broccoli and spinach could be an important and readily achievable way to reduce people's risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study is published in the Journal of Nutrition.
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