Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Specific Vegetable Types: A Narrative Review
School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia
Medical School, Royal Perth Hospital Unit, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6000, Australia
School of Biomedical Sciences, Royal Perth Hospital Unit, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6000, Australia
School of Public Health & Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia
Medical School, Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre Unit, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
Centre for Kidney Research, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(5), 595; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10050595
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 6 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients and Atherosclerosis)
Adequate vegetable consumption is one of the cornerstones of a healthy diet. The recommendation to increase vegetable intake is part of most dietary guidelines. Despite widespread and long-running public health messages to increase vegetable intake, similar to other countries worldwide, less than 1 in 10 adult Australians manage to meet target advice. Dietary guidelines are predominantly based on studies linking diets high in vegetables with lower risk of chronic diseases. Identifying vegetables with the strongest health benefits and incorporating these into dietary recommendations may enhance public health initiatives around vegetable intake. These enhanced public health initiatives would be targeted at reducing the risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Specific vegetable types contain high levels of particular nutrients and phytochemicals linked with cardiovascular health benefits. However, it is not clear if increasing intake of these specific vegetable types will result in larger benefits on risk of chronic diseases. This review presents an overview of the evidence for the relationships of specific types of vegetables, including leafy green, cruciferous, allium, yellow-orange-red and legumes, with subclinical and clinical CVD outcomes in observational epidemiological studies.