You may have heard of plantain.
It’s a vegetable that has long been known for its health benefits.
But a new study suggests it may have health benefits beyond heart health.
A new study by the University of Texas-Austin and the University at Buffalo suggests that the plantain, as well as its sister, cucumber, may be a good source of antioxidants.
The research, published online this week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also looked at whether plants with high levels of flavonoids and antioxidants could reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.
It found that people who ate the two vegetables had an 8% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
This is not a new finding: the vegetable is a heart healthy food, and the antioxidant flavonoid content has been shown to be important for lowering the risk for certain diseases.
But the new study is the first to investigate whether the two plants are a better source of these antioxidants than other vegetable sources.
The researchers used data from a longitudinal study of more than 1.5 million people, who were followed for four decades, to compare the effects of vegetables with plantains and cucumbers.
They then compared the effects on heart disease and mortality of people who were eating a diet high in the vegetables and the diets of people with no history of heart disease.
Researchers found that eating the vegetables had similar benefits as those of a low-fat, plant-based diet, and that people eating the plantains had an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
People who ate plantains also had an improved cardiovascular response to a statin, compared to people who didn’t eat them.
There’s good news for heart health, but it comes at a price.
The plantains were associated with a 10% higher risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, compared with those who ate their vegetables.
But people who eat their plantains have a lower risk for death from cancer and diabetes, and a lower overall risk of all-cause mortality.
The study authors said this finding could explain why there is a greater risk of developing coronary artery diseases in people who have heart disease, and it also could explain the benefit of the plant-containing diet in people with heart disease when compared to the diets high in saturated fats.
They also said that the risk reduction in heart disease among the plant eaters may be attributable to the reduced risk of disease that comes from having higher antioxidant levels.
The findings suggest that a plant-rich diet could reduce coronary artery risk, the researchers said.
“We know that the combination of plant foods, including plantains, cucumbers, and nuts, are associated with increased cardiac health,” lead author Dr. Mark D. Meehan, an assistant professor of nutrition and food science at the UT-Austin College of Food Science and Health, told The Wall St. Journal.
“Our findings suggest the beneficial effects of plant-food consumption on cardiovascular disease risk are more likely due to increased antioxidant levels, rather than increased cardiovascular disease incidence.”