It's common knowledge that eating vegetables is good for us, and a recent study helps us understand at least one reason why. In laboratory tests on rodents, researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that mice given a diet including vegetables, particularly peas and carrots, had healthier arteries compared to mice with no vegetables in their diets.
One half of the mice received 30 percent of their calories from vegetables, while the other half received no vegetables. After 16 weeks researchers measured cholesterol to estimate the extent of atherosclerosis (plaques in the artery walls) and found that the fatty deposits in the arteries of mice that had eaten vegetables were 38 percent smaller. This is the first study to suggest that eating vegetables may reduce atherosclerosis and prevent strokes and heart attacks.