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UEA scientists claim a steak a day could have same effect as cutting out smoking

PUBLISHED: 09:36 31 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:36 31 August 2015

The UEA study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, was based on health data from 2,000 British women and also listed beans, lentils, broccoli and spinach as being rich in the amino acids.

The UEA study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, was based on health data from 2,000 British women and also listed beans, lentils, broccoli and spinach as being rich in the amino acids.

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Eating a small steak or fillet of salmon every day could have as many health benefits as stopping smoking, according to University of East Anglia scientists.

A new study has found that people who eat more protein-rich food were found to have lower blood pressure and healthier arteries, lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Researchers say it is down to the consumption of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, which help to strengthen our cells, tissues and muscles and say that people who eat high levels of the acids see benefits similar to those who stop smoking, reduce salt intake or increase exercise.

Eating a 75g portion of steak a day, a 100g fillet of salmon or a pint of skimmed milk could help fend off heart disease, they claim.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, was based on health data from 2,000 British women and also listed beans, lentils, broccoli and spinach as being rich in the amino acids.

Lead researcher Amy Jennings, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: ‘This research shows a protective effect of several amino acids on cardiovascular health. 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.

“Results from previous studies have provided evidence that increased dietary protein may be associated with lower blood pressure. We wanted to know whether protein from animal sources or plant-based sources was more beneficial – so we drilled down and looked at the different amino acids found in both meat and vegetables.”

Both food sources have different benefits, they found.

Amino acids from vegetables and pulses were associated with lower blood pressure, while acids from dairy, meat and fish were linked to lower levels of arterial stiffness.

Do you have a health story? Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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