Cardiovascular disease (CVD) represents one of the biggest causes of mortality in Europe at this current time. Each year cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes 3.9 million deaths in Europe (45% of all deaths) and over 1.8 million deaths in the European Union (EU) (37% of all deaths). Preventative measures such as taking aspirin have decreased in countries like America which is a possible reason for increase in CVD complications such as stroke. Vegetable phytochemicals have been associated with a reduced chance of developing CVD. Green beans in particular constitute to a major agro-industrial crop worldwide and contribute to part of a 12 million tonne bean production worldwide, suggesting that they are a common vegetable for consumers and is why they were chosen for the proposed study. Salt has been implicated in the development of hypertension and consequently CVD. Low sodium alternatives such as LoSalt (66% reduction in sodium) and Smart Salt® (40% reduction in sodium) have been associated with a reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure when incorporated into the diet. However no studies have documented the effects of different types of salts - table salt, LoSalt and Smart Salt® on green beans phytochemicals when added while boiling.
Frozen green beans were boiled without salt as well as with table salt, LoSalt and Smart Salt®. Laboratory methods to analyse the antioxidant activity, total phenolics, and chlorophyll content and total carotenoids of both the cooked green beans and the resulting cooking water were carried out. One way ANOVAs with Bonferroni post hoc corrections were used to determine significant differences. Significance was determined by a p value of ≤0.05.
The total antioxidant, phenolic, chlorophyll and carotenoid content of the green beans was found to not have any statistically significant differences when comparing the salt variables between each other. Trends were observed showing that the addition of salt has had a slight protective effect in terms of limiting phytochemical loss in the green beans just not significantly. The cooking water contained relatively low levels of phytochemicals compared to the vegetable samples suggesting that the cooking process did not fully destroy the chemicals in the water, however no chlorophyll a was found in the cooking water samples and was probably destroyed by the thermal process of boiling.
From this study phytochemical differences after cooking although not statistically significant showed that no further loss of phytochemicals occurred from the addition of different types of salt. Therefore it is easily possible to reduce sodium intake while keeping phytochemicals of green beans the same, and therefore lower the chance of CVD development.
Keywords: Salt, Green beans, boiling, Cardiovascular Disease, Phytochemicals||