The study in the Journal of Nutrition said the average person only eats three portions of fruit and veg a day, according to the BBC News.
Adams and his team decided to look on the physiological level as to how vegetable intake might affect blood vessel health, Forbes reports.
Their study is published in the July issue of the Journal of Nutrition and is funded by food maker General Mills, whose brands include Green Giant vegetables.
Adams' team fed a control group of 53 mice a vegetable-free diet. Another group of 54 mice got the same base diet, but with vegetables added to make up 30 percent of the total diet. Vegetables included freeze-dried broccoli, peas, green beans, corn and carrots.
After 16 weeks, they assessed the animals' health and found those who ate the vegetable-rich diet had lower total cholesterol levels, lower levels of the so-called "bad" cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and a 7 percent lower average body weight.
Although there was also a reduction in total cholesterol and body weight in mice fed the vegetable-rich diet, analysis showed that this could not explain the reduction in atherosclerosis.
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