The research, which has been published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, involved analysing a database of food intake from 10,000 middle-aged US adults who were monitored from 1987 - 2016. None of the participants had cardiovascular disease when the study started.
People who ate the most plant-based foods overall had a 16 percent lower risk of having a cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, and other conditions - and their risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease was slashed by nearly a third.
According to Science Daily, lead researcher, Casey M. Rebholz, Ph.D., said: "Our findings underscore the importance of focusing on your diet. There might be some variability in terms of individual foods, but to reduce cardiovascular disease risk people should eat more vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fruits, legumes, and fewer animal-based foods.
"These findings are pretty consistent with previous findings about other dietary patterns, including the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet, which emphasize the same food items."
Mariell Jessup, M.D., Chief Science and Medical Officer at the American Heart Association, added: "The American Heart Association recommends eating a mostly plant-based diet, provided the foods you choose are rich in nutrition and low in added sugars, sodium (salt), cholesterol and artery-clogging saturated and trans fats...
"Unprocessed foods, like fresh fruit, vegetables and grains are good choices."