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Cerebral near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) of tissue oxygen saturation is claimed to be a surrogate marker for global cerebral perfusion. Increasingly, NIRS target-based therapy has been used during cardiac surgery in the hope of decreasing the incidence of adverse neurological outcome.We report NIRS values for some common vegetables and faculty at a world-class medical institution.Observational nonblinded study.Single tertiary care institution and local urban vegetable market.Five yams (Dioscorea cayenensis), five courgettes (Cucurbita pepo) and five butternut squashes (Cucurbita moschata) were studied. Five cardiothoracic surgeons and anaesthesiologists were the control group.None.NIRS value of each species.Mean NIRS value for the control group was 71% [95% confidence interval (CI) 68 to 74] and was similar to that of the yellow squashes [75% (95% CI 74 to 76)]. These values were significantly greater than the NIRS measurements of both the butternut squash and yam [63% (95% CI 62 to 64) and 64% (95% CI 63 to 65), respectively, P < 0.01].Commonly eaten vegetables have NIRS measurements similar to those seen in healthy humans.