Broccoli and cabbage can save you from heart attack

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What you need to know:

  • The research found that higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with less extensive blood vessel disease in older women
  • Blood vessel disease is a condition that affects blood vessels (arteries and veins) and can reduce the flow of blood circulating around the body.

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprout could be the most beneficial in preventing advanced blood vessel disease, an Australian university has said, citing new research.

The research found that higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with less extensive blood vessel disease in older women, Edith Cowan University (ECU) wrote on its website.

Using data from a cohort of 684 older Australian women, researchers from ECU and The University of Western Australia found that those with a diet comprising more of these vegetables had a lower chance of having extensive build-up of calcium on their aorta, the main body artery, and this is a key marker for structural blood vessel disease.

Blood vessel disease is a condition that affects blood vessels (arteries and veins) and can reduce the flow of blood circulating around the body.

This reduction in blood flow can be due to the build-up of fatty, calcium deposits on the inner walls of blood vessels such as the aorta. This build-up of fatty, calcium deposits is the leading cause of stroke and heart attack.

Cruciferous vegetables

The researchers found that older women consuming higher amounts of cruciferous vegetables every day have lower odds of having extensive calcification on their aorta, lead researcher Lauren Blekkenhorst said.

A particular constituent found abundantly in these vegetables is vitamin K, which may be involved in inhibiting the calcification process that occurs in our blood vessels, she added.

In the study, women who consumed more than 45g of cruciferous vegetables every day were 46 per cent less likely to have extensive build-up of calcium on their aorta compared to those consuming little to no cruciferous vegetables every day, Blekkenhorst said.

“That’s not to say the only vegetables we should be eating are broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts,” she said. “We should be eating a wide variety of vegetables every day for overall good health and wellbeing.”

The findings are in in the British Journal of Nutrition.

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