Brussels Sprouts & Broccoli May Be Good For Blood Vessel Health

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Brussels sprouts and broccoli are not on the list of most popular vegetables, but these cruciferous veggies may be the most beneficial for humans when it comes to preventing advance blood vessel disease, according to a report published in the British Journal of Nutrition; findings suggest that higher intake of cruciferous veggies is associated with less extensive blood vessel disease in older women. 

Data from 684 older Western Australian women found that those with a diet with high cruciferous vegetable consumption had a lower chance of having an extensive buildup of calcium on their aorta, which is a key marker for structural blood vessel disease, according to the researchers from ECU’s School of Medical and Health Sciences and The University of Western Australia.

“In our previous studies, we identified those with a higher intake of these vegetables had a reduced risk of having a clinical cardiovascular disease event, such as a heart attack or stroke, but we weren’t sure why,” said lead researcher Dr. Lauren Blekkenhorst. “Our findings from this new study provides insight into the potential mechanisms involved.”

“We have now found that older women consuming higher amounts of cruciferous vegetables every day have lower odds of having extensive calcification on their aorta,” said Blekkenhorst. “One particular constituent found abundantly in cruciferous vegetables is vitamin K which may be involved in inhibiting the calcification process that occurs in our blood vessels.”

According to Blekkenhorst, in this study, those who ate more than 45g of cruciferous veggies on a daily basis were 46% less likely to have an extensive buildup of calcium on their aorta in comparison to those eating little or none every day. 

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

“This study provides valuable insights into how this group of vegetables might contribute to the health of our arteries and ultimately our heart,” said Heart Foundation Manager, Food and Nutrition, Beth Meertens. 

“Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia and poor diet is responsible for the largest proportion of the burden of heart disease, accounting for 65.5 percent of the total burden of heart disease,” said Meertens. 

“The Heart Foundation recommends that Australians try to include at least five serves of vegetables in their daily diets, along with fruit, seafood, lean meats, dairy and healthy oils found in nuts and seeds. Unfortunately, over 90 percent of Australian adults don’t eat this recommended daily intake of vegetables,” adds Meertens. 

Examples of cruciferous vegetables include arugula, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, kale, radish, turnips, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, garden cress, collards, watercress, horseradish, rutabaga, and wasabi. 



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