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Broccoli and Brussels sprouts beneficial for blood vessel health  


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Broccoli and Brussels sprouts a cut above for blood vessel health (20 August 2020)

Cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely associated with extensive abdominal aortic calcification in elderly women: a cross-sectional study

Higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, is associated with less extensive blood vessel disease in older women.

Using data from a cohort of 684 older women recruited in 1998, those with a diet comprising more cruciferous vegetables had a lower chance of having extensive build-up of calcium on their aorta (a key marker for structural blood vessel disease). Blood vessel disease can reduce the flow of blood circulating around the body (due to the build-up of fatty calcium deposits on the inner walls of our blood vessels - the leading cause of heart attack and stroke).

Broccoli and Brussels sprouts a cut above - Eat an extra serve of greens every day

Women eating >45g of cruciferous vegetables daily (e.g. ¼ cup of steamed broccoli or ½ cup of raw cabbage) were 46% less likely to have extensive build-up of calcium on their aorta in comparison to those consuming little to no cruciferous vegetables. Lead researcher Dr Lauren Blekkenhorst said “... vitamin K may be involved in inhibiting the calcification process that occurs in our blood vessels.” 

Research welcomed by the Heart Foundation

Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia, and poor diet is responsible for 65% of the total burden of heart disease. ... Over 90% of Australian adults don’t eat the recommended daily intake of five serves of vegetables/day.