Did your mom also force feed you vegetables that you hated? Well, it’s time for you to thank her for getting you in the habit because new research suggests that some of your least favourite vegetables like broccoli and cabbage could be the most beneficial for your health as far as preventing advanced blood vessel disease is concerned.
Published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the research has found that older women who consume higher amounts of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, are less prone to extensive blood vessel disease than those who consume less.
The researchers from ECU’s School of Medical and Health Sciences and The University of Western Australia, used data from a cohort of 684 older Western Australian women who were recruited in the year,1998. They found that the ones whose diet contained more cruciferous vegetables had a lower chance of having an extensive build-up of calcium on their aorta. The calcium build-up happens to be a key indicator for structural blood vessel disease.
What exactly is blood vessel disease? It is a condition that affects our arteries and veins. This condition tends to reduce the flow of blood circulating around the body. It could happen due to the build-up of fatty, calcium deposits on the inner walls of our blood vessels, such as the aorta. And that is the leading cause of having a heart attack or a stroke.
Here’s what the researchers have to say about cruciferous veggies and this disease Lead researcher Dr Lauren Blekkenhorst said: “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. Our findings from this new study provide 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. 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” she added.
Dr Blekkenhorst also said that the women in this study who consumed more than 45 gram of cruciferous vegetables on a daily basis were 46% less likely to have an extensive build-up of calcium on their aorta as compared to those who were consuming little to no cruciferous vegetables 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,” said Dr Blekkenhorst
Heart Foundation Manager, Food and Nutrition, Beth Meertens said “This study provides valuable insights into how this group of vegetables might contribute to the health of our arteries and ultimately our heart. 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% of the total burden of heart disease.”