According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and sprouts three or more times per day can prevent hardening of neck arteries in elderly women and also decrease the risk of heart disease. Researchers observed a 0.05 millimetre lower carotid artery wall thickness between high and low intakes of total vegetables. "That is likely significant, because a 0.1 millimetre decrease in carotid wall thickness is associated with a 10 per cent to 18 per cent decrease in risk of stroke and heart attack," said lead author Lauren Blekkenhorst, from the University of Western Australia.
For the study, the team distributed food frequency questionnaires to 954 Australian women aged 70 years and older. The women were asked to note their vegetable intake in a range from 'never eating vegetables' to 'three or more times a day.' Vegetable types included cruciferous, allium like onions, garlic, leeks and shallots, yellow/orange/red, leafy green and legumes. Sonograms were used to measure carotid artery wall thickness and entire carotid trees were examined to determine carotid plaque severity.
The results showed that each 10 grams per day higher in cruciferous vegetable intake was associated with 0.8 percent lower average carotid artery wall thickness. However, due to observational nature of this study a causal relationship cannot be established.
Cruciferous vegetables are generally low in calories packed with nutrients. Although the individual nutrition profiles can vary cruciferous vegetables tend to be high in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K as well as dietary fibre. Include the following cruciferous vegetables that will benefit your health.
bok choy, mustard greens, watercress, radish, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, collard greens, kale, maca, turnip and cabbage among others.
With Inputs from IANS