Higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables may lower cardiovascular diseases
Earlier studies show heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular risks are associated with the increased artery walls thickness, increased hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and increased plaque build-up. There are a number of studies that show consumption of a diet containing a high amount of vegetables reduces atherosclerosis process, arteries walls thickening process and plaque build-up. But there is not a single study which suggests a specific type of vegetable that can reduce the heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular risks.
In the current study, researchers wanted to investigate the association of all vegetable consumption and certain vegetables grouped according to phytochemical (chemical compounds produced by plants) constituents with the wall thickness of carotid artery and the extent of plaque build-up in them. The study results show an inverse association between cruciferous vegetable consumption and the hardening of arteries among elderly women.
Researchers have conducted studies on 954 elderly women, aged 70 years or more. They measured the thickness of walls of blood carrying carotid artery with the consumption of vegetables. They used ultrasound images to measure carrying carotid artery walls thickness. They conducted studies with the following types of vegetable.
The study shows less than ten percent of the people including women consume five daily servings of vegetables and the average vegetable consumption was found to be 199.9 grams.
The study has found 0.036 millimeters or five percent reduced carotid artery wall thickness among women who consume daily at least three servings of vegetables compared to women who consume daily two servings vegetables less than normal.
The study also found 10-gram daily increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, garden cress, bok choy, cauliflower, and broccoli causes 0.8 percent lower artery wall thickness on an average.
The study did not find any association between plaque severity with vegetable consumption.
Researchers say their study is not suggesting other vegetables do not provide any health benefits. But increased consumption of a variety of all vegetables is vital to keep good health. The study suggests that an individual can obtain optimum vascular health benefits if the individual includes a couple of servings of cruciferous vegetables along with their recommended daily amount of vegetables.
Vegetables contain a number of vitamins and minerals. Earlier studies have proved that vegetable consumption is associated with reduced body inflammation and oxidative stress, a common conditions among heart disease and stroke patients. This study has found a lower risk of thickening and stiffness of the artery walls with the higher consumption of vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables.
Lead author of the study was Dr. Lauren Blekkenhorst, a nutrition researcher, the University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia. The study findings were published online April 4, 2018 in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA). Title of the article was "Cruciferous and Total Vegetable Intakes Are Inversely Associated With Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Older Adult Women."
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Published by Jammi Vasista, Chennai, India.