If you ask people which is your least favourite vegetable, Brussel sprouts is a very popular answer. Others will say when done with garlic or other flavourings, they are a favourite. The fact is that these are not the most popular of the vegetables, Their relatives in the cruciferous vegetables, cabbage and broccoli are also not that popular.
The problem is that these vegetables are likely to be the best of all vegetables when it comes to preventing advanced blood vessel disease, particularly in older women.
A recent study of 684 older women from Western Australia has shown that with a higher consumption of these vegetables in their diets that there is a lower build up of calcium on the aorta, which is a significant cause for heart attack and stroke.
The build up of this fatty calcium deposits restricts vessel resulting in a higher chance of heart attacks and strokes.
The research has been published in the British Journal of Nutrition was done by ECU’s School of Medical and Health Sciences and The University of Western Australia
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.”
It may be the increased level of Vitamin K in these vegetables which may be the factor contributing to this calcium decrease, but how that works is yet to be determined
Dr Blekkenhorst said “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 health and wellbeing.”
The Heart Foundation Manager, Food and Nutrition, Beth Meertens said; “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.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.”
So have some Brussel sprouts or cabbage in a nice garlic sauce or find another way to get another extra serve of these heart savers into your diet each day.