If you want to keep your arteries in tip-top shape, you want to start eating more broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Australian researchers found that a diet high in vegetables — along with the specific vegetables listed — can help boost artery health.
The researchers found that older women who consumed these vegetables had less thickness along the arterial walls. Thicker artery walls can result in stroke, heart attack, and other health complications.
Cruciferous vegetables were found to have the biggest effect on artery health.
The study involved 1,500 women over the age of 70 from Western Australia. The women answered detailed questionnaires about diet and other lifestyle factors, which the researchers reviewed for their observational study. The women also underwent ultrasound scans to determine the thickness of the artery walls.
Women who consumed the most vegetables had better artery health. With every 10 grams added daily of cruciferous vegetables, arterial thickness was reduced by 0.005mm. A higher intake of other vegetables did not yield the same results.
The researchers did not see a difference between vegetable consumption and fatty buildup in the arteries, but merely arterial thickness. A thicker artery is less flexible and can result in health complications.
The researchers concluded, “Increasing vegetables within the diet with a focus on consuming cruciferous vegetables may protect against subclinical atherosclerosis [artery thickening that has not yet caused a stroke] in older adult women.”