Cabbage keeps the blood vessels healthy


In healthy blood vessels, the walls are flexible and elastic, and muscle cells inside them can easily change the lumen of the vessel – it can narrow or expand, respectively, and blood pressure will rise or fall. The elasticity of the vascular walls allows you to accurately regulate blood flow in accordance with the general condition of the body and the needs of a particular organ. And therefore, when the vascular walls lose their elasticity, this leads to hypertension and other serious problems. Vessels can become too rigid because the physiological mechanism that gives them signals to narrow or expand is disrupted. But the walls of blood vessels can themselves lose elasticity – for example, when a lot of calcium compounds accumulate in them; in this case, they speak of calcification of the vascular walls.

It is often said that in order to keep blood vessels healthy, you need to eat right – in particular, lean more on vegetables. And among vegetables, as employees advise Edith Cowan University, special attention should be paid to those that belong to the cruciferous family – that is, white cabbage and Chinese cabbage, broccoli, watercress, etc. Previously, it was noticed that those who eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables are less likely to have strokes and heart attacks. In a new article in British Journal of Nutrition researchers write about exactly how these vegetables protect our heart and blood vessels.

In several hundred elderly women, the authors of the work, using a special X-ray method, assessed the condition of the abdominal part of the aorta – how calcified it is (the aorta is the largest artery that extends from the left ventricle and reaches the lumbar vertebrae). Calcium accumulation in the aorta was compared with diet, more precisely, with the consumption of broccoli, white cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. It turned out that those who ate at least 45 grams of cabbage vegetables were 46% less likely to have aortic calcification compared to those who ate less than 45 grams or did not eat cabbage at all.

Obviously, broccoli, cabbage, etc. act in this way not only on the abdominal part of the aorta – other vessels also feel the beneficial cabbage effect on themselves. By protecting blood vessels from calcium deposits, cabbage vegetables save us from pressure problems and protect the heart from overload. (It is possible that cabbage protects blood vessels not only in older women, but also in older men, and not only the elderly.)

Here you can go further and try to find out what this particular vasoprotective substance is in different types of cabbage, and whether it can be isolated in a concentrated form or simply synthesized to be used as a preventive medicine. But until such a substance has been isolated, you can simply eat more cabbage.


Source: Автономная некоммерческая организация “Редакция журнала «Наука и жизнь»” by www.nkj.ru.

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