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Broccoli - A Cardio-Protective Vegetable

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Broccoli belongs to the Cruciferous vegetable family and it is one of the most powerful greens used in fighting heart disease. Recent research has showed that high intakes of broccoli may prevent ischemic strokes and other life-threatening heart conditions. Broccoli sprouts are more effective in the protection against heart disease than adult broccoli because they contain much bigger amounts of a compound called glucoraphanin, a phase II protein inducer. Glucoraphanin helps increase the natural defence mechanisms of the body, it lowers inflammation in the heart and arteries and it decreases blood pressure. This substance also fights the action of the free radicals by increasing the efficacy of the body’s antioxidant defence mechanism. This way, glucoraphanin keeps the body safe from the adverse effects of free radicals. Glucoraphanin can also reduce the risk of strokes by interrupting the process of arterial occlusion. A very interesting result of a recent study demonstrates that the intake of broccoli sprouts by pregnant women can assure the unborn baby a lifelong protection against heart disease.

A minor change in your diet in the sense of adding broccoli on your list of foods can reduce significantly your cholesterol levels, giving you protection against cardiovascular diseases. Broccoli sprouts also helps decrease oxidative stress in your cardiovascular system.

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