Researchers have discovered eating broccoli could undo the damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels.
Professor Paul Thornalley and his team from the University of Warwick have found a broccoli compound called sulforaphane. This compound can encourage the body to produce more enzymes to protect the vessels, as well as reduce high levels of molecules which cause significant cell damage.
Past studies have shown that a diet rich in vegetables – particularly brassica vegetables such as broccoli – is linked to decreased risk of heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes have a particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke and other health impairments, such as kidney disease, are linked to damaged blood vessels.
Professor Thornalley, at the University's Warwick Medical School, tested the effects of sulforaphane on blood vessel cells damaged by high glucose levels (hyperglycaemia).
He said: "Our study suggests that compounds such as sulforaphane from broccoli may help counter processes linked to the development of vascular disease in diabetes. In future, it will be important to test if eating a diet rich in brassica vegetables has health benefits for diabetic patients. We expect that it will."
"As a diabetic I believe that anything that is worth trying. Broccoli is one of my favourite vegetable therefore it is always on my shopping list. I will have no hesitation in recommending its inclusion as part of a healthy diet to patients, family and friends with or without diabetes." - Matilda Taylor-Young, SE6
"I enjoy eating broccoli and will continue to do so whatever its effects. I will definitely bear the research study in mind when I am promoting this vegetable to patients as a part of a healthy diet." - V Henry, N15