BACKGROUND: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended for cardiovascular health. However, the majority of Australians do not consume the recommended number of vegetable servings each day. Furthermore, intakes of vegetables considered to have the greatest cardiovascular benefit are often very low. Results from prospective observational studies indicate that a higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) is associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk. This may be due to the presence of specific nutrients and bioactive compounds found almost exclusively, or at relatively high levels, in cruciferous vegetables. Therefore, the aim of this randomised controlled crossover trial is to determine whether regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables results in short-term improvement in measures related to cardiovascular disease risk, including ambulatory blood pressure, arterial stiffness, glycaemic control, and circulating biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation.
METHODS: Twenty-five participants (50-75 years) with mildly elevated blood pressure (systolic blood pressure 120-160 mmHg) will complete two 2-week intervention periods in random order, separated by a 2-week washout period. During the intervention period, participants will consume 4 servings (~ 300 g) of cruciferous vegetables per day as a soup (~ 500-600 mL/day). The 'control' soup will consist of other commonly consumed vegetables (potato, sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin). Both soups will be approximately matched for energy, protein, fat, and carbohydrate content. All measurements will be performed at the beginning and end of each intervention period.
DISCUSSION: The findings of this study will provide evidence regarding the potential cardiometabolic health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, which may contribute to the revision of dietary and clinical guidelines.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry on 19th September 2019 (ACTRN12619001294145).