People who consume more fruits and vegetables have lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as hypertension, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Cruciferous vegetables which includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, turnips, and radishes generate the greatest protection.The enhanced cardioprotection of cruciferous vegetables are thought to result from indolic compounds.
Plant indoles appear to have beneficial effects on cholesterol synthesis by lessing the activity of Apolipoprotein B-100.
Apolipoprotein B-100 is a key protein involved in the synthesis and transport of LDL "bad" cholesterol. Reducing apoB-100 results in substantial reductions in atherosclerosis (fatty deposits in the arteries).
Researchers from the University of Hawaii found that the phytonutrient (indole 3 carbinol) found in cruciferous vegetable lowered liver cell secretion of apolipoprotein B-100 by more than half. Significant decreases in cellular lipid synthesis, including triglycerides and cholesterol esters were also observed in cells treated with indole 3 carbinol.
Kale is a nutritional dense food source of indole 3 carbinol. Kale can be served cold as the base of a salad or lightly heated in olive oil and garlic. Adding in a few diced prunes will also enhance cholesterol absorption. Prunes are high in pectin & antioxidants. Pectin acts as a cholesterol sponge in the intestine. Kale & prunes added to meal planning can significantly reduce the production & transport of LDL artery clogging cholesterol.
In addition to helping reducing Apo B-100, kale is high in the eye protecting nutrients lutein & zeaxanthin (3276 mcg per one cup).
Cruciferous Indole-3-Carbinol Inhibits Apolipoprotein B Secretion in HepG2 Cells
Geoffrey K. Maiyoh4,5, Joan E. Kuh
J. Nutr. 137:2185-2189, October 2007
Modular Structure of Solubilized Human Apolipoprotein B-100
Alexander Johs, Michal Hammel
J. Biol. Chem., Vol. 281, Issue 28, 19732-19739, July 14, 2006