Red cabbage microgreens have potentials to decrease risk of cardiovascular disease

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Researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture have recommended for the intake of microgreens after discovering that red cabbage variety of the tiny vegetable has high contents that may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. This finding was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Microgreens are seedlings of edible plants and herbs that are grown indoors and harvested in just 1-2 weeks, when they are still immature. Although they were once only served in high-end restaurants as a garnish, microgreens have grown in popularity in recent years, with more than 40 types now gracing the window boxes of homes across the United States. Though small in size, research findings have recommended that microgreens have high nutrients. A study found that the tiny leaves of microgreens have up to 40 times the amount of nutrients such as vitamins C, E and beta-carotene – than the leaves of their mature counterparts.

Now, the new study from Thomas T.Y. Wang and colleagues show evidence that the high levels of nutrients in microgreens may translate into significant health benefits.
Earlier research has recommended that mature red cabbage may decrease levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, as excess levels can elevate the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
It is against this background that, Wang and team hypothesized that red cabbage microgreens may be even more beneficial for cholesterol levels, given their higher nutrient content.

In testing this theory, the researchers used 60 mice that had diet-induced obesity and randomized them to one of six feeding groups for 8 weeks:
 A low-fat diet
 A high-fat diet
 A low-fat diet supplemented with red cabbage microgreens
 A high-fat diet supplemented with red cabbage microgreens
 A low-fat diet supplemented with mature red cabbage
 A high-fat diet supplemented with mature red cabbage
The researchers uncovered that supplementation with either red cabbage microgreens or mature red cabbage decreased weight gain induced by a high-fat diet and the vegetables also reduced LDL cholesterol levels in the liver.
However, the red cabbage microgreens were discovered to have higher levels of polyphenols and glucosinolates (compounds that can lower cholesterol) than mature cabbage and mice fed the tiny vegetables alongside a high-fat diet showed much lower circulating levels of LDL cholesterol.

Furthermore, red cabbage microgreens were found to lower levels of triglycerides – a type of fat that can increase the risk of heart disease – in the liver.
Based on their results, the researchers submit that red cabbage microgreens may be more beneficial for heart health than mature red cabbage:
“These data suggest that microgreens can modulate weight gain and cholesterol metabolism and may protect against CVD [cardiovascular disease] by preventing hypercholesterolemia.”


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