Green vegetables and reproductive health

The different bioactive compounds are present in green vegetables like vitamins, essential elements, dietary fibers, botanic proteins, and phytochemicals.

Fertility and green vegetables

These components of vegetables prevent many metabolic disorders like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, dyslipidemia, etc.

As they have anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, anti-platelet properties and can regulate blood glucose, lipid profile, and blood pressure; and thus prevent myocardial damage, hyperglycemia, hypercholesterolemia, free radical induce degenerative diseases and inflammatory conditions.

Wide varieties of vegetables are available in nature.

Depending upon their characteristics they are grouped in different categories like Allium (onion, garlic), cruciferous (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale), and dark leafy vegetables (spinach), etc.

Vegetables have multiple health benefits due to the presence of different phytochemicals such as polyphenols and phenolic compounds.

The different types of polyphenols are phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes, and lignans.

Green vegetables especially leafy vegetables are always a healthy food option.

Folate, iron, calcium, manganese, and Vitamins A, B, C, and E are present in green leafy vegetables.

These nutrients are essential to strengthen the reproductive system and maintain egg quality.

Two portions of green vegetables in your daily diet are really helpful to boost fertility.

Cruciferous vegetables belong to the Brassicaceae family.

Broccoli, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts are a few examples of cruciferous vegetables.

The glucose and amino acid content of these plants is endogenously produced glucosinolates.

Myrosinase enzymes can hydrolyze the glucosinolates and produce isothiocyanates, thiocyanates, and nitriles.

These metabolic products of glucosinolates obtained from cruciferous vegetables provide oxidation defense because of antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants delay aging and hold reproductive health

Sulforaphane is a specific type of isothiocyanate that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The antioxidant property of sulforaphane reduces the load of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

A load of ROS accelerates the aging process by influencing degenerative conditions like DNA-damaging, promoting inflammatory signaling that hampers reproductive ability.

The antioxidant property of Sulforaphane is mediated through redox-modulating effects.

It is believed that a low dose of Sulforaphane can able to inhibit oxidative stress.

Thus, cruciferous vegetables protect against early reproductive damage.

Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, Indole-3-Carbinol, and its product diindolylmethane.

These phytochemicals are essential for the male reproductive system as they can block tumor progression by inhibiting signaling networks.

Thus Cruciferous vegetables can prevent prostate cancer.

The signaling networks inhibition triggers cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.

In addition, research also found these two phytochemicals present in Cruciferous vegetables is act as epigenetic modulators in prostate cancer cells and prevent cancer cell development.

Leafy greens

  • Spinach

Spinach is a good example of a green leafy vegetable.

Spinach contains a high level of flavonoids and has strong antioxidant properties.

Spinach can increase the antioxidant activity of superoxide dismutase and reduce catalase enzyme activity so that limited ROS can be generated.

Blood pressure regulation is necessary for a better reproductive outcome.

The antihypertensive activity of spinach is obtained, as this leafy vegetable inhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and renin activities.

  • Lettuce

Lettuce is another widely used green leafy vegetable.

It also reduces the risk of cardiac diseases by maintaining blood cholesterol levels.

It can control hypercholesterolemia by reducing the cholesterol synthesis in the liver.

It also restricts dietary cholesterol absorption.

The antioxidant property of lettuce can lower lipid peroxidation in the cardiac muscle.

It also increases fecal cholesterol excretion.

It also decreases LDL levels in the blood and improves HDL/LDL ratio.

These health benefits indirectly help to improve and uphold reproductive health.

References:

Guo-Yi Tang, Xiao Meng, Ya Li, Cai-Ning Zhao, Qing Liu Hua-Bin Li. Effects of Vegetables on Cardiovascular Diseases and Related Mechanisms. Nutrients 2017, 9, 857; doi:10.3390/nu9080857

Christopher Dacosta, Yongping Bao. The Role of MicroRNAs in the Chemopreventive Activity of Sulforaphane from Cruciferous Vegetables. Nutrients 2017, 9, 902; doi:10.3390/nu9080902

Gregory W. Watson, Laura M. Beaver, David E. Williams, Roderick H. Dashwood, Emily Ho. Phytochemicals from Cruciferous Vegetables, Epigenetics, and Prostate Cancer Prevention. The AAPS Journal, Vol. 15, No. 4, October 2013 (# 2013). DOI: 10.1208/s12248-013-9504-4

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