Cruciferous vegetables are known for antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects. In the current study we asked whether dietary broccoli sprouts can protect the heart from ischemia-reperfusion. Rats were fed either control diet (sham and control groups) or a diet mixed with 2% dried broccoli sprouts for 10 days. After 10 days the isolated hearts were subjected to ischemia for 20 min and reperfusion for 2 h, and evaluated for cell death, oxidative damage, and Nrf2-regulated phase 2 enzyme activities. Broccoli sprouts feeding inhibited markers of necrosis (lactate dehydrogenase release) and apoptosis (caspase-3 activity) by 78-86%, and decreased indices of oxidative stress (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and aconitase inactivation) by 82-116%. While broccoli sprouts increased total glutathione and activities of the phase 2 enzymes glutamate cysteine ligase and quinone reductase in liver, they did not affect these in ischemic-reperfused heart. While the mechanism is not clear, the results show that a relatively short dietary treatment with broccoli sprouts can strongly protect the heart against oxidative stress and cell death caused by ischemia-reperfusion.