Cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes an unparalleled proportion of the global burden of disease and will remain the main cause of mortality for the near future. Oxidative stress plays a major role in the pathophysiology of cardiac disorders. Several studies have highlighted the cardinal role played by the overproduction of reactive oxygen or nitrogen species in the pathogenesis of ischemic myocardial damage and consequent cardiac dysfunction. Isothiocyanates (ITC) are sulfur-containing compounds that are broadly distributed among cruciferous vegetables. Sulforaphane (SFN) is an ITC shown to possess anticancer activities by both in vivo and epidemiological studies. Recent data have indicated that the beneficial effects of SFN in CVD are due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. SFN activates NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a basic leucine zipper transcription factor that serves as a defense mechanism against oxidative stress and electrophilic toxicants by inducing more than a hundred cytoprotective proteins, including antioxidants and phase II detoxifying enzymes. This review will summarize the evidence from clinical studies and animal experiments relating to the potential mechanisms by which SFN modulates Nrf2 activation and protects against CVD.