Broccoli has been reinvented as a tender-stem, purple sprouting nutritional powerhouse. This tasty vegetable is packed with vitamins, minerals and superantioxidants. Raw broccoli is one of the best natural sources of the phytonutrient glucoraphanin (GR) – a long lasting antioxidant that boosts the body’s natural defenses against pollutants and toxins. Benefits of glucoraphanin last up to 3 days while other antioxidants last only up to 3 hours. [1,2] Glucoraphanin , when consumed, converts to a potent antioxidant and cellular protector called sulforaphane [3].

Why is broccoli a superfood?

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1. Detoxification enhancement

Broccoli is a universal, all in one natural detoxification agent thanks to three essential detoxifying nutrients: glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin. This trio of nutrients which are naturally present in broccoli work in accord to neutralize and eliminate dangerous contaminants that accumulate in our bodies. Glucoraphanin, which creates sulforaphane when chewed or swallowed accelerates the body’s ability to detoxify from various pollutants. [4,5]

2. Anti-inflammatory effect to prevent and treat osteoarthritis, allergies, asthma

Broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol. [6] Kaempferol and some glycosides of kaempferol have a wide range of pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiallergic activities. Results from a laboratory study show that sulforaphane slows down the destruction of cartilage in joints associated with painful and often debilitating osteoarthritis, according to new research led by the University of East Anglia [7]. According to researchers at the University of Melbourne, eating one to two cups of lightly steamed broccoli could prevent asthma from worsening. [8]

3. Antioxidant effect during pregnancy for a healthy baby

Broccoli is a concentrated source of the premiere antioxidant nutrients—vitamins A, C, K, Folate, Choline and flavonoids. For a healthy baby, folate and choline is super important for the production of new DNA and development of the brain. A new study at Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, based on research in pregnant mice suggest that children born to mothers who eat large amounts of cruciferous vegetables during pregnancy may show more resistance to leukemia and lymphoma in their childhood and lung cancer in their adulthood. [9]

4. Digestive aid

Broccoli provide great source of fiber and sulforaphane that has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. These phytonutrients help protect the health of stomach lining by helping prevent bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori. Broccoli sprouts appear to have especially strong stomach support properties to inhibit Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria thought to cause gastric ulcers [9,10]

8 benefits of broccoli you must know_02

5. Ardiovascular disease

Past studies have shown that a diet rich in vegetables – particularly brassica vegetables such as broccoli – is linked to decreased risk of heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes have a particularly high risk of heart disease. Professor Thornalley said: “Our study suggests that compounds such as sulforaphane from broccoli may help counter processes linked to the development of vascular disease in diabetes” [11,12].

6. Colorectal, prostate or other cancers

Veggie fans can already point to some cancer-fighting properties of 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM), a chemical produced from the compound indole-3-carbinol when Brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and kale are chewed and digested. Animal studies have shown that DIM can actually stop the growth of certain cancer cells [9,11,13]. Broccoli provides not just one, but two ways to prevent cancer through the complex mechanism of epigenetics.

7. Boost immune function and disease prevention

A new study in mice published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, shows that DIM may help boost the immune system as well [9,14] An array of disease-fighting nutrients and phytochemicals in broccoli help us stay healthy, energetic and vibrant.

8. Antiageing effect

Macular Degeneration and Neurodegenerative Disease could be part of ageing process. But a diet rich in high-glucoraphan in broccoli slows down the process of aging through modulating mitochondrial function. Eating kale and broccoli, which have high levels of antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, may also reduce the risk of macular degeneration. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Want to boost your health even more? Add some broccoli sprouts to your daily regimen. It has also been shown that GR is present in much higher concentrations in broccoli seeds and 3-day old broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprouts – 3-day-old broccoli plants – provide 20 times the concentration of SGS found in adult broccoli. Keeping an eye on new research: results suggest that topical application of broccoli sprouts extract acts as a sunscreen. “Treatment with broccoli sprout extract might be another protective measure that alleviates the skin damage caused by UV radiation and thereby decreases our long-term risk of developing skin cancer” says Dr. Jed Fahey. I can’t say that eating sprouts will guarantee you won’t get cancer or heart disease. But I believe they are protective. So if you have a family history of any problems above or just want to boost your antiaging effect – have some broccoli.

References:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23560984
  2. http://sgs-broccoli.com/
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC23369/
  4. http://www.alternativecancer.me/prevention/detoxify-your-body-naturally-with-broccoli/
  5. http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21428901
  7. http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/news/press-releases/2013/august/broccoli-could-be-key-in-the-fight-against-osteoarthritis.aspx
  8. http://newsroom.melbourne.edu/news/some-broccoli-each-day-could-keep-asthma-away
  9. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/isothio/
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15387326
  11. http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/superfoods/pages/is-broccoli-a-superfood.aspx
  12. http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_4-9-2009-15-8-42
  13. http://www.clinicalepigeneticsjournal.com/content/3/1/3
http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2007/08/20_broccoli.shtml

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