When it comes to great-tasting nutrition, broccoli is an all-star food with many health benefits. Broccoli belongs to a family of vegetables called cruciferous vegetables and its close relatives include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. These veggies may reduce your risk of many diseases. Researchers are studying the anti-cancer properties of sulforophane and have come to some interesting conclusions, although more research is needed.
Based on all the things we know for now, broccoli can reduce risks for these diseases, but these are not the only ones:
- High blood pressure and heart disease
- Kidney disease
Broccoli Contains Many Health Boosting Compounds
This vegetable can provide you dozens, maybe even hundreds, of super-nutrients that will support optimal, body-wide health. We made a list of some of the health compounds of broccoli, but keep in mind, there are many more:
- Fiber: diets high in fiber promote digestive health. A high fiber intake can also help lower cholesterol.
- Sulforophane: natural organic sulfur compound that have shown to have potent anti-cancer activity.
Studies have shown sulforophane causes apoptosis (programmed cell death) in colon, prostate, breast and tobacco-induced lung cancer cells. Three servings of broccoli per week may reduce your risk of prostate cancer by more than 60 percent.
Sulforophane encourages production of enzymes that protect your blood vessels, and reduces the number of molecules that cause cell damage — known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) — by as much as 73 percent.
Interestingly, sulforophane is both an immune stimulant and an anti-inflammatory.
Sulforophane also helps raise testosterone levels. Inhibits the retention of body fat, helps detox carcinogens, blocks certain enzymes linked to joint destruction and helps protect your muscles against exercise-induced damage.
Keep in mind that the frozen broccoli have the diminished ability to produce sulforophane as the enzyme myrosinase. This makes the process of converting glucorophanin to sulforophane.
- Glucorophanin: glucorophanin is converted into another compound called sulforophane, which turns on our antioxidant defenses. These help to rebalance our metabolic machinery and remove some of the potentially damaging effects of an imbalanced metabolism. Compared to mature broccoli, broccoli sprouts can contain up to 20 times more glucorophanin.
- Phenolic compounds: including flavonoids and phenolic acids, which have a potent ability to eliminate damaging free radicals and quell inflammation, resulting ina lower risk for diseases such as asthma, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
By defending the body against infection, phenolic compounds slow the encroachment of a disease. This is done by zapping ROS linked to atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Diindolylmethane (DIM): when you break down cruciferous vegetables, your body produces DIM. Just like the few components we previously discussed, DIM shows multiple potential benefits, including boosting your immune system and helping to prevent or treat cancer.
Broccoli Reduces Risk of Fatty Liver and Liver Cancer
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the term for a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat in the liver. It’s usually seen in people who are overweight or obese.A healthy liver should contain little or no fat. It’s estimated that up to one in every three people in the UK has early stages of NAFLD where there are small amounts of fat in their liver.
Most people will only ever develop the first stage, usually without realizing it. The overconsumption of net carbs, especially fructose in soda and juices, is strongly associated with NAFLD which, it left untreated, can raise your risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Almost all of the fructose you consume gets shuttled to your liver directly, and this why fructose is more dangerous than any other sugars. If you consume high amounts of fructose, it damages your liver in the same way alcohol and other toxins do.
As noted in one 2015 study: “Ingested carbohydrates are more likely to directly contribute to NAFLD than dietary fat intake.”
According to many studies, due to transient ATP (the chemical storage for of energy) depletion, are appearing the fat forming and pro-inflammatory effects of fructose. This leads to uric acid formation, which can be at high levels acts as a pro-oxidant inside your cells.
So as reading all of these things, you can assume that long-term consumption of broccoli may reduce your chances of developing fatty liver and liver cancer.
The Superior Benefits of Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli sprouts can be great for every person that doesn’t like the taste or smell of broccoli. If we look through the nutrition benefits, sprouted broccoli seeds are far more potent than mature broccoli. As a result, you don’t need to eat nearly as much to reap the clinical benefits from key therapeutic compounds like sulforophane.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, just the small quantity of broccoli sprout extract can have the power to markedly reduce the size of rat mammary tumors induced by chemical carcinogens.
“Three-day-old broccoli sprouts consistently contain 20 to 50 times the amount of chemo protective compounds found in mature broccoli heads, and may offer a simple, dietary means of chemically reducing cancer risk.”
Broccoli sprouts also have advantages when it comes to delivering essential fatty acids and fiber, and boost the bioavailability of minerals and protein from other foods you eat. And the major thing is that you don’t need to cook them.
You can use them usually raw, as an addition to salad, making them a super-healthy convenience food. And one more thing, you can actually easily grow broccoli sprouts at home.
Lightly Steam Your Broccoli to Boost Sulforophane Content
If you eat war mature broccoli, you can’t get all the beverage from it. From raw broccoli you only get 12 percent of the total sulforophane content available in it. But, if you prepare it properly, you can increase this amount and really maximize the cancer-fighting power.
In the video we are showing you, the interview with Elizabeth Jeffery, Ph.D., a researcher and professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois, tells us that steaming the broccoli for three to four minutes is ideal. But not more than five minutes.
This kind of steaming will optimize the sulforophane content by eliminating epithiospecifier protein, while still retaining the enzyme myrosinase.
She does not recommend to boil or microwave the broccoli past one minute. In that way you will destroy a majority of the myrosinase. But, if you really want to boil your broccoli, blanch it in boiling water for no more than 20 to 30 second, and immerse it in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Adding Mustard Seed Can Maximize Sulforophane Content Even Further
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR):
“Participants ate a broccoli supplement with no active myrosinase. When some participants ate a second food with myrosinase, their blood and urine levels of sulforophane were significantly higher than those who did not eat the food.”
If you want to know the foods containing this important enzyme we made a small list of some:
- Mustard seed
- Daikon radishes
- Cole slaw
In many studies have been found that the mustard seed contains a particularly resilient form of myrosinase, and because of that it can boost sulforophane formation even in boiled broccoli.
“Boiling broccoli in water prevented the formation of any significant levels of sulforophane due to inactivated myrosinase. However, addition of powdered mustard seeds to the heat processed broccoli significantly increased the formation of sulforophane.”
In the end if you don’t steam or flash-blanche raw broccoli, adding a myrosinase-rich food is really important. But, in the process of frizzing the broccoli a big amount of myrosinase id reduced. So boiling or microwaving it further can easily lead to it being more or less devoid of sulforophane. According to everything we have told you the most important part is if you use frozen broccoli, don’t forget the food that contains myrosinase.
Some Broccoli Each Day May Keep the Doctor Away
The benefits of this vegetable are remarkable indeed, making it well worth your effort to add a few broccoli spears and broccoli sprouts to your meals on a regular basis. Doing so has been shown to:
|Support detoxification, thanks to the phytonutrients glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian and glucobrassicin||Reduce inflammation, which is at the root of many chronic diseases||Fight allergies, thanks to the flavonoid kaempferol|
|Improve digestion and gut health, courtesy of significant amounts of fiber||Support eye health, thanks to high levels of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin||Benefit your skin, as sulforaphane helps repair skin damage|
|Provide important vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, protein and vitamin C||Help reduce blood sugar levels, as it contains both soluble fiber and chromium||Support heart health help prevent thickening of your arteries|