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Broccoli or broccoli is one of the vegetables with the most followers and, in turn, critics. For some, it is the decisive and essential superfood. However, its flavor and texture make it challenging to introduce it into the diet of children and adults. Its healthy properties are many, but you must know how to consume it in the right quantities and cook it correctly so that it preserves all the nutrients.
Broccoli is a vegetable that the cauliflower and Brussels sprout family does not often enjoy. However, its bonsai appearance has the same nutritional compositions as fruits: multivitamins. It is even a vegetable with many virtues thanks to its nutrients, including sulforaphane. So here are excellent motivations to adopt Broccoli on your plate now.
An anti-cancer vegetable
Investigational New Drugs has published epidemiological research showing that regularly consuming cabbage, watercress, turnips, horseradish, radish, and Broccoli, vegetables from the Brassicaceae family, promotes immunity against certain cancers.
The International Paper of Cancer also published a study on this subject on 120,850 Dutch volunteers with a follow-up of 16 years. By consuming 25g of Brassicaceae per day, she demonstrated that the risk of having stomach cancer decreased by 28%.
Vegetables high in vitamin C, including Broccoli, help prevent colon cancer. As a powerful antioxidant, it protects all the body cells and prevents them from being altered. In addition, in 2018, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) published a report demonstrating the importance of vegetables in preventing certain cancers (mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, bladder and lung).
Excellent for detoxifying
Lung cancer and cardiopulmonary diseases come from inhaling and absorbing pollutants that harm our health. In our environment, two harmful pollutants are omnipresent: acrolein and benzene. Yet, drinking a broccoli-based drink every day eliminates these two chemicals through the urine.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has also published a clinical trial launched by Chinese scientists in 2019 on the subject. They studied the minimum necessary proportion of Broccoli. To naturally detoxify benzene effectively by evaluating S-phenylmercuric acid (SPMA), a urinary biomarker. One hundred seventy volunteers participated in this study during a 10-day intervention.
In this study, part of the participants took the placebo drink and another part of the broccoli-based drink added in glucoraphanin and sulforaphane at different doses: the entire amount, the half dose and the fifth of the dose. During the observation period, the urinary biomarker SPMA was more critical, with a rate of 62.3% for the group having drunk the total quantity. On the other hand, the difference in the increase in the rate is minimal between the participants who consumed half a dozen and a fifth of the dose and those who took the placebo drink.
The broccoli concoction (total dose) allowed benzene to detoxify markedly with an elimination rate in the urine of 25 µmol of sulforaphane daily. And 10 and 5 µmol respectively for the other quantities. On the other hand, the fifth dose does not promote detoxification with 120 μmol of glucoraphanin and 8 μmol of sulforaphane.
Broccoli A cure for Autism
The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a study that confirms that sulforaphane acts. On the behaviour of autistic young people by improving social interaction and oral communication.
Uring this clinical trial, which lasted 18 weeks, 29 young men aged 13 to 27 with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, consumed broccoli sulforaphane. Fifteen other participants, considered as a control group, took the placebo.
As the treatment progressed, the results improved. The improvements were felt as early as the 4th week of administration of sulforaphane. After the end of the intervention, the behaviors’ of the patients changed: the lethargy diminished. The participants were less irritated, hyperactive and more motivated, oral communication improved. However, experts have noticed that the patients’ scores return to their level. Before the experiment by stopping the treatment with sulforaphane.
After 18 weeks of intervention, the experts noted in the group having consumed sulforaphane that:
- 46% of patients improved their social interaction;
- 54% have moderate aberrant behaviour;
- 42% developed verbal communication skills.
Benefits of Broccoli
- Cardiovascular health. Broccoli helps eliminate bad cholesterol from the body, favoring a healthy heart and preventing cardiovascular diseases. In addition, chromium, which regulates blood pressure, prevents high blood pressure.
- Strong bones. This vegetable is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc, thus helping to strengthen bones and prevent osteoarthritis.
- Eye health. Zeaxanthin, beta-carotene (found mainly in its leaves), vitamin B2, and vitamin A make broccoli a magnificent eye protector. On the one hand, broccoli prevents muscle degeneration, cataracts, and UV radiation damage; on the other, lutein protects the eye from degenerative diseases.
- Detox food The antioxidant properties of broccoli help eliminate toxins, free radicals, and uric acid, thanks to the fact that sulforaphane improves liver function. In this way, the skin and blood are purified.
- Improves the immune system. Thanks to vitamin C, beta-carotene, multiple vitamins, and minerals, broccoli helps strengthen the immune system.
- Ideal for pregnancy. Folic acid and phosphorus are essential for the formation of the fetus.
- Healthy skin. Beyond the detoxifying effect on the skin, thanks to the antioxidants, vitamins E, B, A, K, and Omega-3 acids favor the care of the dermis and give it a more attractive, young, soft, and shiny appearance. For its part, vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen, providing the skin with flexibility, and vitamin E protects the skin’s cell membranes and defends against UVA radiation damage.
- Protection against anemia. Broccoli has iron and protein, substances that are essential to combat anemia.
- Fiber source. Broccoli is recommended in situations where constipation is suffered due to its fiber content, which, in addition to facilitating evacuation, helps prevent stomach ailments such as heartburn and inflammation. It also helps to make faster digestion.