Vegetables have a lot of health benefits, but some of them have actual power to ward off diseases.
One of them is broccoli and its health benefits are researched a lot.
Different researches show that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower etc. can actually decrease the risk for many diseases including:
• High blood pressure
• Heart disease
• Kidney disease
Broccoli Has Different Health Compounds For Health Boosting
When you consume broccoli, you will get a lot of nutrients which support maximum, body-wide health. Some of them are:
Fiber – amazing for nourishing your gut microbiome and it will strengthen your immune function.
Sulforaphane – it is an organic sulfur compound that happens naturally and it has potent anti-cancer activity.
Sulforaphane can cause apoptosis – it is programmed cell death in prostate, colon, lung and breast cancer. If you consume three servings of broccoli weekly you can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 60% or more. Sulforaphane can encourage the enzymes production in order to protect the blood vessels and it can reduce the molecules’ number which actually causes cell damage — it is known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) — by approximately 73%. It has anti-inflammatory properties and it can stimulate the immune system, it is amazing for boosting the testosterone levels, preventing body fat retention, it can detox the carcinogens, protect the muscles from damages that are caused by exercise and it can block specific enzymes related to joint destruction.
You should note that frozen broccoli has lower ability to produce sulforaphane because the myrosinas that converts glucoraphanin into sulforaphane, is easily destroyed in the process of blanching.
Glucoraphanin, is a glucosinolate precursor of the sulforaphane which has influence over the process of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. If you compare broccoli sprouts with mature broccoli, mature broccoli contains 20 times more glucoraphanin.
Phenolic compounds, such as phenolic acids and flavonoids that have a powerful ability to get rid of the quell inflammation and free radicals, which will result in a reduced risk for diseases including type 2 diabetes, asthma and heart diseases.
The phenolic acids actually slow the encroachment of disease in a way that it defends against infection, including Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Diindolylmethane (DIM). When it breaks down cruciferous vegetables the body produces DIM. Just like other compounds that can be found in broccoli, DIM has different potential benefits. It can boost the immune system and it can help you to treat or prevent cancer.
Broccoli Can Reduce The Risk Of Liver Cancer And Fatty Liver
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that affects more than 25% of all Americans, including children as well is referred to as an excessive fat accumulation in the liver in the absence of drinking alcohol in big amounts.
Eating too much carbs, mostly fructose in juices and soda is strongly related to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that if it is not treated it can increase the risk of liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma.
The reason is because almost all of the fructose we consume becomes shuttled to the liver and by consuming big amounts you can damage the liver, just like you would if you drank too much alcohol.
One study conducted in 2015 said: “Eaten carbohydrates will directly contribute to developing NAFLD than the intake of dietary fat.”
According to the study the pro-inflammatory and fat-forming effects of fructose will happen because there is depletion of transient ATP – it is the chemical storage form of energy. This will cause formation of uric acid that if is at a high level it can act like a pro-oxidant in the cells.
One animal study that was published in this year, said that if you eat broccoli for a long time you can reduce the chances of getting liver cancer and fatty liver that is caused by the American diet by reducing the triglyceride levels in the liver.
The Amazing Benefits Of Broccoli Sprouts
If you do not like the smell or taste of broccoli you can eat broccoli sprouts. Seeds of sprouted broccoli are very powerful; they are even more powerful than mature broccoli. The best part is that you won’t need to eat great quantities in order to get the amazing benefits of the sulforaphane.
It was shown that a small quantity of broccoli sprout extract can have big power and it can reduce the size of rat tumors caused by chemical carcinogens. In the researcher conducted in the Johns Hopkins University they said:
“A broccoli sprouts that are old 3 days have 20 – 50 times the amount of the chemoprotective compounds which is found in mature broccoli heads. It can also offer a dietary and simple solution and it is able to reduce the cancer risk.”
Along with the other advantages, they can deliver the important fiber and fatty acids and they are able to boost the bioavailability of proteins and minerals from the other foods you consume. There is another great benefit: you do not have to cook them.
You can eat them raw, like a salad addition and you can prepare a super-healthy food. It is very cheap and inexpensive and you can grow them in your home.
In Order To Boost The Content Of Shelforaphane Slightly Steam The Brocooli
If you eat raw mature broccoli, it means that you receive just 12% of the entire sulforaphane content and you can increase that by preparing it properly.
In the video interview below with Elizabeth Jeffery, Ph.D., a professor and a researcher in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois she delves and talks about this research that shows how steaming the broccoli for 3 or 4 is the perfect way of cooking broccoli. Do not cook them more than 5 minutes.
This way you will maximize the sulforaphane content and you will eliminate the epithiospecifier protein — it is a protein that is sensitive to heat which can inactivate the sulforaphane. At the same time it will retain the myrosinase, an enzyme that converts glucoraphanin into sulforaphan, and without it there will be no sulforaphane.
Microwaving or boiling the broccoli more than 1 minute is NOT recommended, because it will destroy a lot of the myrosinase. In order to boil the broccoli, just blanch them in boiling water, approximately 20 – 30 seconds and immerse them in cold water in order to stop the process of cooking.
Maximize The Content Of Sulforaphane By Adding Mustard Seeds
The content of sulforaphane can be additionally maximized by adding a food that contains myrosinase. It was reported by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR):
“In the research the participants ate a broccoli supplement that did not have an active myrosinase. At the moment when some of the participants ate another food that had myrosinase, their urine and blood sulforaphane levels significantly increased than those who did not eat the second food.”
Foods that contain the important enzyme:
• Mustard seed
• Cole slaw
• Daikon radishes
One study from 2013 which focused on mustard seed (which contain myrosinase), confirmed that mustard seeds are able to boost the formation of sulforaphane even in boiled broccoli. The authors said:
“If you boil broccoli you can prevent the formation of certain significant sulforaphane levels because of the inactivated myrosinase. If you add powdered mustard seeds in the heat the processed broccoli will raise the sulforaphane formation.”
Eat Broccoli Every Day And You Can Keep The Doctor Away
Broccoli has amazing health benefits and that why you should include them in your diet. By eating more broccoli you can:
– Support detox, because it contains gluconasturtiian, glucoraphanin and glucobrassicin.
– Decrease inflammation that is the reason for different chronic diseases.
– Fight against allergies because it contains kaempferol.
– Boosts gut health and digestion, because it contains a lot of fiber.
– It is great for your skin, because sulforaphane can repair the skin damage.
– It prevents heart diseases, because it stops the thickening of the arteries.
– It will give you amazing minerals and vitamins such as calcium, proteins, potassium and vitamin C.
– It contains a lot of cartenoids and that is why it can support eye health.
– It contains soluble fiber and chromium and that is why it can help you to reduce high blood pressure.