Broccoli contains a large variety of antioxidants including brassinin, which is a powerful cancer fighter also found in other cruciferous vegetables like Bok Choy, Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts. Even more interesting, Broccoli sprouts (baby broccoli) have even more cancer fighters than full grown broccoli. This vegetable can have up to 100 times more of compounds that help protect against disease than other fruits and vegetables.
Broccoli may also help protect against H. Pylori, which is linked to many peptic ulcers, gastritis and esophagitis as well as an increased risk of gastric cancers.
Overall, broccoli has the potential to protect against many hormone related cancers such as prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric and breast cancers.
According to one study, broccoli may have the ability to lower the risk of developing Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and follicular lymphoma when it’s eaten regularly.
Broccoli is also an extremely good source of Isothyocyanates and Glucosinolates, which are powerful antioxidants that also help detoxify the liver. Cruciferous/Brassica vegetables like broccoli, kale and dandelion greens are some of the best natural food sources for enzymes and compounds that can detox your liver.
Broccoli also contains lutein (like Eggs) so it may also help protect against macular degeneration. It’s also a much better source for vitamin A than milk. 1 cup of chopped broccoli (raw) provides a little over 10% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. Ounce for ounce, broccoli contains about 3 times more vitamin A than fortified milk.
Eating broccoli together with tomatoes and eggs provides more cancer fighting antioxidants. Tomatoes provides extra antioxidants and lycopene, and the combine effect of eggs can help improve your mood. Eggs contain vitamin D and broccoli has a form of calcium that’s easy for our bodies to absorb when vitamin D is present. The vitamin D helps the body absorb the calcium, which can relax your nerves. One cup of Broccoli provides 4-7 grams of fiber per serving and is full of vitamins C and K .
Eat as much broccoli as you like in your daily diet as this vegetable is excellent at increasing health. Make sure to eat it in tandem with other healthy foods to get even more health benefits.
Broccoli Sprouts ★★★
There are compounds inside of broccoli that may help protect against breast and prostate cancer and may slow down the growth of the human papilloma virus (HVP), which is linked to cervical cancer. To cut your risk of cancer in half you would need to eat about two pounds of full grown broccoli per week. However, broccoli sprouts contain more of the protective compounds in them than full-grown broccoli. Eating about one ounce of sprouts per week or about two tablespoons per day may help provide the same cancer protecting benefits as eating full grown broccoli.
Studies have shown sulforaphane, one of the main antioxidants found in broccoli, 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.
Sulforaphane 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) or free radicals — by as much as 73 percent.
Sulforaphane is both an immune stimulant and an anti-inflammatory.
It 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. Cherries also have the ability to help protect muscles from exercise induced damage.
Glucoraphanin, a precursor of sulforaphane, also influences the process of carcinogenesis and mutagenesis. Compared to mature broccoli, broccoli sprouts can contain up to 20 times more glucoraphanin.
Frozen broccoli has a diminished ability to produce sulforaphane. The enzyme myrosinase, which converts glucoraphanin to sulforaphane, is quickly destroyed during the blanching process.
Phenolic compounds, including flavonoids and phenolic acids, which have a potent ability to eliminate damaging free radicals and quell inflammation, resulting in a lower risk for diseases such as asthma, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
One of the ways phenolic compounds slow the encroachment of disease is by defending against infection, most dramatically by zapping ROS linked to atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Researchers have noticed that broccoli may also help strengthen the blood-brain barrier, which are capillaries that help protect the brain from injury as well as protect against pathogens and compounds that may cause damage to your brain.
Kaempferol is another powerful antioxidant found in broccoli. One large study looking at ovarian cancer showed that women with the highest levels of kaempferol had the lowest risks of ovarian cancer.
Diindolylmethane (DIM). Your body produces DIM when it breaks down cruciferous vegetables. Like many other broccoli compounds, DIM has shown multiple potential benefits, including boosting your immune system and helping to prevent or treat cancer.
One of the best ways to eat broccoli, besides eating it raw, is to lightly steam it for about 3-4 minutes. This will preserve the antioxidants while also cooking the food. Boiling broccoli breaks down or leeches out antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.