A Answers (6)
Rovenia Brock, PhD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answeredThough many adults -- and their children -- turn up their noses when it comes to broccoli, this much-maligned vegetable may finally be getting its props. Why? The news that it's a nutritional powerhouse has helped. Broccoli is rich in potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, as well as antioxidants that may help ward off cancer. It boasts a fistful of phytochemicals, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, which may detoxify cancer causing substances before they have a chance to wreak havoc on your body. In women, indole-3-carbinol may render the estrogen associated with breast cancer into a more benign form. And a number of studies have linked regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables -- vegetables in the cabbage family, which get their name from their four-petaled flowers, which resemble a cross -- to a reduced risk of breast, colon, and stomach cancers. This vegetable family includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, collards, kale, mustard greens, rutabagas, turnips and turnip greens, and more.
Bryce Wylde, Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answeredBroccoli and other brassica vegetables such as kale, cabbage, rapini, and Brussels sprouts can help prevent cancer and ward off heart disease. Also known as cruciferous vegetables, this group contains a compound called indole-3-carbinol (I3C)—a potent antioxidant that breaks down estrogen in the body. The compound I3C reduces the risk of breast cancer and other estrogen-sensitive cancers such as cancer of the ovaries and cervix.
These vegetables contain other protective antioxidants such as beta-carotene, which also helps prevent cancer and heart disease. Studies have shown that broccoli can help fight cervical dysplasia, a precancerous condition.
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Michael T Murray, Naturopathic Medicine, answered
Broccoli, like other members of the cabbage family, demonstrates remarkable anti-cancer effects, particularly in breast cancer. Compounds in broccoli known as glucosinolates, specifically indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, increase the excretion of the form of estrogen (2-hydroxyestrone) linked to breast cancer.
Researchers investigating the anti-cancer compounds present in broccoli discovered that broccoli sprouts contain anywhere from 30 to 50 times the concentration of protective chemicals that are found in mature broccoli plants. In fact, feeding sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extracts to laboratory rats exposed to a standard carcinogen dramatically reduced the frequency, size, and number of tumors they developed. Human studies with sulforaphane have shown that these compounds stimulate the body's production of detoxification enzymes and exert antioxidant effects. Indole-3-carbinol is also an important cancer-fighting compound, as it has been shown to arrest the growth of both breast and prostate cancer cells in preliminary studies. It also increases the ability of the liver to detoxify toxic compounds as well as decreases the growth of human papilloma virus (a virus linked to cervical cancer). Preliminary studies suggest that, to cut the risk of cancer in half, the average person would need to eat about 2 lbs of broccoli or similar vegetables per week. Because the concentration of sulforaphane is much higher in broccoli sprouts than in mature broccoli, the same reduction in risk theoretically might be had with a weekly intake of just a little over an ounce of sprouts.
Sulforaphane may also prove to be effective in helping the body get rid of Helicobacter pylori. This bacterium is responsible for most peptic ulcers and increases a person's risk of getting gastric cancer three- to six-fold. It is also a causative factor in a wide range of other stomach disorders, including gastritis, esophagitis, and acid indigestion. Broccoli is also a rich source of lutein, which has also shown anti-cancer effects. It may also be helpful in preventing the development of agerelated macular degeneration, as this carotenoid is concentrated in the retina, where it acts to protect it from damage.
Gerry Curatola, DDS, Dentistry, answered
Broccoli fits my "Triple-A" nutritional protocol- Antioxidant rich, Alkalizing, and Anti-inflammatory. Loaded with powerful antioxidants including vitamins A, C, D, Beta carotene, K and folate, as well as important minerals, broccoli is also a strong 'alkalizer' that neutralizes a disease-promoting acidic state. Most importantly, a great deal of research has pointed to the role of chronic inflammation and its damaging link to cancer. Broccoli is known to have anti-cancer compounds called glucosinolates, which activate liver enzymes to scavenge cancer-causing free radicals in the body.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics answered
Whether enjoyed in an omelet, salad or as a side dish, broccoli is a versatile vegetable that includes many of your daily vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C and D, calcium, fiber, iron and beta carotene.
To get the most nutrition from broccoli:
- Eat it soon after you buy it, either raw or cooked. Raw broccoli, including the spears, can be used in place of chips on a dip platter.
- Cook it quickly, just until tender-crisp. Toss broccoli spears in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Grill over medium high heat for five to seven minutes, turning two or three times.
When buying, look for florets that are packed tight together and dark green (not yellowing).
Dole Nutrition Institute answeredBroccoli’s glucosinolates show promise in protecting against prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric, breast and other hormone-related cancers. Glucosinolates activate the liver’s Phase II enzymes, which continue to scavenge damaging free radicals long after the food is eaten. Broccoli is also great for the bones: It’s among the top calcium-containing vegetables, and it is high in vitamin K and folate—the upper intakes of which are linked to reduced risk of fracture. And researchers have found that consumption of broccoli strengthens the blood-brain barrier—a protective network of capillaries that protects the brain from infection after a head injury.