Health Benefits of Broccoli

Health Benefits of Broccoli

October 27th, 2014 by Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, CH, HHP

Health Benefits of Broccoli

Research continues to prove how healthy food positively affects the body. And the many health benefits of broccoli are no exception. A member of the cabbage family, broccoli is closely related to cauliflower. Broccoli sprouts have also recently become popular as a result of research uncovering their high concentration of the anti-cancer phytonutrient, sulforaphane. Sulforaphan has the ability to significantly improve your blood pressure and kidney function by normalizing a process called DNA methylation.

Broccoli could also help solve the seemingly epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A help keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For those who need to rebuild vitamin D stores using vitamin D supplements, broccoli may be an ideal food to include in the diet.

Health Benefits of Broccoli: Sulforaphan – A Powerhouse

Sulforaphane is an organic sulfur compound found in cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, and arugula with broccoli sprouts being the best source.

Sulforaphane has also been shown to have antimicrobial properties. Sulforaphane kills cancer stem cells, which can slow tumor growth. It normalizes DNA methylation, which plays a role in a number of diseases, including hypertension, kidney function, gut health  and cancer.

Sulforaphane has shown promise for improving some behavioral symptoms of autism. This is according to the results of a small clinical trial led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, and Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.

More research shows that broccoli is helpful in the prevention of heart disease, osteoarthritis, allergies, diabetes, eye health and can combat exposure to environmental pollutants.

Stimulating a variety of antioxidant defense pathways in the body that can directly reduce oxidative stress, sulforaphane seems to slow down the decline in the immune system that occurs with age. This may suggest that eating vegetables that contain sulforaphane, such as broccoli, could beneficially slow down the aging process and help the body to age gracefully.

varicose vein support

Broccoli May Reduce Risk of Fatty Liver Disease and Liver Cancer

Broccoli may also be an important food intervention for those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD affects approximately 25 percent of Americans, including children. NAFLD is an excessive accumulation of fats in your liver in the absence of significant alcohol consumption.

The over-consumption of net carbs, especially fructose from processed foods, soda, and juices, is strongly associated with NAFLD. Untreated NAFLD can definitely raise your risk of liver cancer.

The results of a 2016 animal study showed that long-term consumption of broccoli may reduce your chances of developing fatty liver and liver cancer caused by the standard American diet by lowering triglyceride levels in your liver.

More Health Benefits of Broccoli

  • 2x the vitamin C of an orange
  • contains selenium, a mineral found to have anti-cancer & anti-viral properties
  • 100 calories of broccoli contains 11.2 grams of protein
  • rids the body of H. pylori
  • high levels of absorbable calcium & vitamin K
  • anti-inflammatory
  • prevents constipation
  • maintains low blood sugar
  • keeps body less acidic
  • purifies blood
  • highest levels of certain glucosinolates
  • activates tumor suppressor genes
  • reduces risk of breast cancer
  • rich in potassium
  • repairs skin damage from UV radiation
  • reduces osteoarthritis
  • rich source of fiber, beta carotene & folate
health benefits of broccoli

Health Benefits of Broccoli

Is Broccoli Goitrogenic

Because of the super heath benefits of broccoli, it is certainly a vegetable that should be included in your diet as often as possible. However, many people are concerned about consuming it since broccoli is sometimes referred to as a “goitrogenic” food. Yet, contrary to popular belief, according to the latest studies, foods themselves—broccoli included—are not “goitrogenic” in the sense of causing goiter whenever they are consumed, or even when they are consumed in excess. In fact, most foods that are commonly called “goitrogenic”—including broccoli, kale, and cauliflower—do not interfere with thyroid function in healthy people even when they are consumed on a daily basis. If one does have thyroid concerns, steaming broccoli may be the best way to consume broccoli. With respect to the health of the thyroid gland, all that can be contained in a food are nutrients that provide us with a variety of health benefits but which, under certain circumstances (e.g. thyroid concerns), can also interfere with thyroid function.

Research indicates steaming mature broccoli spears for three to four minutes (no more) will definitely increase the available sulforaphane content by eliminating epithiospecifier protein — a heat-sensitive sulfur-grabbing protein that inactivates sulforaphane — while still retaining the enzyme myrosinase, which converts glucoraphanin to sulforaphane. The latter is important because, without myrosinase, your body is unable to absorb the sulforaphane.

Some studies indicate that 2-3 cups of broccoli is needed on a daily basis in order to receive some of the major health benefits that broccoli provides. Even at 3 cups, the caloric intake would only consist of about 132 calories.

Broccoli & Pear Juice Recipe

Ingredients

3 cups organic broccoli florets
4 medium sized organic apples, chopped
4 medium sized organic pears, chopped
1 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1 cup crushed ice (purified water)

Thoroughly wash all fruit. Combine all ingredients together in a high speed blender and blend till smooth. Pour equal quantities of juice in 4 individual glasses. Serve immediately.

Resources & Research

Am J Hypertens February 2012

Kahlon TS, Chiu MC, and Chapman MH. Steam cooking significantly improves in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage. Nutr Res. 2008 Jun;28(6):351-7. 2008.

Dr. Amy Yasko, H. Pylori: Another piece of the puzzle

CNN Health August 29, 2013

BBC News August 28, 2013

Vivar OI, Saunier EF, Leitman DC et al. Selective activation of estrogen receptor-{beta} target genes by 3,3′-diindolylmethane. Endocrinology. 2010 Apr;151(4):1662-7. 2010.

Arthritis & Rheumatism 2013 Aug 27 [Epub ahead of print]

Preventdisease.com August 29, 2013

Preventdisease.com August 29, 2013

Cancer Prevention Research June 9, 2014 [Epub ahead of print]

Vasanthi HR, Mukherjee S and Das DK. Potential health benefits of broccoli- a chemico-biological overview. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2009 Jun;9(6):749-59. 2009.

Johns Hopkins Press Release June 16, 2014

NPR June 18, 2014

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology March 6, 2008

The World’s Healthiest Foods

de Souza dos Santos MC, Goncalves CFL, Vaisman M et al. Impact of flavonoids on thyroid function. Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 49, Issue 10, October 2011, Pages 2495-2502.

Brent GA. Environmental Exposures and Autoimmune Thyroid Disease. Thyroid 2010 July; 20(7): 755—761. doi: 10.1089/thy.2010.1636

Dal Maso L, Bosetti C, La Vecchia C et al. Risk factors for thyroid cancer: an epidemiological review focused on nutritional factors. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Feb;20(1):75-86.

Vanderpas J. Nutritional epidemiology and thyroid hormone metabolism. Annu Rev Nutr. 2006;26:293-322.

American Liver Foundation, NAFLD

Hepatobiliary Surg Nutr. 2015 Apr; 4(2): 109–116

Journal of Nutrition February 10, 2016 doi: 10.3945/ jn.115.228148

 New Hope August 24, 2016

Loretta Lanphier is a Naturopathic Practitioner (Traditional), Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Clinical Herbalist as well as the CEO / Founder of Oasis Advanced Wellness in The Woodlands TX. She studies and performs extensive research in health science, natural hormone balancing, anti-aging techniques, nutrition, natural medicine, weight loss, herbal remedies, non-toxic cancer support and is actively involved in researching new natural health protocols and products.  A 17 year stage 3 colon cancer survivor, Loretta is able to relate to both-sides-of-the-health-coin as patient and practitioner when it comes to health and wellness. “My passion is counseling others about what it takes to keep the whole body healthy using natural and non-toxic methods.” Read Loretta’s health testimony Cancer: The Path to Healing. Loretta is Contributor and Editor of the worldwide E-newsletter Advanced Health & Wellness
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Oasis Advanced Wellness/OAWHealth are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician of choice.

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