Health Benefits of Broccoli

Health Benefits of Broccoli

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

Health Benefits of Broccoli

Science continues to prove how healthy food positively affects the body by adding many health benefits.  The health benefits of broccoli provides a continual solid scientific foundation. 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.

Sulforaphan – Making Broccoli 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.

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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

Is Broccoli Goitrogenic

Because of the super heath benefits that broccoli can provide, it is a vegetable that should be included in your diet as often as possible. 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.

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

use organic ingredients

3 cups broccoli florets
4 medium sized apples, choppedMultitech 3000C Air Purifier
4 medium sized pears, chopped
1 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1 cup crushed ice

Combine all ingredients together & blend in a mixer till smooth. Pour equal quantities of juice in 4 individual glasses. Serve immediately.

Resources & Research

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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.

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 has studied and performed 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 14 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. Check out Oasis Advanced Wellness and our natural skin care site Oasis Serene Botanicals.
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