Nutritional Value of Broccoli
Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine Focused on Energetics of Food
The nutritional value of broccoli has garnered the spotlight in recent years. Broccoli, after extensive scientific research, is now viewed as one of the top powerhouses when it comes to nutrient density and benefits.
Broccoli Anticancer Nutrient Identified
"Scientists at John Hopkins School of Medicine reported they identified the ingredient in broccoli that worked as an anticancer compound in laboratory experiments. The chemical, sulforaphane, boosts the production of an enzyme known to neutralize carcinogens before they trigger tumor growth."
Source - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1992
The health benefits of broccoli are beginning to reveal that this cruciferous vegetable may even be more potent than its advocates had ever realized.
But before we discuss healthy broccoli and its benefits, let's take a look at a bit of the history of this vegetable.
Although broccoli has been grown since the time of the Roman Empire, it wasn't until the 16th century that in became popular in France and then spread throughout the rest of Europe.
Amazingly, it wasn't until the 20th century that an Italian family brought some shipments to Boston that it started to gain popularity in the United States. Today, of course, we all know that broccoli is used widely in many dishes across numerous cultures.
The nutritional value of broccoli starts with it being jam-packed with vitamins and minerals.
On the vitamin side, it contains Vitamins B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6, B9 (Folate), Vitamin C and A.
When it comes to minerals, healthy broccoli contains: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
These vitamins and minerals aren't just found in tiny trace amounts either. For example, did you know that ounce for ounce, broccoli actually contains more Vitamin C than many citrus fruits? Or that it has more calcium than an entire glass of milk? Or that it's an even richer source of fiber than whole wheat bread?
As good as this news is, it gets even better. The real potent nutritional value of broccoli lies in substances called isothiocyanates. Don't let the name scare you.
Isothiocyanates are a class of very potent anti-carcinogens. Meaning, they fight and help prevent cancer.
Specifically, tests have shown that broccoli's anti-cancer compounds greatly protected mice from stomach cancer. Although you don't hear about stomach cancer much per se, it is actually the second most common form of cancer.
Studies conducted at the prestigious John Hopkins University showed that broccoli contains compounds that trigger the body to produce a substance (sulforaphane) that, in turn, manufactures enzymes that are powerful cancer fighters.
Broccoli is considered a low-glycemic food which helps to normalize blood sugar. One of the keys to weight loss is controlling the body's response to insulin.
Broccoli also gives a boost to enzymes which help to detoxify the body. Detoxification leads to weight loss and helps prevent certain diseases.
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Fri Dec 7, 2:36 PM ET Yahoo News Reuters - Nutritional Value of Broccoli
Just three servings a month of raw broccoli or cabbage can reduce the risk of bladder cancer by as much as 40 percent, researchers reported this week.
Other studies show that dark-colored berries can reduce the risk of cancer too -- adding more evidence to a growing body of research that shows fruits and vegetables, especially richly colored varieties, can reduce the risk of cancer.
Researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, surveyed 275 people who had bladder cancer and 825 people without cancer. They asked especially about cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage.
These foods are rich in compounds called isothiocyanates, which are known to lower cancer risk.
The effects were most striking in nonsmokers, the researchers told a meeting being held this week of the American Association of Cancer Research in Philadelphia.
Compared to smokers who ate fewer than three servings of raw cruciferous vegetables, nonsmokers who ate at least three servings a month were almost 73 percent less likely to be in the bladder cancer group, they found.
Among both smokers and nonsmokers, those who ate this minimal amount of raw veggies had a 40 percent lower risk. But the team did not find the same effect for cooked vegetables.
"Cooking can reduce 60 to 90 percent of ITCs, (isothiocyanates)," Dr. Li Tang, who led the study, said in a statement.
A second team of researchers from Roswell Park tested broccoli sprouts in rats.
They used rats engineered to develop bladder cancer and fed some of them a freeze-dried extract of broccoli sprouts. The more they ate, the less likely they were to develop bladder cancer, said Dr. Yuesheng Zhang, who led the research.
They found the compounds were processed and excreted within 12 hours of feeding. That suggests the idea that compounds are protecting the bladder from the inside, said Zhang.
"The bladder is like a storage bag, and cancers in the bladder occur almost entirely along the inner surface, the epithelium, that faces the urine, presumably because this tissue is assaulted all the time by noxious materials in the urine," Zhang said.
In a third study, a team at The Ohio State University fed black raspberries to patients with Barrett's esophagus, a condition that can lead to esophageal cancer.
Black raspberries, sometimes called blackberries or blackcaps, are also rich in cancer-fighting compounds.
Ohio State's Laura Kresty and colleagues fed 1.1 ounces (32 grams) of freeze-dried black raspberries to women with Barrett's esophagus and 1.6 ounces (45 grams) to men every day for six months.
They measured urine levels of levels of two compounds -- 8-isoprostane and GSTpi -- that indicate whether cancer-causing processes are going on in the body.
Kresty said 58 percent of patients had marked declines of 8-isoprostane levels, suggesting less damage, and 37 percent had higher levels of GSTpi, which can help interfere with cancer causing damage and which is usually low in patients with Barrett's.
(Reporting by Maggie Fox, editing by Julie Steenhuysen and Vicki Allen)
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If you think the health benefits of broccoli end there, you would be wrong.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that broccoli was among the top foods that may prevent colon cancer.
The Harvard School of Public Health reported that broccoli may reduce the risk for cataracts.
Other Harvard scientists reported that healthy broccoli may help protect against strokes, with this research having been published in world famous JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli is good. The news: Broccoli sprouts are even better. At a mere 3 days old, they contain at least 20 times as much of disease-fighting sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS) as their elders; SGS has been shown to:
The chemical triggers enzymes in the body that either kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. Just 1 ounce of sprouts has as much SGS as 1 1/4 pounds of broccoli. That'll save you lots of chewing.
Protect your heart
People who ate about a half cup a day of sprouts lowered their total cholesterol by an average of 15 points, and women in the study raised their good cholesterol by 8 points--in just 1 week, found a Japanese pilot study.
Save your sight
Exposure to UV sunlight over time may lead to an eye condition called macular degeneration, which is the number one cause of blindness in US seniors. Researchers at Johns Hopkins determined that broccoli sprouts can protect retinal cells from ultraviolet light damage.
Now that we know more about the nutritional value of broccoli and broccoli sprouts, the problem is that many of us don't like the way it tastes.
For some, it's hard to chew. For others, the bitter taste is a turn-off. Others can only eat it in in soups or after it's been sautéed. Unfortunately if it's cooked down extensively at high heats in such situations, it loses a great deal of its nutritional value.
Getting the Nutritional Value of Broccoli
So what's the solution?
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This product contains ten super vegetables and grains: broccoli, parsley, carrots, beets, kale, cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, barley and oat fibers in capsule form. So, now there are no excuses for any of us anymore.
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Much more than the nutritional value of broccoli discussed back at the Home Page
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