Broccoli is a variety of cabbage that has a strong and large flower-head. It is one of the most common edible green
plants in the world. Usually dark green to sage green, this healthy vegetable can also be white or purple (violet).
Regardless of the color, it is a very nutritive plant with plenty of health benefits.
Broccoli Health Benefits
and Nutrition Facts
Broccoli, composed of 92%
water, has provides little energy but many minerals: Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sulfur;
as well as vitamins: ß-carotene (beta-carotene or pre-vitamin
A), Vitamin A, Vitamin B9, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K. In fact, it is one of the number one
natural source of vitamin K, which plays a key role in controlling blood coagulation, and preventing
Broccoli and Cancer Prevention
Broccoli has a preventive
action against many tumors due to its content in fibers, sulfur compounds, and other antioxidants: indoles,
sulforaphane, glutathione, quercetin, ß-carotene. Studies on
broccoli and cancer prevention show these substances have the ability to neutralize some toxic compounds,
such as free radicals, in the body, and thus preventing many medical conditions including several
In a study conducted on
145 laboratory animals subjected to a highly carcinogenic substance. Of all the animals, 25 received no
treatment while the others were administered large amounts of sulforaphane. At the end of the study, 50 days
later, the animals that did not receive protection treatment were suffering from mammary tumors, whereas
among the animals that received the protective treatment, only 26% had malignant tumors.
Experience shows that
people who regularly consume broccoli are protected against almost all cancers, according to Dr. Jon
Michnovicz, founder and president of the Foundation for Preventive Oncology, Inc., a not-for-profit
organization dedicated to the prevention of cancer.
Broccoli and cancer
prevention are particularly evident in cancers of the colon, breast and prostate.
Broccoli is a source of
glucosinolates, indole-3-carbinol, as well as the best source of sulforaphane, a molecule that speeds up the
elimination of toxic substances in the body capable of causing cancer. The vegetable can also act directly on
cancer cells in order to induce their death by apoptosis, programmed cell death that occurs in healthy
Broccoli and Bladder Cancer
According to a Japanese
study, regular consumption of broccoli reduces not only cancer but also the risk of many infections,
including infections with Helicobacter pylori. A recent study found that regular consumption of broccoli can
increase the chances of surviving bladder cancer. In fact, epidemiological studies suggest that cruciferous
vegetables, including broccoli, provide more protection against several cancers than fruits and vegetables in
Broccoli and Breast Cancer
As demonstrated by
various studies, broccoli, like most cruciferous, helps fight against almost types of cancer. Several studies
have shown that regular consumption of vegetables from the cruciferous family, like broccoli, may prevent
certain cancers, such as cancers of lung, ovarian, prostate, and kidney. Consuming the vegetable at least a
few times per week may be especially associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, and
even breast cancer in premenopausal women.
The antioxidant capacity
of broccoli decreases during storage. It may even decrease more than 50%. That is, it is better to go organic
and local. This interesting plant contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants from the
carotenoid family. A serving of cooked broccoli (½ cup or 125 ml) contains more lutein and zeaxanthin than
when it is raw. These compounds may help prevent certain cancers, including those of the breast and lung, and
participate in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. It is important, however, to note that studies on
the consumption of antioxidants linked to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases are still contradictory.
Like most cruciferous
vegetables, broccoli contains glucosinolates, which have the capacity to develop into active molecules -
sulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol and 3,3'-diindolylmethane- when it is chopped, masticated or in contact with
the gut flora. These molecules help to limit the development of certain cancers, including breast
However, storage and
cooking can result in loss of glucosinolates and sulforaphane. It would be preferable to consume it raw or
lightly cooked in a little water or stir-fried to preserve its nutritional values. While over-coking is not
good, moderate cooking would optimize the formation of bioactive compounds. Raw broccoli consumption results
in a more rapid absorption of sulforaphane and an increase in bioavailability as compared to when it is
- Broccoli is one of the
main sources of glucosinolate called Glucoraphanin. Under the action of the enzyme myrosinase, glucoraphanin
turns into an active isothiocyanate called sulforaphane. Researchers have found that broccoli naturally
contains a protein that interfered with the formation of this compound, but that moderate cooking allows the
body to disable this protein. For cons, the researchers also noticed that too much cooking decreased
· Indole-3-carbinol and
3,3-diindolylmethane - indole-3-carbinol is
another active compound derived from a glucosinolate contained broccoli and other cruciferous. In the body,
indole-3-carbinol may turn to turn to 3,3-diindolylmethane (or DIM), a cancer preventive agent. Active
content in the compounds sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol also demonstrated in animals a beneficial effect
on tumor formation, limiting the growth of cancerous cells and promoting their
Moreover, it was observed
that sulforaphane had the ability to reduce colonization and destroy the H. Pylori in animals but also in
humans. H. pylori is a bacterium that can infect the stomach and cause ulcers and malignant tumors in humans.
Some results also show a beneficial effect of indole-3-carbinol against uterine cancer, as well as
endometrial and bladder cancers. However, further research is needed before confirming these results in
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