Posts tagged: broccoli

American Researchers Found That Steaming Broccoli

American Researchers Found That Steaming Broccoli
Graphic: © Image source – Wikipedia – lic. under GFDL v1.2

Cruciferous vegetables such as collard greens, kale, watercress, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli are widely celebrated from their anti-cancer effects. [1] According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the mode of preparation affects the nutritional content of broccoli – and in particular, the sulforaphane yield. [2]

Sulforaphane is an active compound found in cruciferous vegetables that is formed when inactive glucoraphanin interacts with the enzyme myrosinase. It’s has been shown that sulforaphane has potent anticancer properties against prostate cancer cells, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. [3][4][5]

According to the study, steaming broccoli for a few minutes increases the sulforaphane content by eliminating an inhibitory heat-sensitive protein known as the epithiospecifier protein, but retaining myrosinase. (Ps: The epithiospecifier protein inactivates sulforaphane, while myrosinase facilitates the activation of glucoraphanin into sulforaphane).

Boiling broccoli for more than a minute is believed to destroy most of the myrosinase – hence reducing the cancer-fighting abilities of broccoli. Additionally, some water-soluble nutrients such as folate, B-vitamins, and vitamin C may leach into the boiling water – reducing the nutrient content of the broccoli.

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.


[1] Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention

[2] Impact of Thermal Processing on Sulforaphane Yield from Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. ssp. italica)

[3] Singh AV. et al. 2004. Sulforaphane induces caspase-mediated apoptosis in cultured PC-3 human prostate cancer cells and retards growth of PC-3 xenografts in vivo.

[4] Li Y. et al. 2010. Sulforaphane, a dietary component of broccoli/broccoli sprouts, inhibits breast cancer stem cells.

[5] Wu QJ. et al. 2013. Cruciferous vegetables intake and the risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies.

Broccoli Extract Shows Promise For Type 2 Diabetes

Broccoli Extract Shows Promise For Type 2 Diabetes
Graphic – Image sources – see foot of article

Type 2 Diabetes is a global epidemic affecting over 422 million people worldwide. With numerous complications ranging from blindness, kidney failure, stroke, and amputations, it is more than a blood sugar problem. [1] Given such grave implications, the search for a more effective, safe, and affordable treatment has never been more in need of urgency.

Surprisingly, the search for the latest development in diabetes treatments may find its answer within the humble vegetable, the broccoli.

In a human trial study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers discovered that concentrated broccoli sprout extract may help patients with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. For 12 weeks, 97 type-2 diabetic participants were given broccoli sprout extracts and then monitored for changes in blood glucose levels. After the specified period, it was clear to the researchers that the extract was exerting a favorable effect. The obese participants showed a 10 percent decrease in fasting blood sugar levels compared to the control group. The exact reason why it seems to work better for those patients who are obese is not yet clear. Although 10 percent may seem like a small reduction, it is a significant improvement considering the fact that for every 1 percent decrease reduces the risk of eye, nerve, and kidney damage by 40 percent. [2]

The researchers attributed this effect to a compound found in broccoli called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane had already been found to exert a hypoglycemic effect in animal models by blocking liver cells from producing glucose. This, in theory, explains the observed effect in the human study. [3]

Despite these promising results, researchers are quick to point out that the research work has a long way to go. The test subject is small and the trial period is short. Still, they remain optimistic and are looking forward to doing more tests. But that needn’t stop you: Broccoli, noted for numerous other health benefits, is a wonderful addition to the diet. Steam lightly with a small amount of butter and you have an excellent, nutritious side dish that may also have remarkable healing qualities.


[1] Diabetes

[2] Diabetes HbA1c

[3] Sulforaphane reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes (2017)

Infographic photo sources: (PD)

Top 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Broccoli

10 Amazing Health Benefits Of BroccoliImage – Donelli M © Broccoli photo – wikipedia

Broccoli originated in Italy (as you might guess from the name) and it has been eaten there since Roman times – however surprisingly it has only been popular in the US in the last 100 years. Significant research has been done into the health benefits of green vegetables, particularly for their potential to treat or prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. On this page we have listed some of the most amazing benefits of broccoli from discoveries that scientists have made in recent years.

Anti-cancer Activity: Broccoli contains glucobrassicin, which is a glucosinalate – this chemical is a known precursor of some chemopreventive compounds and has generated a lot of interest from cancer researchers. [1][2] Sulphorafane, found in broccoli and other brassicas has been shown to inhibit and kill bladder cancer cells. [3]

Organic crops have shown a significantly higher content of brassicin than conventional crops, even though some other constituents are similar in both methods of cultivation. [4] Recent research has shown that steaming, stir-frying (and even microwaving!) broccoli result in much better retention of the glucosinalate than boiling and that a shorter cooking time is always preferable. [5]

Fights Arthritis: New research shows that broccoli could be helpful in the prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis. This is also due to the presence of sulphorafane. [6][7]

Reduces Inflammation: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and some types of injury, such as those of the spinal cord, can be exacerbated by ongoing inflammation. Broccoli contains chemicals that can be used to reduce this inflammation, which can help to protect vulnerable tissue. [8][9]

Detoxifier (Removing pollution from the body!): This one is really interesting: Broccoli sprouts have been tested and shown to be very effective in removing some toxic air pollutants from the body during a recent clinical trial in China! [10]

Boosts Immune System: Broccoli has a high content of vitamins A, C and K, which are considered vital for a healthy immune system.

Improves Cardiovascular Health: Vitamin B9 (folate), found in broccoli can help to prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease. Half a cup of cooked broccoli contains 13% of the recommended daily intake (fresh, steamed broccoli is likely to have the highest amounts). [11][12]

Contributes To Healthy Pregnancy: Folate (also called folic acid) is often taken by pregnant women as a supplement that helps to prevent preeclampsia and birth defects – broccoli is a good natural source!

Aids Digestion: Large amounts of dietary fiber found in broccoli contribute to a healthy digestive system and less constipation.

Aids Stomach Ulcers: There are also antibacterial properties that kill harmful bacteria in the gut, including H. Pylori bacteria, which can cause peptic ulcers and could facilitate stomach cancer. [13]

Prevents Anaemia: Readily available iron and folate in broccoli will help to keep anaemia at bay!

Eating fresh makes a difference and it’s best to keep your vegetables in the refrigerator – levels of vitamins and other essential health promoting compounds reduce during storage and exposure to heat or light!

Note – this article is not medical advice.