Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: September 17, 2018 Comments: 0

Why do parents force their kids to eat broccoli? Well, everybody knows that broccoli is considered one of those healthy, “dark, leafy green” vegetables, that have an abundance of vitamins and minerals, but is there something more to this familiar green? While broccoli is considered a rich source of vitamins K and C, it is also part of a unique group of foods known as cruciferous vegetables, which have been well researched in the field of cancer prevention.

 

Let’s break it down.  Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, contain specific compounds called glucosinolates. When broken down by the enzymes in your body, one particular glucosinolate, called glycobrassicin (stay with me!), yields a very unique compound called indole-3-carbinol (I3C).  Once I3C is exposed to stomach acid, it’s metabolized and converted into diindolemethane (DIM), the most biologically active ingredient found in broccoli. I3C, and in turn, DIM are the key components responsible for the possible anti-cancer activity of broccoli.

 

Not only does broccoli contain these key-antioxidant nutrients, but, thanks to DIM, broccoli can also help to sustain intestinal immune function, offering a high level of defense against pathogens and harmful gut bacteria that can make you sick. After all, you’re only as healthy as your gut, so eating broccoli may help to keep your gut healthy and your immune system strong.

 

Of course, consuming raw cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, is the best way to ensure adequate amounts of dietary I3C and DIM. However, since some people may experience digestive discomfort and flatulence while consuming a higher volume of these vegetables, good quality nutritional supplements can provide you with a healthy alternative, without the off-putting side effects.

 

 

References:

(1) Abbaoui, B et al. (2018). Cruciferous Vegetables, Isothiocyanates, and Bladder Cancer Prevention, Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201800079. [Epub ahead of print].

(2) Gregor, M. (2013, November 6). The Broccoli Receptor: Our First Line of Defense. Retrieved from https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-broccoli-receptor-our-first-line-of-defense-2/

(3) Hwang, J, H., Lim, S, B. (2014). Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Broccoli Florets in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 Cells, Preventive Nutrition and Food Science 19 (2), 89-97.

(4) Moreno, D,A. Carvajal, M., Lopez-Berenguer, C., Garcia-Viguera, C. (2006). Chemical and biological characterisation of nutraceutical compounds of broccoli, Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 41, 1508-1522.

(5) Thomson, C., Ho, E., Strom, M. (2016).  Chemopreventive properties of 3,3′-diindolylmethane in breast cancer: evidence from experimental and human studies. Nutrition Reviews, 74 (7), 432-443.

(6) Watson et al. (2013). Phytochemicals from Cruciferous Vegetables, Epigenetics, and Prostate Cancer Prevention, The AAPS Journal, 15(4), 951-961.



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