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October 8, 2011 at 8:00 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Broccoli - This Week's Health Celebrity


Green veggies are enjoying the limelight’s glow this week as a barrage of new studies have come out promoting their health benefits. Studies published week reveal broccoli can:

Improve Your Immunity Turns out that cruciferous green vegetables provide our immune system with an important chemical signal. Said immunologist Marc Velhoen, After feeding otherwise healthy mice a vegetable-poor diet for two to three weeks, I was amazed to see 70 to 80 percent of these protective cells disappeared.”  These mice had lower levels of antimicrobial proteins and were more susceptible to injury.  Intentional irritation of their intestinal tract was also much slower to repair than you would expect in healthy mice. 

Retain Healthy Mineral Content Despite Modern Growing InterventionsRecently, there have been a variety of studies reporting a downward trend in produce nutrient content.  The cause, they say, is our move away from traditional farming practices in favor of more economic practices over time.  Over-farming and genetic engineering have yielded produce that looks big and pretty on grocery store shelves, but unfortunately, is less nutritious than the produce 50 years ago. Sad news, but at least there is one vegetable that has made it through these trials unscathed – can you guess which? A report published this week shows despite genetic manipulation, broccoli is as nutrient rich today as it was in 1975!

Overcome Bad Heart Genes- More and more, studies are showing us "bad genes" is no excuse for bad health behavior. Here's just one more courtesy of this week's health star. "We observed that the effect of a high-risk genotype can be mitigated by consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables, Our results support the public health recommendation to consume more than five servings of fruits or vegetables as a way to promote good health."

Beat Their Supplement Form Hoping to harness the health power of broccoli…mmm.... without actually having to eat the stuff? Maybe pick up a handy, taste-free broccoli supplement instead? At HelloLife, while most of us love broccoli’s unique texture and savory, slightly spicy taste; some of us are definitely less enamored. Unfortunately, when it comes to broccoli supplements, a new study this week’s shows they just can’t compete. “…the particular compounds that we believe give broccoli … their health value, need to come from the complete food” says OSU associate professor Emily Ho. The particularly beneficial sulforaphane compound in broccoli, said to suppress tumor growth and detoxify carcinogens, cannot be released efficiently in a supplement.

If you want the benefits, you’re just going to have to eat it.

But maybe readers have some ideas on how to make broccoli more tasty?


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  • I'm glad to hear broccoli has retained its nutrition! I would much prefer if we could do away with genetically modified crops, but since I have no doubt eaten some GMO broccoli, I'm glad it is at least still good for me. :)

  • I think it may be due to broccoli's naturally impressive size , color and shelf life.

    The industry supports nutrient depleted produce with their standard of paying farmer by the pound, not by the taste or nutrient content. :/

    I agree - non gmo is best, but at least broccoli has escaped unscathed.

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