We’ve all heard of the “an apple a day” idiom and there is truth to this saying. But what’s this whole broccoli business? Well, it turns out that broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables out there. Paul Talalay, director of the Laboratory for Molecular Pharmacology at Johns Hopkins, was the first to discover the cancer-fighting property of broccoli. Broccoli contains a special chemical, sulforaphane glucosinolate, which works as a catalyst to boost detoxification enzymes in the body. The enzymes then trigger a process of detoxification that lasts for at least 72 hours. This is significantly longer than the antioxidant actions of vitamin C, E, and beta carotene! Broccoli is also rich in indole-3-carbinol, which is another powerful antioxidant. And it doesn’t end here – broccoli can also help maintain a healthier nervous system, regulate blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and boost weight-loss. Since the discovery of sulforaphane’s prevention powers in 1992, U.S. sales of broccoli have doubled. For those of us who want the benefits of this vegetable, but can’t stand the taste… try eating broccoli sprouts. Just one ounce of broccoli sprouts contains more sulforaphane than two pounds of broccoli.
Broccoli is low on the glycemic index, which means that it digests slowly and keeps blood sugar levels stable. Low-GI foods help us maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity. If you have problems with overeating, hypoglycemia, diabetes or high triglyceride and cholesterol levels, it is important to evaluate your diet based on the glycemic index. For more information, join Dr. Sara Gottfried and Dr. Pedram Shojai’s fun discussion.