It’s not quite as high in kid’s list of veggies most hated: brussel sprouts or eggplant probably rate higher; and Papa Bush openly said he hated to eat it, but nevertheless, eating vegetables such as Broccoli are probably the natural way to stay healthy.

Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and soy beans have been found to have a chemical that probably gives protection against cancer. Another study, using dietary surveys, showed that men who ate Broccoli and cauliflower have a lower rate of prostate cancer.

Eating Broccoli and similar vegetables has long been thought to be associated with less heart disease and fewer strokes.

But a study now shows that there are chemicals in Broccoli that might prevent or even reverse blood vessel damage in diabetic patients. This would mean less “hardening of the arteries” in hearts, legs, kidneys and brains: one of the most dreaded side effects of this disease.

From the BBC:

A University of Warwick team believe the key is a compound found in the vegetable, called sulforaphane….

The Warwick team, whose work is reported in the journal Diabetes, tested the effects of sulforaphane on blood vessel cells damaged by high glucose levels (hyperglycaemia), which are associated with diabetes.

They recorded a 73% reduction of molecules in the body called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).

Translation: it stopped this ROS from harming blood vessels. In Diabetics, high blood sugar increases this chemical, which is why the blood vessels get damaged.

The researchers also found that sulforaphane activated a protein in the body called nrf2, which protects cells and tissues from damage by activating protective antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes.

Translation: It stops other toxic chemicals too.

All of this research is merely explaining the biochemical reasons behind the surveys showing the value of Broccoli.

Once the biochemistry is understood, then they can figure out a way to put it into a pill.

In the meanwhile, listen to your mother and eat your veggies.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket

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