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Broccolicious!

Broccoli Why Those Who Dislike Broccoli Ought to Give It Another Try

Eighteen years ago, the leader of the free world made a bold declaration that sent shivers down the spines of health conscious consumers and broccoli lovers everywhere:  “I don’t like broccoli…I’m the President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

According to the U.S.D.A, the president’s denouncement of all things broccoli, and the subsequent ban he put on the cruciferous veggie in the White House (as well as Air Force One), was the precursor to a 15 percent decline in broccoli consumption across the country that year.     

Fast forward to today – a year in which the former president turns 84 and who’ll likely ring in his birthday celebration by skydiving again – and you have to wonder whether the former first lady has gotten her husband to eat his broccoli.

I say this because according to new research out of UCLA, eating broccoli may help to reinvigorate the body’s immune system, in effect slowing the aging process.

According to the research, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the age-fighting miracle worker found in broccoli is called sulforaphane.  Sulforaphane works in tandem with a protein the body makes naturally called Nrf2.  This protein and sulforaphane team up and increase the body’s ability to produce additional antioxidant genes and enzymes that ward off the hazardous effects free radicals have on the body.  Free radicals are byproducts of the various bodily functions the body goes through every day.  These free radicals are believed to be one of the largest contributors to the aging process and how quickly one ages.  This helps explain why some people in their mid 80s look younger and have more vitality than those in their 60s or 70s.

“Our defense against oxidative stress may determine at what rate we age, how it will manifest and how to interfere in those processes,” said the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Andre Nel, chief of nanomedicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  Nel went on to say that this study may help in the discovery of new medicines that can aid the elderly in boosting immune system function as they age. 

Of course, if you’re taste preferences are similar to the former president’s, there are other vegetable options containing sulforaphane, including cabbage, kale, cauliflower, turnips, cabbage, brussel sprouts and bok choy.  But if you’re looking for the most sulforaphane bang for your buck, broccoli is your best bet – the sprouts, in particular. 

This isn’t the first time sulforaphane has made its strange name known to medical researchers.  Past research has shown sulforaphane to be an effective protection against UV radiation damage and as a cancer-fighting antimicrobial.

It may be that the former president hasn’t eaten his cruciferous vegetables and his vitality is attributable to something else entirely.  And if that’s the case – fine.  Just think: imagine the vigor you’ll have by the time you reach 84 – simply by eating broccoli!

Related Posts

  1. Benefits of Broccoli in your Diet
  2. Pomegranates and Cancer Prevention – Yet Another Study Hails Pomegranates’ Cancer-Fighting Prowess
  3. Food Combining Offers Miraculous Health Benefits, Research Reveals
  4. Research Shows Spinach Can Help Prevent Ovarian Cancer
  


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