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Diet: Green broccoli is significantly healthier than previously thought

Diet: Green broccoli is significantly healthier than previously thought



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Broccoli can even protect against heart disease and some cancers
It has long been known that broccoli is excellent for our health. Now researchers have found that broccoli, through its so-called phenolic compounds, helps reduce inflammation, the risk of coronary heart disease, and even our risk of cancer. The experts found genes in broccoli that control the accumulation of phenolic compounds in the vegetables.

Scientists from the University of Illinois have now found that broccoli can effectively protect us from a variety of diseases. The vegetables have a high content of so-called flavonoids. Our body cannot normally produce these itself. The flavonoids have many positive properties, for example they protect against cancer and coronary heart disease. The doctors published their results in the journal "PLOS ONE".

What kind of vegetables is broccoli?
Broccoli is a so-called cruciferous vegetable. The plant is closely related to the cauliflower and is served as a side dish by many Germans. Broccoli is sometimes referred to as crumbs, asparagus, winter cauliflower or sprouts. The plant originally comes from Asia, the head is mostly deep green to blue-green in color. Violet, yellow and white varieties of vegetables are less common. The main growing areas in Europe are predominantly Mediterranean countries.

A healthy effect is also retained when the broccoli is cooked
Do you eat broccoli frequently? If not, you might want to think about whether you should consume more broccoli in the future. Vegetables are said to have all kinds of positive effects on our health. For example, it is said to help with asthma and type 2 diabetes, reduce inflammation in the body and even reduce the likelihood of cancer and coronary heart disease, the authors explain. This is due to the so-called flavonoids, which are distributed throughout the body through our bloodstream. These usually have to be ingested through food because our body cannot produce them itself, the scientists say. For this reason, we should all consume broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables more frequently. The healthy effects of the vegetables are also retained when they are cooked.

Study results will affect future broccoli breeding
Researchers at the University of Illinois have now discovered genes that control the accumulation of phenolic compounds in broccoli. This discovery is particularly important for the future cultivation of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage. If cabbage contained large doses of phenolic compounds, it would have additional health benefits, the authors say. However, studies have already shown that broccoli can strengthen our immune system.

Broccoli consumption means that people are less at risk of degenerative diseases
Phenolic compounds have good antioxidant activity. This activity influences biochemical pathways, which are associated with inflammation in newborns, for example, the doctors explain. People need such inflammation because it is a reaction to illness or damage in our body. However, these inflammations are also associated with the initiation of a number of degenerative diseases, the experts warn. If people eat a lot of broccoli, they are less at risk for such diseases, explains lead author Jack Juvik of the University of Illinois.

New breeding could have more health benefits and be more durable
It will be a while before we develop ways to increase the levels of phenolic compounds in breeding programs. This study is a step in this direction, but not the final answer yet, says lead author Juvik. We plan to use the identified genes to start a new breeding program. This is said to strengthen the health benefits of vegetables and even improve shelf life. The researcher added, however, that the yield, appearance and taste should be preserved. (as)

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Video: What is the best diet for humans? Eran Segal. TEDxRuppin (August 2022).