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Broccoli is even great for aging

March 21, 2012
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We have heard a lot about superfoods recently. The benefits of blueberries hit the headlines in a big way last year and supermarkets in Australia were struggling to meet demand. It is also well known that broccoli is good for you. But how does it work?

Have you heard of Sulforaphane?

“Sulforaphane compound is particularly abundant in broccoli (but also present in cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy,  mustard and similar green leaf vegetables). It is so good for you – it provides not just one, but two ways to prevent cancer through the complex mechanism of epigenetics.”

I have been listening to a program on the ABC about epigenetics….sounds a bit technical but it really was quite fascinating….

Diet, toxins and other forces change which genes get activated

Epigenetics, an increasing focus of research around the world, refers not just to our genetic code, but also to the way that diet, toxins and other forces can change which genes get activated, or “expressed.” This can play a powerful role in everything from cancer to heart disease and other health issues.

Two ways to prevent cancer: a multi-tasker

“Cancer is very complex and it’s usually not just one thing that has gone wrong,” Professor Emily Ho  said. “It’s increasingly clear that sulforaphane is a real multi-tasker. It provides not just one, but two ways to prevent cancer through the complex mechanism of epigenetics.The more we find out about it, the more benefits it appears to have.”

Broccoli and Aging.

“DNA methylation,” Ho said, “is a normal process of turning off genes, and it helps control what DNA material gets read as part of genetic communication within cells. In cancer that process gets mixed up. And of considerable interest to researchers is that these same disrupted processes appear to play a role in other neurodegenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease, immune function, neurodegenerative disease and even AGING!”

But watch how you cook your broccoli!

Overcooking is the kiss of death for the important enzyme in broccoli.
“Steaming broccoli for two to four minutes is the perfect way to protect both the enzyme and the vegetable’s nutrients.”

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