The Amazing Benefits of Broccoli
Broccoli and its extracts are high in vitamins K, A, and vitamin D. Vitamins K and A increase the absorption of vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones and for maintaining cells in a high state of differentiation.
All cells in the body are in a highly differentiated state, which means that they are very specialized and focused on specific functions. Prostate cells are also highly differentiated for their specific functions – they create a fluid that makes up one-third of the total volume of semen and contains various enzymes, zinc, and citric acid.
During aging all cells, and specifically prostate cells, drift out of their normal state of differentiation and become dysdifferentiated, losing their growth and function. This process is driven by free radicals, and Broccoli contains numerous special antioxidants that quench free radicals.
Broccoli’s sulforaphane, isothiocyanate and indole-3-carbinol are all inducers of phase II liver enzymes, which bond glutathione, the master antioxidant in cells to free radicals created by the livers stage I detoxification process. Liver Stage I detoxification involves the breaking down of large molecules into smaller molecules, and it inadvertently creates free radicals in the process.
Broccoli is particularly high in vitamin C. Just one cup of broccoli provides you with 135% of your daily vitamin C intake.
Broccoli is also high in dietary calcium. As men and women age they are at higher risk of osteoporosis, so foods with calcium are important. The minerals and micronutrients in broccoli and other food sources of calcium help with calcium metabolism and overall bone health.
Broccoli is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, eye carotenoids that can support better vision.
Broccoli’s lutein and zeaxanthin:
- Help eyes recover from intense light
- Promote sharper vision
- Protect eyes from excess blue light
- Reduce eye fatigue from excessive blue light exposure
Broccoli is rich in folate (folic acid) which protects arteries and help maintain healthy normal levels of homocysteine. Elevated levels of homocysteine put people at risk for cardiovascular disease and vascular dementia.
A 228-person study of senior citizens revealed that those in the lowest quarter of blood folate levels had significantly higher risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (3.1 times risk) and dementia (3.8 times risk). Hyperhomocysteinemia (elevated homocysteine blood levels) was significantly associated with dementia.
Broccoli is high in potassium, and we need 2 grams (2,000 mg.) of daily potassium intake to prevent muscle cramping, optimal heart health and maintaining blood pressure within normal bounds.
Broccoli contains relatively high amounts of kaempferol, a flavonoid that helps maintain key inflammatory markers – COX-2 and TNF-a at normal, healthy levels.
Kaempferol inhibits 5α-reductase enzyme and directly competes with androgens, namely testosterone, for healthy prostate function.
Kaempferol has also been shown to inhibit DHT stimulated cell growth.
- Reduces dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels responsible for enlarged prostate.
- Lowers PSA levels, a major indicator of prostate inflammation.
- Lowers Androgen Receptor activity which testosterone acts on.
Broccoli is high in protein. One serving of Broccoli provides 3 grams of protein with zero grams of fat.
Broccoli is also a good source of fiber. Fiber helps keep blood sugar within normal ranges, gives a sensation of fullness, and helps bind to cholesterol to keep it from being reabsorbed.
Broccoli and its extracts have amazing health benefits, including increasing phase II liver antioxidant enzymes, protecting DNA, lowering prostate levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), lowering prostate levels of PSA (prostate specific antigen), supplying flavonoids like kaempferol, lowering inflammatory markers, helping to keep homocysteine levels in normal ranges and providing vitamins C, D and A.