The cruciferous vegetable family is well represented among those plants with the most evidence for disease prevention. Within the cruciferous or brassica family, there are varying levels of those phytonutrients responsible for these benefits. Broccoli contains a variety of sulfur-based molecules with extensive supporting clinical and animal research. Broccoli is among the most studied with respect to its relationship to the etiology of numerous forms of disease.
The phytonutrient sulforaphane, isothiocyanates, and indole-3-carbinol are all found in broccoli. The liver’s Phase II detoxification pathway is accelerated by sulforaphane and this may explain the increased clearance of estrogen metabolites by those women consuming cruciferous vegetables.
Broccoli, has both anti-inflammatory and has relatively high antioxidant properties. Kaempferol is a potent anti-inflammatory phytonutrient found in broccoli at high levels. This inflammation-blocking property is most likely an integral part of the cardio-protective mechanism that has also been demonstrated with respect to brassica or cruciferous vegetable consumption.
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