Do you know how much about Broccoli Extract?
What is Broccoli Extract?
Do you eat enough vegetables every day? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably “no.” Whether you don’t have time to cook broccoli, or you simply don’t like its taste or texture, broccoli is nonetheless one of the healthiest foods out there.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable in the same family as the cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Broccoli is high in fiber, great for helping digestion, and also contains a compound called sulforaphane, which stimulates enzyme production in the body. Enzymes are essential to life, accelerating chemical reactions in your cells to keep you alive.
Broccoli extract contains the bioactive compounds found in the florets and stems of this healthful cruciferous vegetable. These nutrients include potassium, iron and vitamins A, C and K, among others.
So how else can broccoli benefit your health?
Benefits of Broccoli Extract
Reduces Cancer Risk
Research continues, but preliminary studies suggest broccoli could help prevent cancer. While there are many nutrients in broccoli that the body needs, the one with the strongest anticancer potential is sulforaphane.
One study showed that a daily dose of sulforaphane dramatically reduced the size and number of cancer stem cells. Another study showed that consuming sulforaphane can help regulate key enzymes and immune system reactions that protect the body from cancer. This means broccoli extract may not only be useful for those who already have cancer, but could also prevent it altogether.
Broccoli extract can improve digestion and intestinal health. Broccoli forms a compound called indolocarbazole (ICZ) when the body breaks it down during digestion. ICZ binds to specific receptors in the intestines that help regulate the probiotic flora necessary to absorb nutrients from food. It also helps to keep the walls of the intestine strong, preventing undigested food from leaking into the bloodstream.
Broccoli extract may even be better than fresh broccoli for those with digestive problems. Some people experience pain, bloating, gas and other symptoms when they eat foods with high fiber. Since broccoli extract contains bioactive compounds without the fiber, you can get these nutrients without fear of side effects.
Fights Stomach Ulcers
If you’ve ever had an, you know that it can be painful and take a long time to heal. Ulcers are usually caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a spiral-shaped bacterium that can cause an infection in the stomach lining. If left untreated, this type of infection can cause stomach cancers, so it’s important to address it as soon as you suspect it.
The sulforaphane found in broccoli may help alleviate H. pylori infections by activating enzymes that help the stomach heal faster.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Some cholesterol is necessary for hormone production and overall health, but many people have too much cholesterol in their bodies. This can lead to heart disease, and other serious health complications.
Broccoli can benefit your heart health by lowering levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It can help even those genetically prone to high cholesterol regulate their cholesterol levels.
While inflammation doesn’t sound like a big deal, it’s an underlying cause of many other serious conditions. A little inflammation when you stub your toe is a perfectly normal reaction and helps heal any damage.
But too much inflammation can affect the whole body, impairing circulation, digestion, cognition and many other necessary functions. It can cause a great deal of pain, and sometimes there’s no known cause for it.
Broccoli extract can help stop inflammation at its source. It heals damaged tissues and calms painful inflammation. Antioxidants in broccoli extract, including sulforaphane and kaempferol, protect cellular DNA from damage caused by excessive inflammation, as well.
Boosts Brain Health
Broccoli and broccoli extract contain two vital nutrients for cognition and memory: vitamin K and choline. Vitamin K is in very few foods, but it’s key to maintaining healthy brain function, and may even prevent diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
So how does it work? Vitamin K also plays a role in how calcium is metabolized. While calcium is important for strong bones, it’s also needed to keep neuron connections firing, which reduces the risk of cognitive decline.
Along with vitamin K, the choline in broccoli can help maintain and improve cognition. This has been measured in cognitive-performance tests and in healthy white-matter volumes of the brain.