Broccoli’s a wonder veg… and now we know why: Chemical only found in the food helps maintain ‘batteries’ that power body’s cells
By FIONA MACRAE
Eating the glucoraphanin-rich broccoli led to improvements in the various chemical reactions that go on inside the ‘batteries’ in cells
Next time your child asks why they have to eat broccoli, you can give them the reason – thanks to scientists who made people eat it every day for three months.
They discovered that a chemical found solely in the vegetable helps maintain the health of the tiny ‘batteries’ which power the body’s cells.
This, it is thought, helps ward off health problems including cancer and heart disease.
Scientists from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich ran detailed blood tests on men and women before and after they ate the vegetable.
Nineteen volunteers ate 400g of broccoli a week – three florets a day – alongside their normal food for three months.
Another 19 ate a ‘super-broccoli’ called Beneforte, which is bred to be extra-rich in glucoraphanin, a plant chemical. The final group ate peas.
Eating the glucoraphanin-rich broccoli led to improvements in the various chemical reactions that go on inside mitochondria, the ‘batteries’ in cells.
They also have several other vital functions, which all need to be in balance for good health.
While researchers believe the same benefits could be obtained by eating normal broccoli, there’s some bad news if you’re not a fan of it – they think you’d need to eat three times as much.
A chemical found solely in the vegetable helps maintain the health of the tiny ‘batteries’ which power the body’s cells
Researcher Professor Richard Mithen said: ‘Mitochondria are really, really important and when they start to go wrong it leads onto many of the diseases of ageing.