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Eating More Broccoli Really Does Make You Grow Healthy And Strong

For years parents have been telling their children to finish their broccoli and telling them that it will help them grow up big and strong, and although many children would like to believe this is a trick to make them inadvertently finish their dinner, recent studies have shown that it might be fact as well. Research conducted at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland has confirmed some wonderful new advantages that green vegetables can bring to the table.

Battling Pollutants

Recent studies being undergone by the team at Johns Hopkins has come to the conclusion that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables let off increased levels of benzene and acrolein-a when blended or chewed, this happens as glucoraphanin is released and makes sulforaphane. The sulforaphane is what helps your body to clear out pollutants that build up in your system due to toxins and smog in the air. Medical News Today reports: “Study participants from one of the most polluted regions in China who consumed half a cup of broccoli sprout beverage were shown to excrete high levels of benzene and acrolein - a known human carcinogen and lung irritant, respectively.”

The reason that the benzene and acrolein were expelled had to do with the sulforahane, which helped to cleanse the bodies of the study participants in Jiangsu Province, China.

A Focus On China

Jiangsu Province in China is located north of Shanghai, and is a very industrial region which produces high levels of pollutants into the air system daily. It was people from this area that the research team at Johns Hopkins studied over a twelve week time span to conclude that broccoli and other greens were effective in the battle against the negative elements that enter our bodies through the air. In total two hundred and twenty nine women were studied, while sixty-two men were monitored from the region. In order to properly test their levels of inhaled pollutants and decide whether or not greens were making a difference, researchers had to collect samples of blood and urine to examine.

The Experimentation Process

As with most studies the group, which contained two hundred and ninety-one participating subjects, were split into two groups. Both of these groups were given a mixture which included lime and pineapple juice along with concentrated water. One group was also given a freeze dried amount of broccoli sprouts; the sprouts contained sulforaphane and glucoraphanin. Over the twelve week time span that the experiment took place there were drastic changes in participants, but perhaps the most shocking is that those who consumed the broccoli based beverage increased their rate of benzene by sixty-one percent in just one day of drinking it. Eliza Barclay of NPR writes: “The researchers, who hail from Johns Hopkins University and several other institutions in the U.S. and China, found that among the people consuming the broccoli sprout beverage, the rate of excretion of benzene increased 61 percent throughout the 12-week period. As for the acrolein, the excretion rate went up 23 percent during the trial.”

The team decided after monitoring the changes in research participants, that the sulforaphane is likely assisting in these excretions by sending signals to a certain type of molecule which is known by the symbols NRF2. These particular molecules are designed to help cells adapt and change in order to survive toxins in the environment. This kind of adaption could also take place in what you eat and drink, not just what you breathe.

What This Means

Now that the changes in pollutants has been recognized, scientists are focusing on benefits that these green vegetables can play, as well as what negativities are associated with the toxins from the Jiangsu region. To do this further studies are being carried out in China to determine how much broccoli must be consumed per day and onward through life to keep the levels of bad pollutants under control. Science Daily explains: “The majority of clinical trials involve treatments of diseases that have already presented or advanced into later stages. Further clinical trials, to evaluate optimal dosage and frequency of the broccoli sprout beverage, are planned in the same general region of China.”

This quick fix for poor health that’s caused by the pollutants makes for a cheap way to control levels of toxins in your system, which is an ideal treatment for poor communities to consider, especially in regions where air quality is poor, and inhabitants don’t have much choice over how much pollution they inhale on a daily basis. This will be particularly helpful for elderly men and women, as well as children who will have a more difficult time coping with the irritation in their lungs.

Future research on the subject might include further experimentation on toxins and chemicals that these green vegetables might have an effect on. Although there hasn’t been testing on the possibilities of sulforaphane on commonly found negative inhalants like cigarettes and other smoke, it might be a good venue for scientists to venture into. Broccoli certainly won’t be the new miracle cure for disease across the globe, but new studies are being developed to identify the possible effect that its cleansing qualities might have on cancer and other cellular diseases.

Other cruciferous vegetables that might have similar qualities are kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, cabbage, bok choy, turnip, arugula, horseradish, daikon, and watercress. These vegetables can be made into a number of dishes, and although their properties may differ from broccoli, they’re still healthiest served fresh.

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