the health and hormone balancing qualities of broccoli

The Health and Hormone Balancing Qualities of Broccoli

Reading Time: 3 minutes [674 words]

Are you one of these people who just HATE broccoli? Or may be even all vegetables in general? After reading this article, you'll probably rethink that line of thinking and start eating your veggies again.

Broccoli, especially, has some amazing cancer-fighting and hormone-boosting attributes that you might want to consider chomping down on, especially if you are currently on an HRT program. Read on to see what these are!

Broccoli as a Multivitamin

We know that vegetables contain lots of vitamins and nutrients for us, but broccoli could even be considered a natural multivitamin!

The main vitamins it will provide you with are vitamins A, C, and K. It also contains folate. All of these are important vitamins that fight free radicals (vitamin C), increased bone mass (vitamin K), and decreased incidence of cancer and heart disease (folate).

In addition to those vitamins, broccoli also contains potassium, calcium, selenium, iron, and magnesium. Not only that, but broccoli also has a decent amount of protein – 3.71 grams in one cup of chopped and cooked broccoli – vegans will love that! With all of this good stuff packed into the tree-like vegetable, it's no wonder it's been occasionally grouped into the “superfood” category.

Broccoli Fights Cancer

The National Cancer Institute believes that broccoli, because it is a part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, may be a cancer-fighting vegetable, especially for prostate, breast, colorectal, and lung. This is because cruciferous vegetables are packed with so many vitamins and minerals (as you read above) as well as phytonutrients that are anti-inflammatory.

Cancer is exacerbated and/or sometimes caused by excessive inflammation in the body. Phytonutrients are biochemicals that are produced solely by plants. They are typically antioxidant or anti-inflammatory in nature.

How to Properly Cook Broccoli

The best way to prepare broccoli is to chop it up into the size you prefer and let those broccoli florets sit on your cutting board for about 30-40 minutes. This actually boosts the broccoli's cancer-fighting abilities as exposing the chopped pieces to air maintains and/or increases the amount of sulforaphane. Specifically, the air activates an enzyme that produces sulforaphane. Easy!

Sulforaphane is considered a “chemoprotective agent” and it is no coward in dealing with cancer – its cancer-fighting abilities are so great that “sulforaphane and cancer” show up more than 700 times in the database of scientific research.

Specifically, sulforaphane blocks DNA methylation as well as controls other cell processes that stop cancer from developing, including causing cancer cells to self-destruct (apoptosis). Everyone should want more of this stuff for sure.

Then, in terms of cooking, you'll want to steam your broccoli instead of boiling it. Steaming preserves more of the vitamins and minerals. However, cooking the broccoli can destroy some of the vitamin C, an important antioxidant, so eat some raw broccoli once in a while too!

Raw broccoli may also have more of the cancer-fighting sulforaphane as well. Especially after chopped up for a lovely vegetable and dip tray!

Broccoli and Hormone Balance

Broccoli and estrogen have an important relationship in the human body, especially for women. In a scientific study, Dr. Jay Fowke discovered that eating broccoli caused an increase in an estrogen metabolite that “calms estradiol's stimulatory effect on cells” instead of another estrogen metabolite that does the opposite, typically causing breast cancer.

For men, broccoli is a food that is part of the anti-estrogen diet, a necessary diet for men suffering from low testosterone, and on a TRT program. If you are on a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) program, you cannot just take the injections and do nothing else.

You need to follow a tailored diet and exercise plan to really get the best results possible. When men have low testosterone, it also means their estrogen levels are too high. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have many phytochemicals (bioactive chemicals found in plants) that block estrogen production.

For both men and women, broccoli is a vegetable you do not want to skip at mealtime!


The Oncology Nurse

Women's International Pharmacy


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