Yet Another Reason to Eat More Broccoli

eat more broccoliHow many times have you heard to eat more green vegetables like broccoli? Probably more than you can count. But if all this buzz around this fantastic vegetable still hasn’t convinced you to claim cream of broccoli soup as your favorite food, maybe the findings of this new research will. Broccoli may help guard you against skin cancer.

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists have found an extract of broccoli sprouts that may protect the sun from UV rays, the primary cause of most skin cancers. Cancer is caused when the cells are exposed to processes that can damage the protective genes. These damaging processes are oxidation, DNA damage, inflammation, and radiation. Since the cell’s protective systems only work at one-third their capacity, the scientists of this study focused on how to boost this system.

They looked at vegetables, and found that cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts have a large amount of a compound called sulforaphane, which has been shown to hinder tumor development in animals.

When participants in the study were exposed to UV rays on their skin treated with different doses of broccoli extract, they found that skin treated with a higher dose of extract was able to reduce redness and inflammation by 37 percent. According to Dr. Talalay, “If you apply an extract of broccoli sprouts that contains high levels of sulforaphane to regions of human skin, you can protect them very substantially.”

This doesn’t mean you should mash up some broccoli, slather it on your skin, and call it sunscreen, because it cannot absorb UV rays. But it does mean you should continue, or start, eating your vegetables!

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