Broccoli: Health and Beauty, Inside and Out

The short and sweet of it; eat broccoli. Here are some good reasons. Broccoli benefits heart health by activating a protective protein of the arteries called Nrf2. It strengthens the immune system by activating certain antioxidant genes that remove dangerous free radicals from the body, and it significantly reduces a person’s risk of ulcers and stomach cancer. Broccoli protects against respiratory inflammation that causes asthma, allergic rhinitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions that make it hard to breathe.

How about cancer? Studies have shown it effective against prostate cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and, as mentioned already, stomach cancer. The effects of broccoli are related to the compound sulforaphane, which is also found in cabbage and cauliflower.

All the above will no doubt help the overall appearance of the skin and beauty. But broccoli goes the distance by offering UV protection. I’ve already documented the sunscreen capabilities of several botanicals in my posts. Now add broccoli to the list. The experiments conducted used a broccoli extract in topical application which is now finding its way into cosmetic formulas.

There is currently a study being conducted testing topical application of sulforaphane to prevent or treat radiation dermatitis on woman undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer.  Do you think maybe they’ll find, based on available studies, that they will also be treating the breast cancer with broccoli and sulforaphane?

It seems that cooking destroys much of the bioavailable sulforaphane and eating the broccoli raw is best, though this study does not qualify cooking – did they boil or lightly steam? There is research that found very light steaming to be best in availability of the sulforphane – 10 minutes at 140 degrees Fahrenheit maximized the sulforaphane. Because it’s difficult to home cook below 140 degrees, the study suggests lightly steaming for about 3 or 4 minutes, “until the broccoli is tough-tender.”

Eat broccoli.



  1. Hi Jimm
    I really enjoy your blog and totally support your whole food philosophy. Thanks for sharing this inof.