Health benefits of Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower have a chemical component called indole-3-carbinol. This compound is capable of combatting breast cancer by converting a cancer-promoting estrogen into a more protective variety.
Broccoli, especially sprouts, also have the phytochemical sulforaphane, a product of glucoraphanin. This product is believed to assist in preventing certain types of cancer such as that of the colon and rectum. Sulforaphane induces the production of certain enzymes that can deactivate free radicals and carcinogens.
Although enzymes have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors in laboratory animals, be aware that the Agriculture Department studied 71 types of broccoli plants and found a 30-fold difference in the amounts of glucoraphanin. Results have shown that the more bitter the broccoli is, the more glucoraphanin it has.
Broccoli sprouts which have been developed under the trade name ‘BroccoSprouts’ have a consistent level of sulforaphane. It contains levels as much as 20 times higher than that found in mature heads of regular broccoli.