To no surprise, the food we eat plays an integral role in determining our fitness and health. Interestingly, broccoli, while perhaps not a favorite among people, has demonstrated remarkable disease-preventing qualities. This vegetable contains a chemical called sulforaphane (SP) which, through experimentation, has been shown to protect against harmful bacteria. Most notably, SP destroys H. pylori, a bacteria associated with inflammation, stomach cancer, and ulcers. While antibiotics are often effective in combating H. pylori, this bacteria can evade such treatment by entering cells on the stomach walls only to reemerge post-treatment. Studies at
, however, show that SP kills these bacteria even when “hiding” in stomach-wall cells. What’s more, the concentrations of SP needed to achieve such a benefit can be obtained by eating broccoli (as opposed to an SP supplement). Scientists have also found SP to inhibit stomach cancer in mice. Unfortunately, boiling tends to reduce the presence of SP in broccoli. Other methods of cooking such as steaming and stir frying, however, do not greatly reduce SP levels. Johns Hopkins University
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