Watch out, kids: A new study gives parents more ammunition to encourage broccoli consumption as researchers are claiming that it can help your body to deal with toxins related to air pollution.
The experiment was conducted in Jiangsu province and required villagers to drink beverages made from broccoli sprouts. The results, posted by the Journal of Cancer Prevention Research, claim that the drink has various beneficial qualities, such as helping the body to eliminate ingested air pollutants at a faster rate.
Participants for the study were taken from the rural town, Hehe, in the Yangtze River delta region. The area is notorious for its high levels of pollution which is thought to contribute to greater risks of contracting lung and heart disease. Broccoli is already known and praised for its potential cancer prevention properties but the sprout form contains higher amounts of the key molecule, sulforaphane. The broccoli sprouts were basically boiled into a sprout tea and given daily to 291 adults for one to two weeks (though it was hardly considered refreshing due to its “unacceptable taste and mild stomach discomfort”).
Before you start chowing down on this less-than-appealing “cancer curing” concoction, however, keep in mind that the results seem only to promise potential. According to researchers, eating broccoli sprouts “enhances the detoxication of some airborne pollutants and may provide a frugal means to attenuate their associated long-term health risks.”
So in short, no, the cure for smog-related cancer does not lie with our green, leafy friend the broccoli, but obviously, in agreement with Thomas Kensler, the head of the study, “the ultimate answer [to China’s pollution] lies in Beijing with the policymakers”.
If you are so inclined to start ingesting more broccoli sprouts but don’t have them lying about in your refrigerator, Kensler said that broccoli purchased from super market does include the key molecule just in much smaller quantities. The study did not mention whether it had the same effect when lathered in delicious sauces.
[Image Credit: arbyreed]
By Sophie Regan