Once again, I’ve made it around the sun enough times to see science finally shine light on what we’ve always known about food and nutrition.
And it’s another mark for the “mom was right” column. Remember when she demanded that you eat your broccoli? Well, it was with good reason. Even if the science hadn’t caught up with her just yet.
Your mom knew broccoli was good for you. And you probably know it too. But what you might not know is exactly why.
In large part, it comes down to a powerful antioxidant called sulforaphane, which I’ve been telling you about for years. Broccoli is a wellspring of it. The compound has caught the attention of countless researchers who have already discovered that it protects against kidney disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer — not to mention the added benefits of detoxification and helping to keep hormones in check.
Now a new study has shown that sulforaphane may provide hope for people with type 2 diabetes as well.
Here’s why: Type 2 diabetes causes the liver to increase glucose production. And sulforaphane, according to this study, counteracts that effect. The result is that after 12 weeks of taking sulforaphane, type 2 diabetes sufferers saw significant improvements in their fasting blood glucose and HbA1C levels. (Higher HbA1C levels mean greater risk of diabetes complications.)
The study included 97 diabetes patients, all of whom were taking metformin. Only 60 of them had what the researchers called “well-regulated” diabetes. The other 37 (17 of whom were obese) were classified as having “dysregulated” diabetes.
The dysregulated patients saw major improvements in their blood sugar measures after the treatment. Especially obese patients, who saw the greatest reduction in glucose production. Which makes sense, since obesity exaggerates the liver’s production of glucose even more.
Now it’s worth noting that the results here would be almost impossible to achieve by just eating broccoli. In fact, you’d have to consume roughly 10 pounds of broccoli to get as much sulforaphane as the researchers used in their concentrated extract. And I don’t know anyone who likes broccoli that much.
And that’s why I’ve been recommending broccoli extract for years. Plus, the studies that have looked at broccoli extract for cancer and other illnesses have found it has few, if any, side effects.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t include broccoli as part of your diet. You should. It’s a nutritional powerhouse. And when you do eat broccoli, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients possible from it. Here’s how …
Broccoli that’s organic, fresh, and raw contains the most myrosinase. Myrosinase is an enzyme that activates sulphoraphane. But broccoli that’s been pre-packaged, frozen, or overcooked might not contain a single trace.
So whenever possible, buy your broccoli in the organic isle at the grocery store, or better yet, at the local farmers’ market.
And be sure to chop it up about five minutes before you plan to eat it. (This activates myrosinase, which, in turn, activates and boosts sulforaphane content.)
And if you’re going to cook your veggies, take it easy. A light steam on the stovetop (never the microwave) for five minutes or so — just enough to make your broccoli slightly tender — is all you need.
If you’re interested in learning about more natural, drug-free plans to prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes and other conditions, I go more into depth about natural treatment options in my Metabolic Repair Protocol. I invite you to learn more about treating serious diseases with natural remedies.
Lastly, don’t forget to take a second helping of broccoli next time you eat.