Bunch of Broccoli

Broccoli Sunscreen

Have you heard about the latest good-for-you feature of broccoli? Not only is broccoli an excellent food choice, it may be a good idea to wear it as well.

A recent medical study using hairless mice that were exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays similar to sunbathing twice a week at the beach all summer has shown that broccoli sprout extract may prevent carcinogenic responses in skin from exposure to UV rays.

One group of mice (the control group) had no broccoli sprout extract applied, the second had a low dose application, and the third group had a high dose application. Apparently 100% of the mice that were given the no dose application developed skin cancer tumors. The most benefits were observed with the high dose group (naturally), but even the low dose group experienced a reduction in the number of tumors.

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (e.g. cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, radishes, watercress, collard and mustard greens, and bok choy to name a few) contain a compound called glucosinolates from which sulforaphane is derived. Interestingly, glucosinolates don't have the same "anti-cancer" benefits that sulforaphanes do.

Before you rush out to the grocery store for some broccoli, be advised that the sprouts contain a significantly higher amount of sulforaphane that the "adult" broccoli that we eat. And, by the way the same applies for cauliflower sprouts. You might want to consider growing your own, although I wouldn't give up the sunscreen just yet.

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