Getting the Most of Out of Broccoli

There's been a lot of discussion lately on supplements – what to take, what to skip and what interactions to be aware of.

There's been a lot of discussion lately on supplements – what to take, what to skip and what interactions to be aware of.

As a dietitian, I've always thought that the best way to get your nutrients was through the food you ate, not the pills you popped.

Although a few nutrients are better absorbed through supplements (vitamin D for example), the majority of cancer-fighting, heart attack-preventing, and brain-strengthening compounds can be found right in your refrigerator. A new study in the October 11th issue of the journal PLoS Medicine found eating cruciferous vegetables – such as broccoli – in their whole form increases the absorption of cancer-fighting nutrients.

The study looked specifically at a key enzyme called myrosinase which is found in broccoli. The researchers determined that it was missing from most of the supplement forms of glucosinolates, a valuable phytochemical in cruciferous vegetables. Myrosinase is necessary for the formation of sulforaphane, the compound responsible for broccoli's super healthy benefits. Furthermore, the study found that, without the enzyme found in the whole food, the body absorbed 5 to 8 times less of these important components in broccoli. The researchers also found that myrosinase was destroyed with excessive cooking and recommended lightly steaming for the best results.

For the most cancer-fighting benefits from your broccoli, eat it often, eat it right and stop taking the supplement shortcut!

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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