While many are aware of the health benefits of regularly eating broccoli, new research has revealed that the cruciferous vegetable can also assist those with respiratory diseases such as asthma, due to it containing a compound that activates anti-inflammatory genes to open up airways.
Dr Tom Karagiannis, supervisor of the laboratory tests conducted at the University of Melbourne, states that “Brocolli has an active constituent called L-sulforaphane that tricks cells to switch on the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxygen genes”.
As the Honour student in charge of the research Nadia Mazarakis explains, “People with asthma have damaged linings in their airways and we have found this can actually reverse that process and also help with the reversal of the narrowing of the airways, making those airways clearer so they can breath more easily.”
The study found that eating two cups of broccoli twice a day provides optimum results, with the same daily dose recommended for both adults and children.
Broccoli sprouts were found to contain the highest level of the compound and lightly steaming the vegetable is recommended so as to make it more palatable, without losing any of the active compound.
Dr Karagiannis said the findings have been based on years of study in several institutions across the world. However, as the research is still in its early stages, it is advised that patients remain on their prescription medication while consuming the vegetable.
The study hopes to provide further promising results for asthmatics in terms of eradicating the disease all together “In the future we hope to be able to calculate what concentration or exact amount and how many times per day we would need to take, in order to prevent asthma in the first place” (Dr Karagiannis).