Melbourne University research

Natural compounds in broccoli could help protect against respiratory inflammation

A naturally occurring compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may help protect one against respiratory inflammation that causes conditions such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Eating one or two cups of steamed broccoli every day could be a new treatment to help asthmatics, according to Melbourne researchers.

The sulforaphane chemical in broccoli triggers an increase of antioxidant enzymes in the human airway that offers protection against the attack of free radicals and blocks the harmful effects of air pollution. "Free radicals can cause oxidative tissue damage, which leads to inflammation and respiratory conditions like asthma. It is important to note that the research is still in the experimental phase and during an asthma attack, normal medical advice must be followed," the research states.

The vegetable, according to Ivan Philip Baguma, a nutritionist, is rich in vitamin A and C, B-6 and contains iron, calcium and dietary fibre. It is also low in calories, has no fat and is also full of antioxidants.


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