Broccoli rocks! – Part 3 – Keep those cells clean and healthy!

a plate of broccolli and pasta

Keep those cells clean and healthy?  In today’s world, a “cell” could mean one of three things  –  your cell phone, or a place you stay if you get arrested, or the critical self-contained structures that make up every living thing.  Since I am a doc and this is about broccoli, I’m sure you know which kind of “cell” I’ll be talking about here!  Yep, we can rule out the first two …

OK, here’s the basic biology part. We (humans) have trillions of cells.  Every part of us is made up of cells.  The individual cells each carry on a vast array of chemical and electrical reactions.  At least tens of thousands of chemical and electrical reactions are occurring each second in every cell, and some cells have hundreds of thousands of reactions per second. Here are just a few of them:
•  transporting food (fuel) into the cell
•  converting that fuel to actual energy (ATP, the energy of all cells)
•  repairing cellular structures (and there are a lot of them)
•  neutralizing toxic materials that make their way in the cell (and very
easily too)
•  keeping cellular inflammation and free-radical damage under control
(a constant issue)
•  protecting cellular DNA from mutation (a precursor to the development
of cancer)
•  removing waste material  from the cell (taking the trash out).

So, yes, keeping your cells clean and healthy goes a long way to our overall health.  Breathing fresh air, eating quality foods and drinking pure water are all great things for providing your cells with necessary supplies. And, why broccoli?

Broccoli might taste great, and have wonderful vitamins and minerals that are healthy for you.  That’s certainly nice.  But, broccoli also directly helps the cell remain free of dangerous chemicals, free-radicals, inflammation and waste material buildup that all put the health of the cell at risk. Once again, it comes back to the rock star in broccoli, Sulforaphane!  In Part 1 we learned about Sulforaphane, and its ability to turn on the Nrf2 pathway.  In Part 2 we looked at Sulforaphane’s ability to stimulate Phase 2 Detoxification enzymes to remove toxic substances (toxins and toxicants) from our bodies. Well, each cell benefits from these sulforaphane effects too.  A vast amount of medical and scientific research is directed at the effect of sulforaphane on cellular health and on its cancer protective benefits.

Find ways to add broccoli to your healthy diet.  If you can love it, it will love you back!

Resources:

http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/basics/cell

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24603300

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24126483

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21986339

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