Most people know that eating green vegetables is good for us. Broccoli is one of those 'greens' that we all know is very healthy. However we also have tastebuds that influence our diet, and each of us a range of responses to broccoli, from love it, can eat it sometimes, to just can't stand it.

Now some clever scientists have come to help us in a couple ways. Firstly, they have studied just what makes broccoli so healthy – through the discovery of Glucoraphanin contained within it, and secondly, this has lead to a new product giving you all the goodness of broccoli in a pill – well more precisely a capsule, with Comvita Broccoli Extract.

Research into what makes green vegetables so good has been going on for quite a few years. In 1992 a team at John Hopkins University School of Medicine's Molecular Pharmacology Laboratory discovered Glucoraphanin, a naturally occurring compound in certain vegetables that exerts strong antioxidant and anticancer activities. This is particularly high in broccoli, and even more concentrated in broccoli seeds.

“Glucoraphanin is a compound that recharges your protective antioxidant defence enzymes, giving them the power to keep working. This is especially important, as a reduced defence enzyme level can lead to many chronic diseases” says Dr Talalay, of the John Hopkins Molecular Pharmacology Laboratory.

The glucoraphanin in broccoli is converted into sulforaphane by interacting with another enzyme in the plant called myrosinase. This conversion happens as the plant cells are crushed and mixed together, in preparation or chewing, or by your body's own stomach processes. After the conversion happens the sulforaphane gets transported into the body's tissues through the bloodstream, where the 'recharged' anti-oxidant enzymes can get to work.

The kick start effect of Glucoraphanin can last up to 72 hours. This antioxidant booster effect lasts considerably longer than “normal” antioxidants, for example, vitamins C and E, which only work over a period of a few hours after ingestion.

All of this gives good reason why you should try to eat your greens, and in particular a regular helping of broccoli.

But what if you don't like it, or don't want to keep having it every few days? Well, while broccoli itself is recognised as a great source of Glucoraphanin, the Johns Hopkins research team has also discovered that the seeds of broccoli contain up to 100 times the levels of Glucoraphanin, when compared to the corresponding amount of broccoli.

Now, if you can't / don't want a daily portion of broccoli, you can take an all new broccoli pill. Well actually it is a capsule, containing an extract from broccoli seeds that gives you a guaranteed level of glucoraphanin. Comvita, the natural health products company from New Zealand are in the process of launching this around the world. A daily dose of these capsules would give you the equivalent of half a head of fresh broccoli (but without the preparation effort).

Author's Bio: 

Rob has worked closely with The New Zealand Honey Shop, experts in Comvita and manuka honey. Together they have an interest in the research and credibility behind natural health products, and work to provide useful information and answer peoples' questions. He has liased with doctors and practitioners to explore the scientific evidence behind the benefits of the new Comvita Broccoli Extract.