Here’s The Reason Broccoli Helps Prevent Cancer

I was the kid who needed cheese sauce in order to eat my broccoli. Now, as an adult, I have to admit broccoli still isn’t my vegetable of choice. But new research is making me rethink my anti-broccoli stance.

A study from the University of Illinois has shown that eating broccoli three to five times per week can lower the risk of many types of cancers, as well as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and even asthma.

Turns out, broccoli is loaded with health-promoting compounds known as phenolics. As you eat the broccoli, the phenolic compounds are absorbed into your bloodstream, where they reduce inflammation. This inflammation is often to blame for chronic disease. Encouragingly, researchers found that people who ate more broccoli and other foods rich in phenolic compounds had lower risk of disease.

In addition, researchers from the University of Illinois claim they have the secret for releasing broccoli’s maximum cancer-fighting potential. The best way to prepare broccoli, they say, is to steam it lightly for about 3 or 4 minutes—until the broccoli is “tough-tender.”

Still not convinced to eat your broccoli? Well, you’re in luck. It appears other cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower and kale, have the same cancer-fighting properties.