Mom always said to eat your broccoli, and it turns out she was right! A study at the University of Pittsburgh identified a molecule in the plant that when chewed or crushed helps rid the body of toxins caused by air pollution. The study found that a daily cup of the sprout tea or two small helpings totaling 150 grams of the plant also helps rid toxic pollutants from the body. Part of the cabbage family, the edible part of the plant (including the dark green cluster of florets that resembles a little tree) is actually a flower.

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A Super Food

Often described as a “super food,” broccoli provides fiber, vitamins K and C, and other nutrients, such as the one that eliminates toxins from the body. Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, contain compounds that have been linked to fighting disease, making them an especially wise choice for a healthy diet. The USDA recommends eating between two and a half and three cups of vegetables daily for adults, depending on age and gender.

Preparation Tips

Don’t like broccoli? Try serving it a different way! When roasted in the oven with garlic and a bit of heart-healthy olive oil, the florets develop a sweet, nutty flavor. Add a serving to your favorite fruit smoothie, or drink a cup of broccoli sprout tea. You can enjoy it on-the-go with hummus or your favorite low-fat dip. Even broccoli and cheese, the old cafeteria standby, has a place in a healthy diet as long as you enjoy in moderation—and use more broccoli than cheese!

Start Growing!

For green thumbs who enjoy homegrown vegetables, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, plants can be harvested twice per year, in the spring and fall. They thrive in climates with cool weather, but need at least six hours of sun daily. After harvesting, store broccoli in the refrigerator for up to five days, or blanch and freeze for up to one year.

Happy planting!

About UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

When you are facing cancer, you need the best care possible. UPMC Hillman Cancer Center provides world-class cancer care, from diagnosis to treatment, to help you in your cancer battle. We are the only comprehensive cancer center in our region, as designated by the National Cancer Institute. We have more than 70 locations throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, with more than 200 oncologists – making it easier for you to find world-class care close to home. Our internationally renowned research team is striving to find new advances in prevention, detection, and treatment. Most of all, we are here for you. Our patient-first approach aims to provide you and your loved ones the care and support you need. To find a provider near you, visit our website.