Broccoli Flower Powder: Blooming Good For You!
I often find myself explaining some pretty weird (and wonderful) plants that go into our superfood mix. But talking about broccoli flower powder is easy, because everyone knows exactly where it comes from!
Let me tell you one thing for sure: it’s lucky that kids don’t like broccoli - because it leaves more for the rest of us.
Broccoli is the quintessential ‘healthy vegetable’, with science backing its reputation. The benefits range from anticancer to weight loss, detoxification to cardiovascular health.
Plus, once you’re over 10, it becomes instantly delicious. Trust me.
Getting Back To The Roots Of Broccoli Flower Powder
There’s so many good reasons to include broccoli flower powder in Athletic Greens, but before I elaborate, let’s talk a bit more about the roots of this humble plant.
Broccoli is part of the brassica plant family (its botanical name is Brassica oleracea), which also includes other super kid-friendly favourites like brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage.
The green head is actually a flower, waiting to erupt into tiny yellow blooms if left too long before harvest.
I’m pretty sure everyone had a bad run-in with broccoli some time in their life, usually when overcooked and slimy.
Here’s a fun fact: President George H.W. Bush once said: "I do not like broccoli, and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid, and my mother made me eat it, and I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli."
Fine by me, George! Again - that leaves more for the rest of us!
Why Broccoli Flower Powder And I Are Very Well Acquainted
Like I say, we all know broccoli pretty darn well. But we don’t all know how hard it works for us.
Broccoli flower powder is a powerhouse of nutrition!
Most exciting of all its benefits (and the most thoroughly researched) is its potential for cancer prevention and treatment - especially the hormonally-dependent varieties.
Broccoli is also taken as a general supplement for wellbeing - reducing inflammation, oxidative stress, free-radical damage and blood pressure - broccoli flower is well supported by science.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go through step by step...
Features and benefits of broccoli flower powder:
Some of the most exciting compounds in broccoli flower include:
✔ Isothiocyanates and phenethyl isothiocyanate
✔ Flavonoids such as kaempferol
✔ Vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin C, the plant form of vitamin A, vitamin K2, calcium and chromium.
Here’s where things get a bit scientific. That’s because science backs up the many benefits of broccoli flower powder, so read on for more information…
Specific benefits of broccoli flower include:
- Broccoli contains sulforaphane which has been shown to kill cancer stem cells. Sulforaphane also supports healthy methylation and gene expression.
- Glucoraphanin - a precursor to sulforaphane - helps cells defend themselves against damage from chemicals.
- Other compounds in broccoli may induce apoptosis (the healthy, programmed death of cells). And by inhibiting phase I and inducing phase II liver detoxification, isothiocyanates found in broccoli may protect cells, regulate hormones and reduce risk factors associated with cancer - especially breast cancer.
Phew. Ready for more?
- Numerous studies have demonstrated broccoli’s ability to positively influence hormonal pathways, helping ‘detox’ excess estrogen and reduce the risk of estrogen-dependent cancers and conditions.This may be due to the presence of indoles, sulfur-containing-compounds and antioxidant minerals like selenium.
- By supporting the hormonal system, broccoli flower may also help women (and men!) lose weight.
- Sulforaphane in broccoli flower appears to reduce inflammation, balance immune function and stop the breakdown of cartilage.
- Studies show that sulforaphane enhances the body’s own antioxidant defense systems and slows free-radical damage. Other compounds in broccoli flower have similar antioxidant effects.
- It’s sulforaphane again! Studies show that sulforaphane reduces Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that damage cells and tissue, as well as up-regulating the production of protective enzymes.
→ Helps balance the immune system
→ Lowers blood pressure and supports the kidneys
→ Supports detoxification
- Thanks to the plant chemicals glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, glucobrassicin and other chemicals such as indoles, broccoli flower helps the liver detoxify.
- Kaempferol, a flavonoid found in broccoli flower, may fight allergies and inflammation.
- Due to the presence of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Specifically against known heartburn-promoting and cancer-causing bug, Helicobacter pylori.
There you have it! If you’re still not believing by now just how much of a powerhouse broccoli flower powder is - I’m not sure what more I can say!
Oh but wait there is more…
How Broccoli Flower Powder Fits Into Athletic Greens
By now you should have a clear picture of all the nutritional reasons that broccoli flower powder is indispensable to our greens mix.
As well as all that, we’ve included it because even though it is widely available and cheap, many people simply don’t eat it due to a traumatic childhood experience with broccoli, or because they don’t like the taste and texture, even if they know it's good for them.
But another nice thing about this fantastic brassica in our superfood supplement, is how it works with Alfalfa. These two plants have similar qualities and can both help with cancer prevention and liver function.
Further, if broccoli can indeed help reduce excess estrogen, then it complements the selenium and zinc in Athletic Greens which can help boost testosterone, especially useful for those seeking this in the product.
Dosage and safety
Regarding taking broccoli flower powder, there’s no standard dose known. As with so many supplements it depends on a person’s age and unique health picture.
Further, like any supplement that enhances liver function, caution is advised for people taking pharmaceuticals and/or blood thinners.
One other thing to note - if consuming large amounts of broccoli (or any cruciferous vegetable) - is the glucosinolate content. At high levels this “anti-nutrient” can have negative effects on the thyroid.
However, by utilising different cooking methods you can effectively reduce the glucosinolate content without reducing the impact of good nutrients in the broccoli too much.
And of course, you don’t need to worry about overdoing your intake in your daily dose of Athletic Greens.
So put aside your childhood prejudices, the power of broccoli flower powder is undeniable! Just don’t let President Bush in on the secret...