Anti-inflammatory benefits of crucifers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Chinese women and cruciferous vegetable intake

Have you eaten your broccoli today?

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Have you eaten your broccoli today?

Chronic inflammation
is one of the mechanisms that cause premature aging and disease
development. It is the primary factor
leading to plaque buildup within arteries and it is also the initial step in
the development of most cancers. Any
disease ending in "itis" has an inflammatory cause. It is believed that by controlling chronic
inflammation an individual can extend his or her lifespan by a decade or more.

A study published in March found that cruciferous vegetables
(cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, kale and cauliflower) are
capable of lowering common markers of inflammation. It looked at the dietary habits of 1005
Chinese women. Those with the highest
consumption of crucifers were found to have up to 25 % lower levels of
inflammatory chemicals than those in the lowest segment.

What makes this particularly interesting is the amount of crucifers
eaten by the women. Average crucifer
consumption was 1 cup a day. Those in
the highest group averaged 1 ½ cups and those in the lowest ½ cup daily.

I doubt that the average daily crucifer consumption of a
group of 1,000 women or men in the United States would match that of the lowest
segment of Chinese women in the study.
It's quite possible that the results would have been even more
impressive if the levels of inflammatory markers had been compared between a
group eating 1 – 1 ½ cups of cruciferous vegetables daily and another not including
them in the diet regularly.

Crucifers simply aren’t found as commonly in the daily diet in
the United States as they are in Asia. Fortunately,
it's also possible to reduce chronic inflammation by getting a good night's
sleep, effectively managing stress, maintaining a positive outlook, and
supplementing omega-3 fatty acids and enzymes.
For more information see my article on Inflammation