Protection as Prevention: Can Nutrition Boost Immunity?

And if so, what role do the superfood(s) broccoli, broccoli sprouts, and broccoli seeds play?

Wellness experts and healthcare providers know: the foods we eat and the nutritional supplements we take can boost immunity against a host of aggressors, including pollutants, viruses, and microbes.

Does nutrition support immunity?

Yes! Scientists have proven that the design of our immune system is complex and influenced positively by an ideal balance of many factors, including a diet consisting of a range of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, combined with lifestyle factors like adequate sleep and exercise, and stress management. Attention to all these inputs most effectively primes the body to fight infection and diseases.1

Many factors influence our innate immunity (composed of our skin, mucus, stomach acid, enzymes and immune system cells) as well as our adaptive immunity, as controlled by our cells and organs, including the spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and lymph nodes.

The presence of antigens and specific inflammatory responses can aid in building immunity, while autoimmune or immunodeficiency disorders can undermine or even disable immunity. And, of course, a host of conditions can depress our immunity, including older age, environmental toxins, excess weight, chronic diseases, stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet.

So, to what degree can a healthy diet and optimal nutritional supplementation boost our immune health? On the whole, scientists have noted that diets limited in variety and lower in nutrients, e.g.: ultra-processed foods, can negatively influence immunity by disturbing the healthy intestinal microorganisms (the microbiome), potentially resulting in chronic inflammation. Concurrently, diets that are primarily plant based, rich in fiber, filled with vitamins, antioxidants, flavonoids, and metabolites provide the basis for a healthy microbiome, the breeding ground for robust health.2

What role do broccoli, broccoli sprouts, and broccoli seeds play in the quest for immunity?

Broccoli possesses compounds that offer protection from a variety of aggressors and is a primary contributing factor to plant based “chemoprotection,” a field of study pioneered by renowned pharmacologist Dr. Paul Talalay, “the father of chemoprotection” —who conducted extensive research on the cancer prevention properties of broccoli sprouts.3

Talalay’s research has been lauded as “one of the top 100 scientific discoveries of the 20th century,”4 as it investigated and demonstrated the importance of the isothiocyanate sulforaphane, and its natural precursor, the glucosinolate glucoraphanin. Although many cruciferous vegetables are rich in glucosinolates, Talalay discovered that broccoli is the richest source of glucoraphanin, the precursor to the most potent of phase 2 detoxification enzymes, isothiocyanate sulforaphane. Since its identification in broccoli, the benefits of sulforaphane have since been validated and expanded upon in multiple global studies. Sulforaphane has been shown to confer remarkable health benefits, specifically to support the body’s propensity to protect cells.

Further research from a UCLA study in 2008 demonstrated the importance of the glucoraphanin in broccoli as a precursor to sulforaphane in maintaining protective cellular immunity.5 UCLA’s researchers describe the antioxidant power of broccoli like this: “A chemical in broccoli switches on a set of antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which then combat the injurious effects of molecules known as free radicals that can damage cells and lead to disease. Free radicals are byproducts of normal body processes, such as the metabolic conversion of food into energy, and can also enter the body through small particles present in polluted air.”6

Most of us are familiar with the important antioxidants in our diets, including vitamins E and C, but many do not realize that our bodies’ have the ability to produce our own antioxidants, too. We typically refer to these as intrinsic antioxidants, one of the best examples being glutathione, commonly referred to as GSH. One of the most exciting developments in the study of antioxidants’ ability to help defend the body is the elucidation of the Nrf2 pathway (Nuclear Factor Erythroid 2-Related Factor). Nrf2 behaves like a thermostat to protect our bodies from oxidative stress and the damage it causes by up-regulating, or increasing, the production of our intrinsic antioxidants like GSH.7

Nrf2 binds with our body’s DNA to spur the synthesis or production of specific molecules (antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes) that work in a synergistic manner to deactivate excessive free radicals before they cause harmful oxidative damage, and thereby minimize their detrimental effects.

Nrf2 can be activated by a variety of factors including cellular stress, exercise, oxidative stress, and notably, phytochemicals in the foods we eat. One of the key discoveries by Dr. Talalay and colleagues at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, is that the sulforaphane from broccoli, broccoli seeds and sprouts, is one of the most potent natural inducers of Nrf2. Of the three, broccoli seeds contain the highest concentration of the sulforaphane precursor, glucoraphanin.8 To date, nearly a thousand scientific papers have been published on sulforaphane and Nrf2.

How can we maximize broccoli’s nutritional powers?

Scientists, Physicians, Nutritionists, and Health Experts concur: Broccoli is supreme. Dr. Michael Greger, physician and NY Times bestselling author, notes that while broccoli may protect our brains and eyesight, boost our detoxification enzymes, and even aid in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease, the antioxidant benefit is highest when we eat our broccoli raw, as this allows the optimal conversion from glucoraphanin to sulforaphane to occur.

Yet it is extremely difficult for most of us to eat high amounts of fresh raw broccoli on a regular basis. Unfortunately, when we cook broccoli, according to Dr. Greger and others, the myrosinase enzyme that converts the glucoraphanin in broccoli to sulforaphane — is quickly destroyed.9 Short of nutritional hacks, like cooking broccoli and then adding prepared mustard or powdered mustard seeds before eating10, the antioxidant benefits of glucoraphanin and sulforaphane are diminished.

One of the most exciting answers to this problem is the availability of high-quality glucoraphanin in supplement and ingredient form. Thankfully, this alternative for obtaining glucoraphanin doesn’t require us to eat a pound of broccoli or find fresh sprouts every week (although every form of cruciferous vegetable, cooked or raw, provides valuable fiber as well). One of the easiest and most effective ways to obtain the antioxidant benefits of glucoraphanin is TrueBroc®, which is extracted in a natural, hot water process from broccoli seeds.

By understanding the far-reaching benefits of glucoraphanin, we can make better decisions about the foods and supplements we recommend and consume. And whether you love broccoli or you love to hate it, TrueBroc® makes it easier to consume these important antioxidants on a daily basis.

 

1The Nutrition Source: Nutrition and Immunity,” Harvard School of Public Health
2 “Towards a Food Pharmacy: Immunologic Modulation through Diet,”Molendijk I, van der Marel S, Maljaars PW. Nutrients. 2019 Jun;11(6):1239.
3Father of Chemoprotection,” Neil A. Grauer, Hopkins Medicine Class Notes, Fall, 2019.
4Father of Chemoprotection,” Neil A. Grauer, Hopkins Medicine Class Notes, Fall, 2019.
5Broccoli May Help Boost Aging Immune System,” University of California – Los Angeles, Science Daily, March, 2008.
6Broccoli May Help Boost Aging Immune System,” University of California – Los Angeles, Science Daily, March, 2008.
7Nrf2: The Master Regulator of Anti-Oxidative Responses” published Dec. 20, 2017 by the NCBI
8Father of Chemoprotection,” Neil A. Grauer, Hopkins Medicine Class Notes, Fall, 2019.
9How to Cook Broccoli,” Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, NutritionFacts.org, Feb. 9, 2016.
10The potential to intensify sulforaphane formation in cooked broccoli,” Sameer Khalil Ghawi, Lisa Methven, Keshavan Niranjan, NCBI, Nov. 2012.

4 Interesting Facts About Glucoraphanin

By:Tori Schmitt, MS, RDN, LD

You probably already know that broccoli is a nutritious food – it is! Broccoli is full of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K. But if you’re wondering what makes broccoli extra special when it comes to supporting health, it’s this: the important phytonutrient called glucoraphanin.

I know that may sound complex and confusing! But it’s actually pretty simple. What exactly is glucoraphanin? How does glucoraphanin function? Let’s talk about it with a couple of key facts!

Key Fact #1 Glucoraphanin is a phytonutrient

Glucoraphanin is a special “phytonutrient.” The root word “phyto” stems from a Greek word meaning “plant.” So, quite literally, phytonutrients are nutrients that come from plants! You may know that beta-carotene is found in orange vegetables and fruits, that lycopene is found in most naturally red foods, and anthocyanins are found in red and blue fruits, like berries. As it turns out, there are numerous important phytonutrients – one of which is glucoraphanin – and they each play a role in supporting optimal health.

Key Fact #2 Broccoli is a source of glucoraphanin

A variety of Brassica vegetables, including broccoli, kale, cauliflower and cabbage, feature phytonutrients.1 Yet, when it comes to the all of the valuable phytonutrients in broccoli, one stands out above the rest: glucoraphanin! In fact, the predominant phytonutrient in broccoli is glucoraphanin!2 It’s simple – when we eat broccoli, we get glucoraphanin.

Key Fact #3 Glucoraphanin converts to sulforaphane, which provides beneficial contributions to health

When you chop, cut and eat broccoli, a naturally occurring enzyme in broccoli called myrosinase converts glucoraphanin into sulforaphane. In the body, sulforaphane functions as an antioxidant to support the body’s own detoxification system. That’s right, your body has its own detoxification system and the phytonutrients in broccoli (namely, glucoraphanin) help your detoxification system do its job.

Key Fact #4 Getting glucoraphanin is easy!

It’s easy to get glucoraphanin! Because broccoli is a major source of glucoraphanin, simply enjoy broccoli more often to get more glucoraphanin.

Looking for fresh ideas to enjoy broccoli? Here are some nutritious (and totally delicious!) ideas to help you eat more of this healthy green vegetable:

• Serve broccoli on top of a salad with other foods full of phytonutrients, like kale,
strawberries, walnuts, salmon and a lemon-garlic dressing.
• Eat raw broccoli with a delicious dip like hummus or guacamole for a mid-day snack.
• Add frozen broccoli into homemade smoothies – you won’t even be able to taste it!
• Puree broccoli to make a broccoli pesto to spread over a sandwich, dip with vegetables, or
drizzle over whole-wheat noodles, bean pasta or “zoodles” (zucchini noodles).
• Add broccoli florets to your lunchtime wrap.
• Lightly steam broccoli for 3-5 minutes, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with
hemp hearts or pumpkin seeds for a savory side dish.

With the help of TrueBroc®, you can also enjoy glucoraphanin in additional nutritious ways:
• Pack Brassica Tea with TrueBroc® in your bag, backpack, purse or carry-on for glucoraphanin while you’re on the go.
• Swap out your usual morning cup of coffee for Brassica Coffee with TrueBroc®.
• Discover nutritious recipes using Brassica Tea and Coffee with TrueBroc® here [Link: https://truebroc.com/category/recipes/].
• Consider a dietary supplement containing glucoraphanin. Check with a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine what might be most appropriate for you!

What do you find most interesting about glucoraphanin? What is your favorite way to get this important phytonutrient? Let’s hear your thoughts! Share a message with me on Facebook [Link: www.facebook.com/yesnutritionllc] and tag my friends from TrueBroc® [Link: www.facebook.com/truebroc]! We look forward to hearing from you!

References:
1. Ishida M, Hara M, Fukino N, Kakizaki T, Morimitsu Y. Glucosinolate metabolism, functionality and breeding for the improvement of Brassicaceae vegetables. Breeding Science. 2014;64(1):48-59. doi:10.1270/jsbbs.64.48.
2. Cartea, Maria & Velasco, Pablo. (2007). Glucosinolates in Brassica foods: Bioavailability in food and significance for human health. Phytochemistry Reviews. 7. 213-229. 10.1007/s11101-007-9072-2.

Destination Detox – How to Detox While On the Go

An Interview with Ashley Koff, RD and author of The Road Trip to Better Health.

August is the month for last minute weekend getaways or for summer’s much anticipated week-long vacation. Families squeeze in a quick trip before the first day of school for many kids throughout the U.S. It may be easy to think you can splurge on salt, sugar and processed foods while you’re on the go, but your body shouldn’t be sacrificed just because you’re away from home. Just like any other day, you need to optimize your body’s systems, including its detox system.

The TrueBroc® team sat down with its scientific advisory board member, Ashley Koff RD, to learn how to detox while on the go.

TB: Everyone is talking about detoxification – how is it different from cleansing or a quick detox product you see at the store?
AK:
Our bodies have a lot to handle these days – stress, environmental pollutants, toxins, hormones – thankfully, the body comes equipped with a detoxification system that, given the right resources, can typically handle this workload.

A cleanse doesn’t have an actual definition. For some it’s reducing sugar or skipping alcohol, for others it’s only organic green juices and alkaline water for days or week(s) at a time. The idea of cleansing can involve removing or reducing offenders and perhaps adding certain foods or nutrients to help clean the body. Short and long-term effects depend on whether the cleanse matches a person’s body and the body’s needs.

Quick detox products run the gamut from unsafe to unhelpful most of the time, with a few exceptions. Quality detox products include nutrients that support the body’s detoxification system. That said, anything that says “quick detox” misses the fact that we should be detoxing daily to give our body the resources the detoxification system needs to do its job.

TB: If my body is detoxing every day, how can I best support it?
AK:
Look for broccoli or broccoli sprouts to get a quality dose of glucoraphanin. That said, the amount you get of this long-lasting antioxidant that supports detoxification will vary based on the batch of broccoli and how you prepare it. So eat your broccoli but if you seek consistent detoxification support add a supplemental dose of glucoraphanin like TrueBroc.

Prioritize Better Digestion. No detoxification efforts can be fully effective if your digestive system isn’t working better, not perfect, more often. Assess your digestion, then do the Digestive Tune It Up (as needed).

TB: How can I help support my detox system if I’m traveling or on the go constantly?
AK:
There are three easy steps that I share with my patients and practice myself.

  • Get in enough water throughout the day. What’s the right amount for you? Take the Better Water Evaluation.
  • Optimize digestion (see the tips I share in the Digestive Tune Up).
  • Order broccoli and pack Brassica® Tea or Coffee, which provides a standardized dose of TrueBroc and is easy to enjoy wherever you go – just add hot water (which helps with tip #1).

TB: Should I detox differently if I’m traveling to different climates – e.g. cold, tropical, humid/rainy, etc.? 
AK: While the detoxification system doesn’t have different needs, the environment will impact your body’s resource needs.

Cold climate: Warm up with broccoli roasted in olive oil, a bowl of soup and a hot cup of tea.

Tropical climate: enjoy the local flavors, adding pineapple, lemon, grapefruit and other citrus, as well as enjoying coconut water, which can make your perfect tropical Arnold Palmer (replace the lemonade with coconut water in your iced Brassica Tea).

TB: What’s in your travel bag?
AK:
I bring along my own arsenal to help aid my detox system…including Natural Calm magnesium, Sulforaclear® (supplement with TrueBroc) or Brassica Tea, and my Beauty Counter cleansing balm.

Brassica Achieves Top Honors

Brassica Protection Products, the maker of TrueBroc® glucoraphanin, was honored with the prestigious American Botanical Council’s (ABC) Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award for 2016. Tony Talalay, Brassica’s co-founder and CEO, accepted the award at a ceremony at the Natural Products Expo West Convention in California.

Unlocking the Health Properties of Cruciferous Vegetables – Broccoli

Through partnership with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Brassica has laid the basis for understanding the health-protective properties of broccoli. Paul Talalay, MD, Distinguished ServiBrassica Tony Talalay accepts ABC Award 2017ce Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at Johns Hopkins, discovered the ability of sulforaphane, a compound produced by cruciferous vegetables, to induce the production of enzymes that help eliminate toxic metabolites from the body. After a number of additional studies evaluating the properties of broccoli extracts, Paul Talalay founded Brassica Protection Products with his colleague Jed Fahey, ScD and his son Tony Talalay. One year later, the Hopkins group published findings on sulforaphane from cruciferous vegetables and its potential health benefits, paving the way for subsequent clinical studies.

“Being honored with the ABC’s prestigious Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award is a wonderful tribute to a lifetime of research by my father, Paul Talalay, who has dedicated himself to understanding the body’s own protective systems and elucidating the benefits of broccoli, glucoraphanin and sulforaphane in promoting human health,” said Tony Talalay, CEO and co-founder of Brassica Protection Products. “This award is a confirmation of Brassica’s mission to bring scientifically valid nutritional products to consumers. It is especially gratifying as it recognizes the company’s primary goal — to continually ensure quality commercialization efforts that honor the extraordinary quality of the science.”

ABC Tyler Award

The ABC Tyler Award was created to honor one of the most respected scientists in late-20th century herbal medicine and pharmacognosy (the study of medicines of natural origin). Professor Tyler was an early trustee of ABC, dean of the Purdue University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences for 20 years, and vice president of academic affairs at Purdue. He was the senior author of six editions of the leading textbook in the field, as well as numerous other professional and popular books and articles in the academic literature. Tyler encouraged scientific and product integrity, and envisioned a rational phytomedicinal health care sector that valued the proper evaluation of products’ quality, safety and efficacy.

True Detox Happens 365 Days a Year – 3 Steps to Make it Last

3 Steps to Make Your Detox Plan Last All Year from Ashley Koff RD

You are reading the latest detox headlines…

  • You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth.
  • The debate over juice cleanses and toxin removal
  • Detoxify your liver in two weeks
  • Three day detox cleanse

… and you are confused! Rightfully so.

True detoxification doesn’t happen in two days or five days. It happens 365 days a year. Every single body is equipped with its own detox system and the key is to find ways to support it every day.

Ashley Koff, RD, award-winning nutrition expert and creator of the Better Nutrition Simplified Membership, shares three simple steps to help you optimize the body’s detoxification system every day.

No. 1: Tackle Toxins
Limit exposure to, and consumption of, environmental toxins. When you can, opt for organic fruits and vegetables, as well unhealthy-body-graphicwebas natural household cleaners. Alcohol, cigarette smoke and diesel exhaust are other culprits to a stalled detoxification system.

No. 2: Eat Broccoli
Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli has the highest levels of the phytonutrient glucoraphanin (glu·co·raph’·an·in). Studied for decades, glucoraphanin helps to optimize the body’s own detoxification system by upregulating the phase II enzyme system – essentially, it helps to tag toxins for elimination while aiding in the actual elimination process. Add broccoli (and glucoraphanin) to your plate every day with the help of these recipes.

No. 3: Drink to Detox
It is no surprise that our body needs water to function and our detox system is no different. To help get the recommend amount (approx. a half gallon) of water each day, be sure to guzzle some H2O before bed and as soon as you wake up – even before your morning cup of coffee or tea.

You can also get glucoraphanin from TrueBroc® in some of these Ashley Koff Approved (AKA) products – SulforaClear™ and OncoPLEX™, among others.

Recipe: Broccoli Risotto – Easy Rich and Creamy Risotto

The latest installment of our monthly “Recipe Friday” features an easy risotto recipe that features our favorite cruciferous vegetable – broccoli!  Amy Fisher, RD (@thegreenfisch) created this recipe knowing that the majority of Americans overcook their broccoli.  In fact, a recent survey by TrueBroc® found that nearly 40 percent of Americans are cooking their broccoli for 10 minutes or more (yuck!), which can significantly denature the good stuff, including glucoraphanin!

In this recipe, you only need to lightly steam the broccoli (less than 5 minutes).

Did you know?
1 cup of raw broccoli, chopped, has only 31 calories and boasts more than 2 grams of protein and 15 milligrams of glucoraphanin.


Broccoli Risotto
Servings: 6

Ingredients

1 large head of broccoliBroccoli risotto recipe - ingredients

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 cups vegetable stock, 2 Tbsp. grass-fed butter

1 medium onion chopped

12 oz. arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

pinch of saffron threads

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

¼ cup freshly grated pecorino Romano

Directions

Cut broccoli into florets and steam for approximately 4-5 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat, rinse in cold water, drain and set aside.

In a saucepan bring stock to a boil, cover and keep warm.

In a large saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. butter with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add onion and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until onion is soft and translucent. Add rice and cook stirring to coat it with butter and olive oil. Add wine Broccoli risotto recipe - stovetop cooking photoand simmer until almost evaporated. Add enough stock to just cover the rice and cook until the stock has evaporated. Add saffron to the remaining stock and let it steep. Then, continue adding the remainder of the stock with the saffron slowly, about ¼ cup each time, until the rice reaches the desired tenderness. The risotto is done when the rice is just past al dente and the risotto has a creamy texture, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cheese and fold in the broccoli. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe – Grilled Broccoli Salad with Radish

It’s Labor Day! As you prepare to spend time with family and friends, fire up the grill and put refreshing drinks on ice, don’t be afraid to prepare delicious and healthy food that will wow your guests and deliver a kick of detox to your body.

The broccoli and radishes in our new Grilled Broccoli Salad recipe (thank you Amy Fischer, RD – @thegreenfisch) work as a team to help prepare the body for true detoxification. Broccoli florets feature the powerful phytonutrient glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase, which work together to convert glucoraphanin to the potent antioxidant sulforaphane. Radishes are also rich in myrosinse.

Glucoraphanin is converted into sulforaphane via the enzyme myrosinase. This happens when we chew broccoli and break down the cells. Caution – myrosinase will be denatured when cooking. If this occurs, the conversion will take place via the body’s gut microflora, which is the same process if you are consuming glucoraphanin through a fortified food, beverage or supplement.

Try our latest broccoli recipe…on the grill this Labor Day!

Grilled Broccoli Salad with Radish Grilled Broccoli Salad Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients
1 head of broccoli
1 large red onion
2 ears corn
4 small radishes
1 tbsp. olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
salt
pepper

Directions
On a clean grill, coat grill rack with olive oil. Slice broccoli horizontally into medium thick slices. Cut red onion into thick slices. Grill corn in or out of the husk directly on grill or wrap it in aluminum foil and place on edge of grill.Grilled broccoli salad recipe ingredients on the grill

Brush vegetables lightly with olive oil on both sides to coat and season with salt and pepper. Place broccoli, onion and corn on heated grill and cook at medium to low temperature turning frequently to avoid burning. Cook for approximately 5-10 minutes and remove from heat. Mix vegetables together and drizzle lightly with balsamic.

Using a mandolin slice the radish over the salad and serve warm or chilled. Serves 4.

 

Recipe: Crustless Broccoli Quiche

Do you need breakfast inspiration? Or, maybe you’re preparing for vacation and you want an easy “make ahead” breakfast option that can be reheated quickly, tastes great and packs a punch of nutrition? Try this mini crustless broccoli quiche recipe created by registered dietitian Amy Fischer (@thegreenfisch). Pair the quiche with a cup of Brassica Tea with 15 milligrams of glucoraphanin from broccoli.

Glucoraphanin 101
Glucoraphanin – while a tongue twister – is a mighty antioxidant found at the highest levels in broccoli. It optimizes the body’s detoxification systems, helping to eliminate toxins and environmental pollutants from the body.

Glucoraphanin is converted into the phytonutrient sulforaphane via the enzyme myrosinase (also found in broccoli). This happens by chewing and breaking down the cells, resulting in the distinct taste (sulfur-like) of broccoli. Or, the conversion will happen in the body’s gut microflora, which is the same process used if you’re consuming glucoraphanin via a fortified food, beverage or supplement.

Recipe: Mini Crustless Broccoli Quiches

Servings: 12 individual quiches

Photo of crustless broccoli quiche ingredientsIngredients
4 cups broccoli florets
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
¼ cup pecorino romano cheese grated
½ cup whole milk
4 eggs
4 egg whites
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
salt and pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for approximately 1-2 minutes. Add broccoli florets and sauté for approximately 2 minutes; add a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Photo of mini crustless broccoli quiche in muffin panCoat muffin tin lightly with olive oil or use a silicon muffin pan and spoon broccoli mixture evenly into muffin tin.

In a medium bowl combine and beat eggs, egg whites, cheddar, milk, nutmeg, ½ tsp. salt and pepper. Pour mixture evenly over broccoli mixture and then top with grated pecorino romano. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until a knife is inserted and comes out clean. Enjoy!

Ashley Koff, RD Shares Why Broccoli is Her Favorite Veggie with Dr. Oz

We caught up with award-winning nutrition expert Ashley Koff, RD, creator of the Better Nutrition Simplified Program to learn more about her recent appearance on the Dr. Oz Show and why broccoli is her favorite vegetable.

TrueBroc®: You recently professed your love for broccoli on the Dr. Oz Show. What is it about broccoli that you love so much?
Ashley Koff, RD: I was that “strange” kid who always loved eating broccoli. As a kid, I liked the taste and the brightly colored little trees. When I became a registered dietitian, I was excited to learn about all of the important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are packed into my favorite food!

TrueBroc®: What part of the broccoli has the most abundant supply of nutrients?
Ashley Koff, RD: Let’s be clear, all of broccoli is good for you. The leaves and the stem have different nutrients and amounts of nutrients than the florets. So I think rather than ask what part has the most abundant supply, I would highlight why I love the leaves (calcium), the stems (fiber) and the florets (lots of vitamins but also the super detox hero, glucoraphanin, that I told Dr. Oz about – that’s where you find the most of it, and broccoli florets have more glucoraphanin than any other food).

TrueBroc®: You mentioned during the show that broccoli is great for detoxing. Why is it such a good detox food?
Ashley Koff, RD: So first off, I think it is key for us to be reminded that we all have a detoxification system – the body’s equipped to identify and remove toxins. Thus, the foods that contain the nutrients that support that system – both phases of it – are a major part of our nutrition needs. For example, to convert harmful toxins and used hormones (which can become harmful if not eliminated) into less harmful ones, the body needs lots of vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, magnesium as well as plant nutrients like milk thistle and quercetin to support these efforts. Antioxidants found in colorful fruits and vegetables, as well as the plant nutrients in nuts, seeds, grains and beans that help do the “clean up” work.

Broccoli contains the highest amount of the phytonutrient glucoraphanin, which the body uses as a key detox agent – especially for the second part – to convert and eliminate those tough toxins and used hormones.

TrueBroc®: If people don’t eat broccoli, are there other ways to get the detox benefits of its glucoraphanin?
Ashley Koff, RD: Absolutely. You can blend broccoli into your morning shake or smoothie to help mask the sulfur/bitter taste (my friend Tess Masters, aka The Blender Girl, recommends frozen as it virtually eliminates the broccoli taste). Also, a friend and fellow registered dietitian, Amy Fischer (@thegreenfisch) developed this broccoli protein smoothie recipe. Enjoy!

Broccoli Protein Smoothie Recipe

Broccoli Protein Smoothie Recipe

Serving: 1

Ingredients

3 broccoli florets

1/2 pear

1/2 banana

2 tbsp. protein powder

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup coconut water

1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder

Directions

Add all ingredients to high-speed blender and enjoy. Optional: add ice.

Broccoli Protein Smoothie

Jumpstart Your Day with this Nutrition Tip from Ashley Koff, RD

Sharecare logoOur nutrition consultant – Ashley Koff, RD – shares one of her top nutrition tips with the Sharecare team. This tip will set you up for success throughout the day.

The best part?  It features broccoli – whether it’s pureed in a juice, added to an omelet or baked in a muffin.

 

Year of You: Ashley KoffDietitian Ashley Koff Approved has a Year of You tip that gets you started on the right path first thing in the morning!

Posted by Sharecare on Monday, January 11, 2016