From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, such as radish and cauliflower, may be crucial to boosting the immune system as we age.
Research suggests the chemical sulforaphane can activate antioxidants to help restore an aging immune system, which weakens because of free radicals that damage cells.
The study treated mice with sulforaphane and found it can restore older animals’ immune system to its younger, stronger form.
Principal researcher Andre Nel with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA says broccoli has the highest concentration of the beneficial chemical.
Nel suggests people eat a little broccoli three or four times a week.
“The amount of broccoli probably should be at least two to three florets per meal.” (5 seconds)
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Learn more at hhs.gov.HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011