The Benefits of Broccoli (and Other Cruciferous Vegetables)

Eat your greens: The leafy side dish contains a potent antioxidant and unbeatable anti-inflammatory qualities
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Popeye, you’re busted! FLEX Magazine readers now know how you got those bulging forearms: sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound found not in spinach, but in cruciferous vegetables, including—and especially—broccoli, which appears to have general but potent antioxidant and possibly anti-inflammatory qualities. Previous studies have shown that broccoli extract’s powerful anti-inflammatory action reduced muscle damage. Now, in a study examining cell cultures, researchers have found that sulforaphane reduces myostatin levels in muscle cell dishes, where satellite cells function as skeletal muscle stem cells to support muscle growth and regeneration following injury.

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Interestingly, the study noted a significant reduction in MyoD mRNA levels at 10uM concentration in these satellite cells. Translated into real-world bodybuilding terms, you’d have to eat a ton of broccoli every day to achieve these blood levels naturally. However, taking a sulforaphane supplement may be a realistic way to achieve these levels.

 

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