The amount of people with cancer and liver disease has tripled since 1980? The liver is a primary detoxing organ in the body and it can become overworked by regularly plaguing it with the foods in the Standard American Diet, i.e. meats, dairy products, processed foods, alcohol, refined grains, and added sugars. If you put beneficial foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, & whole grains) in your body, the liver can avoid becoming overworked. When you eat a Standard American Diet, which is replete with saturated fats, added sugars, and genetically modified organisms, the liver can’t properly filter out everything that it needs to, ultimately resulting in liver damage or liver disease.
Broccoli, in addition to cauliflower and Brussels sprouts (all members of the brassica family), has been known to stop the accumulation of fat in the liver. This helps to protect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Because broccoli has this ability, researchers are curious as to what effects broccoli has on carcinogens that can cause liver cancer.
According to one study, restoring your liver could be as easy consuming broccoli several times a week. The University of Illinois found that the nutrients in broccoli, specifically sulforaphane, could be effective in fighting liver disease. The study was conducted with mice, which were fed the Standard American Diet for several weeks followed by a controlled diet with steamed broccoli for another several weeks.
When the mice were regularly fed the Standard American Diet, results showed increased levels of cancerous cells in the liver. The same mice were fed broccoli and a controlled diet and tumors and cancerous cells dramatically decreased. While more human studies need to take place, these early findings indicate that eating broccoli may help bring the liver back into balance and improve its overall functions.
As of now, findings indicate that sulforaphane may help to provide relief from some liver cancers. It is best to consume broccoli three to five times a week to lower the risk of liver cancers. More research needs to be conducted, but initial findings seem positive.