Broccoli. Poster child for vegetable hatred. Left unwanted on many a plate and causing the face of horror in children across the world. However, underneath this misunderstood diner vegetable lies an acne superfood - loaded with compounds and nutrients that are especially good at reducing inflammation and balancing hormones - key villains in the acne formation chain.
Can Broccoli save you and give you clear skin?
Focusing on broccoli alone will not give you clear skin, but adding it to your diet as one of many small changes can improve your skin over time. This has been proven by science. A 2014 study monitored the diets of 1005 middle-aged Chinese women and found that those who ate more servings of green vegetables per day (1.5 cups of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, and kale) had significantly lower levels of inflammation. Less inflammation means less acne. How? Broccoli contains a compound called glucoraphanin. This is converted to a biologically active substance called sulforaphane when ingested. Sulforaphane has been clinically shown to reduce inflammation. It has also been shown to reduce hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance is another contributor to acne formation. Glucoraphanin is abundant in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale but the highest concentration found in broccoli. But the list of Broccoli super-powers doesn't stop there.
100 grams of broccoli contains nearly 100% of the daily allowance for vitamin C. That’s much more than in an orange with none of the (natural) sugar. If you've cut dairy (you should if you have acne) then Broccoli is your new best friend. It is a source of a highly available calcium - the absorption of calcium from Brussels sprouts in 60 percent, whereas for milk it’s only 30 percent. It's win/win. So how can you eat more of this lone hero crusader? Well smoothies. Sunday roasts. Or another easy way is to cut some up, roast until it turns crispy and crunchy and eat it as a snack.