Super veggies to save the day?

By • Published: February 3rd, 2012
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Parents, you soon could be telling your kids to eat their super veggies.

British scientists recently unveiled a new breed of broccoli with super nutritional powers.

These turbo-charged veggies have been on sale as Beneforte in select stores in California and Texas for the last year. Soon, they could be on sale at a grocery store near you, too.

The broccoli was specially grown to contain two to three times the normal amount of a nutrient called glucoraphanin [glue coe raff a nin], which is believed to help ward off heart disease and reduce cholesterol.

Sold as “super broccoli,” the new vegetable variety was created by cross-breeding a traditional British broccoli with a wild, bitter Sicilian variety. The enhanced hybrid was patented, with no genetic modification used.

This isn’t the first vegetable beefed up with extra nutrients. In 2011, a new kind of tomato with extra selenium was put on the market. It was touted as having super cancer-fighting and immune system-boosting powers.

And don’t forget about your superhero fungi. Vitamin-D enriched mushrooms have been on the market since 2008, helping people get an extra dose of vitamin D.

It’s not surprising people are looking for another way to boost their nutrition … because many folks aren’t always getting it from the food they eat. A 2005 study showed that many Americans were not meeting the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowances for a number of nutrients. That deficiency can boost the risk of chronic illness, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Still, some experts said if you are going to spend the extra cash on super veggies, you may want to work in improving your health other ways as well, like exercising and eating healthier overall.

After all, super broccoli can’t save the day by itself.