Why Every Diabetes Patient Needs Broccoli

As a child I, like many others, only referred to broccoli as the “little trees.” Because of this name, eating broccoli became more whimsical and fun – leading me to (almost) never complain about eating them. Today, I only refer to broccoli as the “little trees” in my mind but they’re still one of my favorite snacks. And, research from a new type 2 diabetes study leads me to believe they might just become yours too.

A recent study, published in the Science Translational Medicine journal, discovered an antioxidant as new antidiabetic substance. This antioxidant was found to richly occur in broccoli. The study found that patients who who ate broccoli extract with high levels of sulforaphane, the antioxidant, had significantly lower blood sugar levels.

In recent years, the concept of food as medicine has been widely discussed. Of this, Anders Rosengren, Docent in Metabolic Physiology at the University of Gothenburg and affiliated with the Lund University Diabetes Centre, says “There are strong indications that this can become a valuable supplement to existing medication.”

The patient study was conducted with around one hundred individuals. Regardless of whether they were in the control group or not, each patients was given metformin, a diabetes medication. After 12 weeks, the group that had also received sulforaphane had significantly lower blood sugar levels than the placebo group.

Within the next two years, they hope to develop a functional food using the antioxidant. “Sulforaphane targets a central mechanism in type 2 diabetes and has a mild side-effect profile. As functional food, it can reach the patients faster than a medication, and it is also an interesting concept from a diabetes perspective where diet is central,” says Anders Rosengren in a press release.

However, until that day, consider adding just a little more broccoli to your diet. As one of the healthiest foods, these “little trees” should be a staple in everyone’s diet.


Peer Health can connect you with a personalized peer community to share provider recommendations, treatment options, and define your best life. The Peer Health community is coming soon and we want you to be the first to know. Sign up for our newsletter today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s