The pollutants in the air you breathe can increase your risk of lung cancer and heart disease. But a clinical trial in China shows that you can help your body shrug off these common contaminants with a potent superfood.
The study, which involved about 300 people, showed that drinking a smoothie that included broccoli sprouts helps the body excrete airborne toxins like benzene (a carcinogen) and acrolein (a lung irritant).
“Air pollution is a complex and pervasive public health problem,” says researcher John Groopman, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “To address this problem comprehensively, in addition to the engineering solutions to reduce regional pollution emissions, we need to translate our basic science into strategies to protect individuals from these exposures. This study supports the development of food-based strategies as part of this overall prevention effort.”
The scientists discovered that drinking a beverage with broccoli sprouts increased the excretion of benzene by 61 percent. Elimination of the irritant acrolein increased by 23 percent.
“This study points to a frugal, simple and safe means that can be taken by individuals to possibly reduce some of the long-term health risks associated with air pollution,” adds researcher Thomas Kensler.