Nutrients in broccoli not present in supplements

The health benefits associated with eating broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables cannot be obtained via supplements, new research has found.

A key phytochemical in these vegetables is poorly absorbed and of far less value if taken as a supplement, the report said.

And not only do you need to eat the whole foods, you have to go easy on cooking them.

`The issue of whether important nutrients can be obtained through whole foods or with supplements is never simple,` said Emily Ho, an OSU associate professor in the OSU School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, and principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute.

`Some vitamins and nutrients, like the folic acid often recommended for pregnant women, are actually better-absorbed as a supplement than through food,` Ho said.

`Adequate levels of nutrients like vitamin D are often difficult to obtain in most diets. But the particular compounds that we believe give broccoli and related vegetables their health value need to come from the complete food.`

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