If you have concerns about being overweight, developing diabetes, or your heart disease risk, new research has identified a singular type of juice that could potentially lessen the chances of all three. What’s extra fun is that if you happen to be a smoothie drinker or home gardener, it’s very possible you’ve already heard of this small but mighty plant.
A study published last week in the European Journal of Nutrition was led by a food science and engineering research team from China’s Nanjing University of Finance and Economics and Nanjing Agricultural University. The scientists started by feeding a high-fat diet to mice. They administered broccoli microgreens juice for 10 weeks to the experimental group, while administering a drug to the control group that was meant to function similarly to human medications used to treat type 2 diabetes.
The expectation was that the control group’s medication would increase insulin sensitivity, which in turn helps the body break down sugar and use it as fuel instead of storing it as fat or increasing blood sugar levels similar to many type 2 diabetes medications for humans.
Astoundingly, the mice that received the broccoli microgreens juice saw impressive results. Consuming the microgreen juice “significantly reduced white adipose tissue, or “white fat.” White fat is the worse of the two types of body fat as, in humans, it can build up mainly around the midsection and increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, even stroke, and more. Also, say the researchers, the juice “improved glucose tolerance, reduced insulin level … and alleviated insulin resistance.”
This could prove to be great insight when it comes to diabetes, but there was an implication even wider than that: the research team also reports that the mice’s gut microbiota composition changed, resulting in “an obvious anti-inflammatory” and anti-oxidative effect. For the liver, the broccoli microgreens juice “can enhance liver antioxidant capacity and reduce liver fat accumulation.”
The study in its entirety is yet to be published, but here’s how you might break down what its abstract explains: If a similar study were someday conducted on humans to find that the effect of the broccoli microgreens juice was similar—that is, if it helped to reduce fat accumulation in people, too—then it might suggest that broccoli microgreens juice could potentially combat obesity levels that put individuals at risk for diabetes, and those with other risk factors related to obesity.
In other words, if microgreens are already growing in your cute little kitchen garden pod, or if you’ve already made a practice of dropping a handful into your juice press or a scoop of the powdered supplement into your morning smoothie doing so might promote a healthy body weight and help prevent some diseases.
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