Vegetables such as broccoli have plenty of health benefits - but to get maximum effect, you need wholefoods, not any sort of supplements, steamed gently rather than overcooked. So you need to convince the kids to eat their greens!
Phytochemicals from broccoli are available in supplements but research found it is poorly absorbed compared to the traditional version.
If broccoli is cooked until it's soft and mushy, its health value also plummets. Instead, lightly cook for two or three minutes, or steam it until it's still a little crunchy.
A team at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University found while some supplements, for example folic acid for pregnant women, successfully bridge the nutrition gap of a poor diet, the particular compounds that give broccoli and related vegetables their health value come from the complete food.
"Some vitamins and nutrients, like the folic acid often recommended for pregnant women, are actually better-absorbed as a supplement than through food," Emily Ho, an OSU associate professor in the OSU School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, 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."