British scientists have engineered a new strain of broccoli that has three times the amount of a key nutrient that breaks down fat and fights heart disease.
Already a healthy vegetable, the new broccoli was specially grown to contain extra glucoraphanin, a nutrient believed to help ward off heart disease.
"Vegetables are a medicine cabinet already," Richard Mithen, who led the team of scientists at the Institute for Food Research in Norwich, England, told The Associated Press. "When you eat this broccoli ... you get a reduction in cholesterol in your blood stream."
The new broccoli tastes slightly sweeter than standard broccoli because it contains less sulfur. The key nutrient, glucoraphanin, breaks down fat, preventing it from clogging the arteries. It is only found in broccoli in significant amounts.
To create the vegetable, sold as "super broccoli," Mithen and his team cross-bred a traditional British broccoli with a wild, bitter Sicilian variety that has no flowery head, and a big dose of glucoraphanin. The hybrid took 14 years to produce with no genetic modification.
It sells under the brand Beneforte in stores in California and Texas, and recently reached British shelves. Experts cautioned that it's healthful benefits won't compensate for bad dietary habits.
"Eating this new broccoli is not going to counteract your bad habits," Glenys Jones, a nutritionist at Britain's Medical Research Council, told the AP.