A special variety of super strength broccoli by UK company SmarterNaturally has been named ingredient of the year for healthy ageing.
The honour was awarded by NutraIngredients, a set of annual awards which celebrate the best ingredients, finished products, companies, people and initiatives in the nutrition and dietary industry.
SmarterNaturally soup uses a super strength broccoli used in a bid to turn back the clock on our ageing metabolisms, since a healthier metabolism is associated with better health and a lower risk of many different age-related diseases. This new, unique variety of broccoli is called GRextra and is grown in the UK.
GRextra is a unique strain of broccoli containsing very high levels of glucoraphanin (five times more than standard broccoli varieties). Glucoraphanin is a naturally occurring nutrient that can help keep the metabolism working more efficiently as we age by activating natural antioxidant-producing pathways in our cells.
This metabolic shift slows down the internal effects of aging and creates a healthier internal balance, which can in turn reduce our risk of developing a wide range of diseases and health conditions often associated with aging, such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
The soup has been developed by scientists at the Quadrum Institute, a centre for food and health research that combines the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals’ endoscopy centre and the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School.
Lead scientist for SmarterNaturally, Professor Richard Mithen, said: “SmarterNaturally Soup aims to help keep our metabolism young. Research suggests that eating one bowl a week could deliver enough glucoraphanin and other healthy nutrients to help people maintain a healthy metabolism, which is associated with a reduced risk of developing age-related health conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.”
The special broccoli was discovered growing wild in Sicily by professor Richard Mithen. After more than 2 decades of research, it’s now finally available to people looking to stay healthier as they get older.
One bowl of SmarterNaturally Soup contains the same amount of active glucoraphanin as eating more than a kilogram of raw broccoli, at a cost of just £5 a week.
Cooking broccoli often inactivates the enzyme needed to see health benefits from glucoraphanin, hence the stipulation of it being raw. It can be very difficult to get any meaningful glucoraphanin intake through eating broccoli that’s been well cooked.
Active glucoraphanin supplements do exist, but eating one bowl of SmarterNaturally Soup is equivalent to taking 14 supplement tablets in one go– or taking two pills every single day, rather than eating just one bowl of soup a week, and at a similar cost (£5 a week). SmarterNaturally soup also contains many other vitamins, minerals and health nutrients from eating broccoli which are absent in supplements.
SmarterNaturally launched the delicious ‘Super-Soup’ last year and many already see it as a game-changer for the many patients at risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Most pre-diabetics are simply told to change their diet and take more exercise, but figures show that compliance is low and that 20% go on to develop full blown diabetes within five years.
SmarterNaturally soup is tasty, affordable and simple to serve, making it a completely new way to support those people working to stay healthy and active for longer, or those focused on managing more specific health goals (such as lowering blood sugar or cholesterol levels, reducing their cancer risk, or supporting heart and brain health as they age).
SmarterNaturally CEO Laura Knight said of the award: “SmarterNaturally is a spin-out company from the Quadram Institute (one of the UK’s leading food and health research organisations) and our GRextra broccoli is backed by strong, highly credible published research. We are translating that good quality, publicly funded British scientific research into an ingredient and consumer products that have the potential to help many individuals age more positively, help prevent age-related disease and decline and alleviate pressure on our over stretched healthcare systems, not only in the UK but globally.
“We are proud that NutraIngredients Awards has recognised SmarterNaturally Soup because it is the first product containing GRextra broccoli powder, and it offers a completely new approach for people wanting to slow or reverse the harmful effects of ageing and live longer, healthier lives.
“This new science has the potential to provide critical support to the growing older community, with strong and growing evidence that glucoraphanin could help reduce the risk of a huge range of age-related health conditions – such as diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative disease and even cancer – as well as supporting people’s wellness and quality of life as they age through improved energy levels, sleep and muscle function. We are extremely excited about the possibilities that this new ingredient could unlock, and it’s our commitment to improving the ageing process in a real, evidence-based yet wholesome way that deserves the honour of this award.”