Love it or hate it, good old broccoli has made worldwide headlines lately, with the launch of (fanfare, please) "super" broccoli in U.K. supermarket chain Marks and Spencer. Dubbed (with classic European panache) Beneforté, the hybrid strain contains up to three times the levels of the cancer-fighting nutrient glucoraphanin than run-of-the-mill broccoli strains.

Curious about what made broccoli such a healthy food, scientists at the U.K.’s Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Center eventually identified a type of wild broccoli that contained very high levels of glucoraphanin and set about creating a hybrid, lead researcher professor Richard Mithen told NutraIngredients.com. Conventional breeding techniques were used, he said, and the Institute still owns the intellectual property on Beneforté.

Broccoli is the only popular vegetable that contains significant amounts of this sought-after nutrient (crucifers cauliflower and cabbage also contain glucosinates), which research shows may help reduce chronic inflammation and stop uncontrolled cell division, important for combating heart disease and cancer, respectively.