Looks like mom was right, broccoli is good for your health! According to a new study, high levels of sulforaphane found in broccoli can kill cancer stem cells and prevent the disease from developing, or spreading when it is established.

U.S. scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre completed successful laboratory tests on mice and cell cultures.

Study author Professor Duxin Sun said: 'Sulforaphane has been studied previously for its effects on cancer, but this study shows that its benefit is in inhibiting the breast cancer stem cells.

'This new insight suggests the potential of sulforaphane or broccoli extract to prevent or treat cancer by targeting the critical cancer stem cells.'

The results of the study appear in the current edition of the journal Clinical Cancer Research.