Most kids will run ten miles at the mention of broccoli. In fact, many adults don’t like this green vegetable either. But if cooked well, broccoli tastes great. Most importantly, this vegetable is packed with nutrients and is super nutritious. Next time you say no to broccoli, understand that you will be missing out on some important nutrition for your body.
Here are some ways in which broccoli is useful and super nutritious for the body:
- Helps in improving eye health
Eyes are one of the most important organs in the body. It is said that fruits and vegetables that are orange in color are good for eye health. Carrots and oranges need special mention in this regard and they are also packed with antioxidants. Like these fruits and vegetables, broccoli also contains similar antioxidants and help in offering protection to eye sight. Zeaxanthin and lutein are the antioxidants present in broccoli and help in lowering risks of developing eye issues like macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Is a powerful antioxidant
Almost all cruciferous vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants. Among them broccoli stands out as this vegetable is a concentrated and abundant source of vitamin C along with flavanoids, so that the vitamin C can recycle effectively. Along with vitamin C, other antioxidants, which are present in broccoli include beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Antioxidants help in providing protection from free radical damage in the body. Overall wellness is ensured with antioxidants.
- Helps in improving heart health
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which is a prominent isothiocyanate and also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. This component helps in reversing as well as preventing the damage caused to the blood vessel linings. Patients with chronic blood sugar problems can have various kinds of problems including inflammation of the blood vessels, which lead to blockages etc. The blood vessel linings are maintained with this component and a healthy heart can be maintained.
- Has an active role in cancer prevention
Intake of broccoli plays an active role in cancer prevention in the human body. One of the main components which broccoli has is glucoraphanin. The body processes this component into sulforaphane, which is an anti-cancer compound. This compound helps in keeping the body away from H pylori, which is a bacteria. The bacteria have shown to increase risks of gastric cancer significantly. Along with this, broccoli also abounds in indole-3-carbinol, which is not only a powerful anti-carcinogen but also a strong antioxidant compound. Along with boosting liver function, broccoli helps in hindering growth and development of cervical, prostate and breast cancer. The immune boosting and cancer fighting properties of broccoli are quite strong.
[ Read: How Cruciferous Veggies Prevent Cancer ]
- Helps in reducing inflammation and allergic reactions
Isothiocyanates and kaempferol are anti-inflammatory phyto nutrients and broccoli is a rich source of the same. Medical research and studies have shown that the component kaempferol helps in lessening the impact of substances that are allergic to the body. Along with these, broccoli has significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. And this component has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
- Helps in aiding diet
High in fiber content, broccoli is considered as a smart carb. This vegetable helps in bettering the process of digestion for better absorption of nutrients in the body. Problems like constipation can also be restricted with the inclusion of broccoli in the diet. People who suffer from the problem of impulsive eating can curb their appetite with this super food. Low blood sugar levels are also maintained with this vegetable. When compared, it has been seen that consuming a cup of broccoli will give the same amount of protein as a cup of corn or rice. But the calories that go in are half when compared to these food items.
- Carries out detoxification of the body
Toxin deposition and accumulation is quite common in the body. For a fit and healthy body, it is important to detoxify the body from time to time. The detox process of the body is quite complex and consists of several steps, including activation, neutralization and elimination of the waste components. Special phyto nutrients present in broccoli like gluconasturtiin, glucoraphanin and glucobrassicin help in providing support to all the steps of detoxification. The isothiocyanates help in controlling the detox process from a genetic level.
- Helps in maintaining bone health
Bones in human tend to become weak with age and other factors. Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin K and calcium. Both these ingredients play pivotal roles in maintaining bone health. In fact including broccoli in the diet regularly can help in preventing problems like brittle bones, arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Boosts immune health with anti-aging effects
With abundant antioxidants in broccoli, the immune system in the body gets a natural boost. The free radicals don’t get scope to function and hence damage is combated easily. The anti-oxidants also help in reducing and fighting the various signs of aging from appearing on the skin. Thus, the skin looks young, fresh and radiant with even tone and texture.
- Powerhouse of many vitamins and minerals
It is quite interesting to note that broccoli is considered as one of the most nutritious vegetables available in the market. As per CNN, broccoli is regarded as the ‘mother lode’ of all basic nutrients. It has been found that the amount of vitamin C that boiled broccoli has is way higher than that of an orange. The amount of calcium that broccoli has, equals to a glass of milk. Along with these, broccoli is also an abundant source of vitamin A (mainly beta-carotene), magnesium, fiber and great amounts of folic acid. With so many nutrients found in one food, broccoli is indeed a super food.
There are many ways in which broccoli can be cooked and included in the diet. Broccoli can be used in soups, salads and in other variations and consumed three times a day too. It can be steamed or eaten raw as per one’s preference. Moreover, the price of this amazing vegetable is quite reasonable and can be afforded by general people easily.