Broccoli is a green vegetable, catalogued by experts as a superfood. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean and it has been described as the vegetable of higher nutritional value per weight unit of any edible product. It is almost the perfect food, having many uses, benefits, and versatility when it comes to its consumption. It has anti-cancer properties, is a good source of minerals, has almost no fat and is a rich source of many antioxidants.
WHY EAT BROCCOLI?
Broccoli is so rich that it is difficult to summarize all its benefits, but one of the highlight traits of this rich vegetable is being the best source of a chemical called ‘sulforaphane’, a compound that prevents free radicals from breaking down in our body, slowing down the cellular ageing process.
THE BROCCOLI BROADCAST
BROCCOLI CAN HELP PREVENT CANCER
Broccoli may prove to be a natural wonder drug for many types of cancer, in particular, the ones located in the internal organs. That being said, it is particularly beneficial for breast cancer and uterine cancer, since it also removes extra oestrogen from the body.
This is due to the presence of strong anti-carcinogenic compounds like glucoraphanin, diindolylmethane, beta-carotene, selenium and other nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E, zinc, potassium and certain amino acids, which are also good anti-cancer agents.
BROCCOLI CAN HELP YOU TO DETOX
The presence of vitamin-C, sulphur and certain amino acids make broccoli one of the greatest detoxifiers. It removes free radicals and toxins like uric acid from the body, thereby purifying the blood and keeping away problems related to toxins such as boils, itches, rashes, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, and kidney stones.
BROCCOLI CAN HEP YOUR SKIN
The credit for keeping our skin glowing and young goes to antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin-C, as well as vitamin B complex, vitamin E , vitamin A & K, omega 3 fatty acids , amino acids and folate present in the broccoli. They all take very good care of our skin, hair, and nails and leave them glowing, healthy, and radiant. Furthermore, glucoraphanin, one of the phytonutrients found in significant amounts in broccoli, has been connected with reversing the negative effects of sun exposure, so we can turn back the clock on our skin by eating plenty of this beneficial vegetable!
BROCCOLI CAN HELP SOOTHE YOUR TUMMY
Broccoli is very rich in fibre, the primary dietary ingredient that can relieve constipation – which is the root of almost all stomach disorders. The magnesium and the vitamins present in the broccoli cure acidity, facilitate proper digestion and aid in the absorption of nutrients.
Tummy’s are soothed by aiding inflammation.
BROCCOLI CAN KEEP YOUR HEART STRONG
Apart from the antioxidants mentioned above, broccoli has a very high fibre content, along with significant levels of beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and other vitamins. They all reduce bad cholesterol and keep the heart functioning properly by regulating blood pressure. When we steam broccoli, studies have shown that the fibre components combine better with bile, making it much easier and efficient to excrete. Reducing bile has a strong impact on cholesterol levels, thereby helping our heart health. Furthermore, the potassium found in broccoli is a vasodilator that can boost blood flow and oxygenation of essential organs by relaxing tension and stress of veins and blood vessels.
BROCCOLI CAN HELP YOU SEE BETTER
Zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, vitamin A, phosphorus and other vitamins such as B complex, vitamin C and E found in broccoli are very good for ocular health. These substances protect eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts, while also repairing the damage from by radiation.
BROCCOLI CAN HELP WITH BIG STRONG BONES!
Being very rich in calcium and other nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus, eating broccoli can be very beneficial, particularly for children, old people, and lactating mothers. That’s because these are the people most prone to osteoporosis, weakening of bones and teeth, and calcium deficiency. Since broccoli is so rich and full of nutrients, it can become essential for a pregnant women’s nutritional needs. Furthermore, the folate content in broccoli helps to ensures that there are no birth defects, such as neural tube defects, which are a major problem for pregnant mothers who suffer from folic acid deficiency.
BROCCOLI CAN KEEP YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE LOW
An important mineral, chromium, found abundantly in broccoli, regulates the proper functioning of insulin and blood sugar levels, thereby regulating blood pressure as well. The vitamins, which make all our systems function properly and are found in abundance in broccoli, along with fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, help to regulate blood pressure even more.
BROCCOLI CAN HELP ANAEMIA
Anaemia is directly related to a lack of iron and certain proteins. Broccoli is rich in both of these and hence forms an excellent remedy against anaemia. When we eat Broccoli, our blood travels powerfully through our body, spreading oxygen and nutrients to keep our systems functioning at a high level. Copper is also found in broccoli, which is another mineral that, along with iron, is essential for the production of red blood cells.
HOW TO GET MORE BROCCOLI INTO YOUR DIET
Select the small and compact clusters of broccoli as these contain the most concentrated form of nutritional benefits. Choose bright green-purple and form stems – and reject offerings with open flowers or are soft and turning yellow.
Steam or boil broccoli, alone of with other veg. Start by rinsing rather submerging to clean to avoid losing nutrients.
The stem is packed full of goodness, peel this too and include in your meals for extra nutrients.
Cooking broccoli – as with any vegetable – can create a loss of nutrients. Utilise the stem or boil water to form the base of soups or for cooking pasta or rice.
Although broccoli clearly has a wealth of health benefits associated with it, there is always room for caution. For some people, contact with broccoli can cause an allergic rash, as some of the powerful compounds in the vegetable can be irritating to the skin. Other than that, eating broccoli in moderation can be an aid for several diseases and medical conditions that are usually treated with traditional medicine.
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