Broccoli… a much known word for Americans is now a hot new topic for many other parts of the world also. In Countries like Europe, America, and Australia it is very common vegetable, but the vegetable has gained popularity in last few years over many other regions of the world including Asia and UAE regions primarily. The reason behind its popularity is the health benefits this powerful nutrient house veggie has to offer. So, on special demand of people who have just come across this veggie I am writing this, because they are damn curious to know the nutritional benefits and health benefits of this veggie. No doubt many of you might be aware of the benefits broccoli offers, but yet reading this will surely be worth for you as well.
The alphabet ‘B’ of Broccoli actually denotes the Benefits – benefits it has to offer for your overall health, starting from the strand of hair to the toe of your foot. It is beneficial for each and every part of body. The health benefits of broccoli are derived from the unique mixture of nutrients, organic compounds, minerals, and vitamins that are found in broccoli and healthy phytonutrients. Broccoli is rich in both forms of dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble, an exceptional source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, potassium and vitamin A. It has a good amount of protein also, and is also packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants. Not just this, broccoli also contains additional nutrients like magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, calcium in good amount and a little zinc and iron. Above all these common nutrients broccoli is also a good source of unique organic compounds called phytonutrient, glucosinolates, flavonoids, and various other antioxidant compounds that are really magical for health.
With all these nutrients broccoli has got a lot of gifts for the body health. Some of the proved benefits that broccoli offers are:
- Stomach Care:
Being a rich source of soluble as well as insoluble fiber, broccoli comes up as a best friend for your stomach. Insoluble fiber takes care of indigestion, it gets mixed up with the stool and ensures easy and healthy bowel movement, plus it also takes with it all the extra fat and toxins out of body. And, the soluble fiber gets mixed with the food and slower its speed, as in it gives enough time to body to get maximum nutrient content out of food and also helps absorption of nutrients. Not just it, the sulforaphane content in broccoli helps keep the stomach bacteria from becoming overgrown on the stomach wall. Thus, takes care of overall stomach health and keeps common problems like constipation, indigestion, bloating and burping away.
- Heart Health:
Apart from the fiber content mentioned above, broccoli also contains beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins that help reduce bad cholesterol levels in body. Broccoli helps lower cholesterol because the soluble fiber in the vegetable binds with the bad cholesterol in the blood and takes it out of the body with it in the form of excretion, and thus lowers the bad cholesterol levels. And these beta-carotene and fatty acids facilitates the formation of good cholesterol. Furthermore, the potassium content of broccoli boosts the blood flow and thus oxygen reaches easily to organs, thus facilitates relaxing tension and stress of veins and blood vessels. Hence, the problem of heart attack and strokes is less likely to take place.
- Keeps Cancer at Bay:
The most important benefit of eating broccoli is that it keeps the danger of getting cancer away. Many studies have proved that eating broccoli on regular basis can reduce the potential of getting infected by cancer by almost 63%. Broccoli is rich in glucoraphanin which is well known for protecting from the danger of cancer cell generation. Actually this glucoraphanin gets processed into a kind of compound capable of preventing cancer cell generation. It works by eliminating H. pylori from a human body which is known as a bacterium that triggers gastric cancer. Moreover, broccoli’s isothiocyanates, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, by working in co-ordination with beta-carotene, selenium and other nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E, zinc, potassium and certain amino acids fights the causes that may result in breast, prostate, vaginal or intestinal cancer.
- Fights Diabetes:
People with diabetes are always in the confusion whether they should eat this thing or not. It gets very difficult to maintain blood sugar level once you get diabetes. But, here’s a good news for diabetic patients, broccoli works almost similar way the way your medicine works. The main salt that is prescribed by doctors is chromium, which is found abundantly in broccoli. It helps in the proper functioning of insulin and regulates blood sugar level. So, pop some broccoli into your diet if you want to enjoy a drug free life henceforth by keeping a check on your blood sugar and blood pressure as well.
- Glowing Skin and Hair:
Broccoli is one of the best ingredients for a healthy, problem free, even toned, glowing skin. Being rich in all the minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, a flower of broccoli does more than your face wash and costly creams. Vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B complex, vitamin E along with antioxidants like beta-carotene gives shine to your skin and hair by reviving skin tissues. While vitamin A, vitamin K, omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids and folate present in the broccoli help take very good care of your skin and leave it glowing, healthy, and radiant. Furthermore, studies have also shown that glucoraphanin, the phytonutrients present in broccoli, reverses the effect of UV rays of sun on skin. Thus, prevents the darkening of complexion as well as decreases the chances of any skin problem like sun burn and skin cancer that are related to UV rays of sun.
Broccoli is unexpectedly, one of the best detoxification agents and a friend of liver. This cruciferous vegetable does boost our liver’s ability to clear chemicals from our body. Broccoli contains a number of valuable phytochemicals that are further broken down into the sulphorophanes, indole-3-carbinol and D-glucarate, which makes the process of detoxification very easy. They increase the production of bile, breaks heavy metal compound into smaller ones (the one’s capable of digestion gets digest and rest are bonded), helps the toxins and other unwanted chemicals to mix with the water and other liquid when they are on the way to excrete. They are also found to ease the burden on kidneys by refining complex compounds.
- Strengthens Immune System:
This should not come as a surprise from a vegetable which is excessively rich in so many vital vitamins, mineral and nutrients. Broccoli, thus replenishes the shortage of any sort of the nutrient in the body, and hence fights any kind of deficiency caused disease and also aids to strengthening of immune system by providing with all the required nutrients to immune system. Apart from this, broccoli also contains sulforaphane, a compound that activates antioxidant genes and enzymes that are able to fight the free radicals which are often responsible for causing a number of health ailments including cancer and these enzymes also replenish the damage that is caused by already present free radicals in body.
8. Protects Eyes:
Some studies have even claimed that broccoli is better than carrots for eyes because from maintaining the eye sight, to fighting cataract, AMD, and night blindness broccoli takes care of all. Being rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, another carotenoid broccoli takes care of eyesight. Lutein, found in broccoli is stored in the retinas and lenses of your eyes, where it absorbs harmful blue light and protects the macula from light-induced damage. Not just it, Vitamin C content gets concentrated in eye fluids, where it acts as an antioxidant to protect your eyes from light-induced damage. And it also provides eyes with the required nutrients which tackle the problem of muscular degeneration which is often seen as a result of growing age.
9. Good during pregnancy:
Being so nutritious broccoli is a food that all pregnant women needs. Broccoli is full of nutrients which are essential for pregnant women, such as proteins, calcium, vitamins, antioxidants, iron, phosphorus and many others which make broccoli an ideal component of diet. Out of all these nutrients the one which makes it an ideal food for pregnant women as well as their babies is the folate content in it. This folate ensures that there are no birth defects in unborn baby, such as neural tube defects, which is most likely in women suffering deficiency of folate. Furthermore, the calcium and phosphorus along with vitamin K ensures less painful and safe delivery by providing required strength to the bones of pregnant women. Studies have also found that the antioxidants and phytochemicals of broccoli provide resistance from any kind of disease and pollution to the unborn baby.
The above mentioned reasons were I guess enough for the researchers who have made broccoli one of the top 5 healthiest vegetable. And these benefits are not just it; there are also other innumerable benefits that one can reap from this super veggie because being rich in nutrients it provides body with all it requires and helps overcome a number of diseases that are related to the deficiency of certain nutrient.
But everything gives its best when enjoyed in limit. So, there is a room of caution that being so rich in nutrients and antioxidants some people might develop allergy to it (very rare). Still prevention is always better than cure.
Your mind to have broccoli just changed?? Come back… I haven’t told this to stop you from eating broccoli, but I have just mentioned that there could be some short comings to it as it could be a case with any other veggie in the world, so don’t worry and just ask your mother to prepare broccoli. And another important thing that I almost forgot to tell you is overcooking broccoli just for taste might led to depletion of nutrient content in it. The best to have it could be to have it raw in the form of salad or to shallow fry it or steam it because doing this will preserve the nutrients contained in them.
Once you start enjoying its benefit, then do comment and share these benefits because as I always say sharing is caring.
Eat Natural…!! Stay Healthy..!!