Broccoli is one of those vegetables that a lot of people cringe at the thought of eating. However, if you truly knew just how powerful of a veggie it truly was then you might think twice at turning your nose up at it. It is one food that can have a positive impact in various areas of the body that might make you think twice. A simple resolution of consuming more broccoli can have a profound benefit to your overall health that should make the effort to get over the bland taste worth it in the end.
As one of the healthiest vegetables, nutritionists and health organizations recommend that you eat it several times a week. You can either eat broccoli raw or steamed for 4- 5 minutes. Extended cooking destroys most of the essential nutrients, and you should avoid it. Broccoli is an abundant source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Selenium, Phosphorous, Potassium, and Magnesium.
Broccoli is also a potent source of dietary fibers, Vitamin K, Folate, Sulforaphane, Chromium, and Vitamin B6. The chemical compounds indole- 3- carbinols, glucoraphanin, and carotenoid lutein are also potent in broccoli. Some of the health benefits of this vegetable include:
1. A Healthy Heart
Sulforaphane in broccoli helps to prevent or even reverse damaged blood vessel linings caused by inflammation. Carotenoid Lutein is known to prevent the rate of arterial thickening thus limiting heart diseases and stroke. Vitamin B6 and Folate in broccoli are also useful in preventing stroke, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis.
2. Anti- Cancer
Broccoli has robust anti-carcinogens such as beta-carotene, Sulforaphane, Selenium, Indoles, and other phytonutrients. Research shows that indole-3- carbinols assists to convert estrogen from a more potent form to a less strong one, thus prevent the growth of tumors, especially in the breast. Studies have also shown that indole-3-carbinols increases the level of 2- hydroxy estrone, a form of protective cancer estrogen.
Indole-3- carbinols not only prevents breast cancer growth but curbs the movement of cancerous cells to other body parts. Sulforaphane provides protection to people whose genes are colon-cancer susceptible. Studies have shown that anti-cancer properties can be increased when paired with Myrosinase enzyme containing foods such as horseradish, mustard, and wasabi.
3. Immune System
Ascorbic acid, the substance that gives broccoli a purple or green color, beta-carotene, and other minerals such as phosphorous, selenium, copper, zinc, and other trace minerals are powerful immune boosters. An occasional cup of broccoli will be enough to bolster your immune system and resist infections.
The presence of amino acids, Vitamin C, and sulfur makes broccoli a perfect detoxifier. It contains twice as much Vitamin C as in an orange, and this gives it potent antioxidant properties in clearing toxins such as uric acid from the body and keep problems related to toxins such as rashes, gout, itches, boils, rheumatism, arthritis, and so forth, at bay.
Vitamin C in broccoli not only fights free radicals but acts as an antihistamine to ease the common cold discomfort and helps you to live longer.
5. Nervous System
The high amount of potassium in broccoli helps you to maintain a healthy nervous system and assists in promoting an optimal brain function. Potassium also helps to promote muscle growth.
6. Promotes Digestion
Constipation is the origin of a myriad of stomach complications. Broccoli has high fiber content which helps you prevent constipation and get rid of a majority of stomach ailments. High fiber content in broccoli also helps to curb overeating and maintain the level of blood sugars. A cup of broccoli contains as much protein as a cup of corn or rice but with half calories.
Magnesium and Vitamins found in broccoli help to get rid of the stomach acidity aids your digestion and assists the body in absorbing nutrients from the food.
7. Bone Health
Broccoli has as much calcium as whole milk. In addition to this, the Vitamin K also present helps in bone formation. The vegetable is helpful to kids, expectant mothers, seniors, and people at the risk of osteoporosis.
Vitamin A in broccoli helps to promote the retinol molecules formation and enhances color vision. Lutein helps to lower the risk of cataracts that comes with aging.
9. Blood Pressure and Sun Damage
Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium are an essential blood pressure regulators. Glucoraphanin is instrumental in repairing sun damaged skins and in assisting the skin to detoxify itself.
10. Fights Aging
Vitamin E in broccoli is one of the most important Vitamins in the fight against aging and keeping you vitalised. The powerful fat soluble antioxidant helps to clean the arteries, rejuvenate the immune system, and slow down blood and brain aging.
11. Fights Depression
Folate deficiency can cause problems like poor memory, fatigue, depression, and schizophrenia (a mental condition). You can keep these problems at bay by consuming broccoli.
I found myself in the same boat as folks who just did not like the taste of this green vegetables. But if you exercise a little creativity, then it is much more palatable. If you do not like eating your vegetables, then juicing is one alternative. Adding a few florets of broccoli into your juicer will enable you to get most of the benefits while covering up the taste with other sweeter ingredients. This is the way that I consume most of my broccoli and it has worked great. It’s been the best of both worlds. I get the nutrition without having to really taste it. Broccoli is best raw as extended exposure to heat will break down the nutrients and you will lose some of its health aspects. This is why we always recommend juicing them. Even if you drown them in your favorite salad dressing, getting more broccoli into your diet is always a good idea.