Yes, these veggies that look like mini trees are indeed notorious for being one of those vegetables that’s always being pushed off little kids’ plates around the world. But then again, there’s no denying the fact that broccoli is one of the healthiest veggies there is in the planet.
Broccoli belongs to what is called the cruciferous veggie group—the one that includes kale, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, turnips, rutabaga and collard greens. These veggies can supply a load of nutrients for very little calories. If you’re aiming to eat healthy, then these veggies should be on top of your grocery list.
The Health Benefits of Broccoli
Intake of vegetables and fruits of any kind have long been established to aid greatly in reducing the risks of various lifestyle-related health dilemmas. A number of studies have revealed that an increase in the consumption of plant-based foods like broccoli lessens the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity as well as overall mortality while promoting better skin complexion, lower weight and increase in energy.
Broccoli and Cancer
Consuming high amounts of cruciferous veggies has been established to lower the incidences of developing colon and lung cancers. It is said that the sulforaphane (a sulphur-containing compound which renders the vegetables their bitter taste) content of these vegetables are what makes them great in battling cancer. Research has shown that sulforaphane can stop the growth of the HDAC enzyme (histone deacetylase) which is known to be involved in the replication and activity of cancer cells. Currently, a number of research are being conducted with the aim of studying the said compound’s capacity to delay the growth of cancer cells with very promising results being shown against esophageal, pancreatic, prostate cancers as well as melanoma.
Broccoli and Bone Health
Bone fractures often happen as a result of Vitamin K deficiency, something that can be easily resolved by regular intake of broccoli. A cup of chopped broccoli can contain about 92 mcg of Vitamin K which is beyond a person’s recommended daily nutritional intake. By consuming enough vitamin K, you are improving your bone health, thanks to an improvement in your body’s calcium absorption.
Broccoli and Aging
Broccoli contains a horde of antioxidants—chemicals that bind the harmful free radicals in the body. These free radicals are the precursor to premature skin aging and sagging which makes you look older in the outside. It is also rich in Vitamin C which is important in the production of collagen—the skin’s main support system. Vitamins A and E are also crucial nutrients in maintaining good looking skin—both of which broccoli can easily provide.
Broccoli and Natural Body Detox
Fiber aids in digestion and prevents the occurrence of constipation. Broccoli has a rich supply of fiber, and eating that can promote regularity in terms of excreting toxins off the body through the passage of bile and stools. Dietary fiber also has a role in boosting a person’s immune system and reduces instances of inflammation.
Broccoli and Chronic Diseases
According to the University of Kentucky’s Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Science Program, intake of high doses of dietary fiber can help significantly help in lowering the instances of developing hypertension, stroke, coronary heart diseases, obesity, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
Increased intake of fiber is also effective in maintaining good cholesterol levels and lowering the blood pressure. It can also enhance weight loss in overweight individuals and aid in improving insulin sensitivity.