Health Benefits of Broccoli | Recipes | References |

Broccoli is a common vegetable found in kitchens today and for good reason. It contains a wide variety of essential vitamins and minerals allowing your body to heal itself naturally. Vitamins A, C, folic acid, fiber and calcium, are just a few of the important nutrients that broccoli possesses. Broccoli is so healthy that it’s been known to be helpful in cancer prevention. The American Cancer Society recommends eating broccoli and similar cancer-killer cruciferous vegetables several times a week for the best protection. Other cruciferous vegetables include, bok choy, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Swiss chard, and Brussel sprouts. A family of phytochemicals called isothiocyanates are commonly found in these types of vegetables and they have strong healing abilities.

 

Broccoli fights cancer 

It does this by lowering oxidative stress with the help of isothiocyanates. A poor diet, environmental exposure, and heavy metals are all known cancer causers and isothiocyantes are great for neutralizing the damage caused by these factors. Studies show that high-antioxidant foods like cruciferous veggies inhibit cancerous tumor growth and stop DNA damage from occurring. This is especially apparent in colon, prostate, gastrointestinal, breast, lung and other cancers. Sulforaphane, another powerful compound in broccoli is the most potent inducer of phase 2 enzymes of any known phytochemical and helps reduce the risk of some of the deadliest forms of cancer, including prostate cancer. This also helps remove unwanted and dangerous toxins from the body by enhancing the body’s natural detoxification process. Unregulated estrogen levels are common factors for development of breast and cervical cancers. Men also experience health problems from too much estrogen and broccoli is significantly beneficial at regulating this hormone.

 

Improves the quality of your skin 

Broccoli promotes health skin thanks to its high levels of vitamin C and Vitamin A which can prevent wrinkles, skin cancer, and skin inflammation. UV damage from the sun can also cause age spots and skin cell damage. The health promoting effects of broccoli can help protect your skin from too much sun exposure.

 

Protects the eyes 

UV light can also cause retina damage and can lead to macular degeneration. A carotenoid called lutein is responsible for this protective effect. It also contains zeaxanthin, another carotenoid with protective abilities. A diet rich in antioxidants and essential vitamins is crucial for maintain eye health and preventing blindness.

 

Broccoli helps maintain strong bones

It is a great source of vitamin K, calcium, magnesium and potassium, which are essential for healthy bones, nails and teeth. It is argued that vitamin K can actually build bones better than calcium. In just one cup of broccoli there is over 270 percent of your daily vitamin K needs. Vitamin K and vitamin D work synergistically to positively impact bone metabolism. Researchers also found that a vitamin K deficiency or vitamin D deficiency increases risks for bone-related diseases. Osteoporosis is a life debilitating problem as we age and adding broccoli into your diet is a great way to prevent this from happening and lessen the symptoms for those already suffering.

 

Aiding in weight loss 

is another great benefit of including broccoli into your diet. It is one of the most nutrient dense foods providing many nutrients to help you maintain and regulate a healthy metabolism. The detoxifying properties of broccoli and its high levels of fiber can help remove harmful and heavy waste from your body. It has low calories but can provide a good amount of energy to help you live an active lifestyle. The water content also helps keep you feeling full longer and this results in less food cravings.

 

Having a healthy heart 

is crucial for overall health. Heart disease affects millions of people every year and is one of the biggest killers today. The high fiber content is great for lowering cholesterol fast and effectively. The sulforaphane in broccoli can also improve blood pressure levels and improve kidney function as well. Lutein present in broccoli can prevent thickening of the arteries and plaque buildup that can lead to a heart attack. The mineral and vitamin contents also help to fight inflammation and free radical damage in the blood vessels.

 

Improving digestive and gut health 

is important for proper absorption of essential nutrients. Broccoli helps to optimize this process through its sulforaphane content. High fiber foods like broccoli help prevent constipation and helps with other digestive disorders as well.  Researchers found that when mice are fed diets high in broccoli; they experience reduced gastric bacterial colonization, lower expression of tumor growth and inflammation, and higher antioxidant activity that increases immunity.

 


REFERENCES 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19349290

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21593509

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23902242


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