Top Ten Benefits of Broccoli
Broccoli is a nutrient and fiber rich low-calorie vegetable. It belongs to the cruciferous family. It is a low G.I vegetable and a good source of many nutrients like- Vit K, C, E, A, B-6, B-5, B-2, B-1, B-3, folate, chromium, phosphorus, manganese, choline, potassium, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, selenium, omega-3-fatty acids and proteins. It has many health benefits and it reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, hypertension and gastrointestinal diseases.
Nutrient content of 100 gram of Broccoli
Benefits of Broccoli:
- Cancer Prevention: Broccoli boosts our immune system and acts as a good anticancer agent because of the presence of anticarcinogenic compounds like glucoraphanin, diindolylmethane, beta-carotene, selenium and other nutrients like Vit-C, A, E , zinc, potassium and other amino acids. It lowers the risk of stomach and intestinal cancers, lungs, colon, kidneys, uterus, prostrate. Broccoli contains folate which reduces the risk of breast cancer.
- Cholesterol Reduction and Heart Health: Broccoli consists of glucoraphanin, a healthy compound, and soluble fiber which helps to remove cholesterol from our body by binding cholesterol to it and thus excreted easily from the body. It also lowers the production of LDL, bad cholesterol as it contains omega-3-fatty acids and also maintains homocysteine levels in the blood due to its B-complex vitamin content. Broccoli contains phytochemical sulforaphane i.e. the Isothiocyanates which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and thus reduce the damage of blood vessels and hence prevents against high blood sugar and heart diseases.
- Reducing Allergic reaction and Inflammation: Broccoli contains two anti-inflammatory compounds such as kaempferol and isothiocyanates which lessens` allergic production substances into the body by blocking enzymes to produce inflammation. It also contains a fair amount of Omega-3-fatty acids and flavonoids which also acts as anti-inflammatory agent.
- Powerful Antioxidant: Broccoli is rich in antioxidants like Vit C, flavonoids, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. Vit C protects against the damage results due to sun and pollution and checks wrinkles and is also important for collagen formation which supports our skin. Vit A and Vit-E has anti-aging effects and keeps our skin healthy.
- Bone Health: Broccoli prevents from osteoporosis by improving bone health as it is rich in calcium. It has Vit-K which improves calcium absorption and thus maintains a healthy bone.
- Digestive Health: Its soluble fiber content helps in digestion and relieves from constipation. It reduces overeating as it produces bulk to the diet. It also maintains healthy bacteria levels of our intestines and acts as probiotics.
- Blood Pressure and Kidney Health: It contains sulforaphane which regulates blood pressure and kidney function. Broccoli contains a vasodilator i.e. potassium which can increase the blood flow and oxygenates the organs.
- Detoxification: Phytochemicals, Vit-C, sulfur and amino acids of broccoli helps in purification of blood from toxins and prevents us from problems like boils, itches, rashes, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, renal calculi, eczema etc.
- Eye Care: Broccoli consists of antioxidant lutein and zeaxanthin which is beneficial for healthy eyes and fight against macular degeneration like blurring of eyes, cataracts, and clouding of eyes.’
- Anemia and Pregnancy: Broccoli protects from anemia as it is rich in iron, protein, and copper whose deficiency is related to anemia. Though Broccoli is full of nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamins, antioxidants, folate , iron, phosphorus, and fibers and also acts as detoxifiers thus it is good for pregnant women.
Avoid this beneficial vegetable if we are taking blood thinner medications like warfarin, citron as broccoli contains enough Vit-K which helps in blood clotting. Not advisable for low residue diet and gastritis patients as it irritates bowel due to its high fiber content.
Better to be taken in a diet in raw salads with vinegar, salt,and olive oils, steamed and sauté form or in soups to get its nutritional value. Overcooking and frying destroys its vitamins and other nutrients.