Amazing Health Benefits Of Broccoli You Should Know
Did you know that one cup of broccoli every day can give you enough Vitamin C to prevent you from infections such as cold, flu, fever, injuries, etc. It also helps you recover quickly from your existing infections and get going as soon as possible.
Broccoli, which belongs to the cauliflower family, is a simple and tasty vegetable that adds flavor to your soups, curries, pizzas and more. Apart from adding taste to your dishes, broccoli also brings a lot of nutrients to the table. It is a type of comfort food that you can cook easily in different forms to make your dishes non-monotonous.
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Top Broccoli Benefits
Here is a look at some of the top broccoli benefits, which will make you enjoy this vegetable better than before.
1. Packed with nutrients
If you are looking at a single vegetable that comes packed with a load of nutrients, broccoli is a great choice for you. It can be eaten raw as well as cooked. Even when you cook it, you can opt for different techniques to make it tasty and attractive.
When you eat one cup of raw broccoli, you will get a decent percentage of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, Vitamins A, C, K & B9, potassium, phosphorus and selenium that you require per day.
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Out of all these nutrients, Vitamins C and K are found in plenty in this vegetable. One cup of raw broccoli will give you 135% of your daily required dose of Vitamin C and 116% your daily dose of Vitamin K. Ensure that you use as little oil as possible when you cook broccoli. It is highly recommended that you steam-cook or slightly sauté the vegetables to ensure that the nutrient content is retained.
2. Makes you less prone to certain cancers
Though there aren’t conclusive studies conducted in this area, it is true that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli have bioactive compounds in them that delay cell damage in humans and make them less prone to various types of cancer.
Some generic studies conducted on cruciferous vegetables have proved that they do make one less prone to breast cancer, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, renal cancer, prostate cancer and cancers of the bladder.
3. Reduces inflammation in the tissues
Tests on animals and test-tube studies have shown that the bioactive compounds in broccoli can help to reduce the inflammation in the tissues in your body. Kaempferol, a flavonoid (bioactive compound) found in broccoli was found to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties when it was tested on animals.
Though no human experiments have been conducted so far to prove this fact, these animal tests and test-tube studies are quite motivating for you to include this powerful vegetable in your meals regularly. When a group of smokers was asked to eat broccoli regularly, it was noticed that there was an obvious reduction in the inflammation markers in their body after consuming this vegetable for a specific period.
4. Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are very useful in keeping one healthy. They prevent the cells from getting damaged from free radicals. Since cell damage is prevented, you will notice less inflammation in your tissues as well, when you include broccoli in your regular meals. Broccoli contains a lot of powerful antioxidants that provide you a bunch of health benefits.
One of the most prominent compounds found in broccoli is glucoraphanin. This compound, during digestion, becomes an antioxidant known as sulforaphane. Animal studies and test-tube studies have been conducted on this exact antioxidant to understand more about its benefits. The results of these studies were quite promising.
Sulforaphane was believed to bring about various health benefits such as controlling blood sugar, managing blood pressure and keeping cholesterol levels under check, and preventing damage from oxidative stress and other issues. While detailed studies on humans are yet to be understood in this matter, we do have enough reasons to start eating broccoli regularly.
Apart from this, broccoli also contains two important antioxidants – lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to keep your eyes healthy and free from muscle degeneration, cataract, and other related problems.
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5. Helps to control blood sugar fluctuations
If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, it is highly recommended that you include broccoli regularly in your diet. This simple vegetable is loaded with antioxidants and fiber content, which helps to keep your blood sugar in control at all times.
Studies have proved that when people with Type 2 Diabetes consumed broccoli sprouts for a month, their insulin resistance levels decreased considerably. Animal studies have also proved that broccoli helps to decrease blood sugar levels to a considerable extent.
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6. Makes you less prone to cardiac ailments
The antioxidants and the powerful bioactive compounds in broccoli help to improve the good cholesterol (HDL) in your body and keep the bad cholesterol (LDL) at bay. Eating broccoli regularly will also reduce the level of triglycerides in your blood. These are the risk factors that make you susceptible to heart diseases.
In a study, the HDL and LDL levels along with the triglycerides levels of a group of people were taken before they were given a broccoli sprout supplement and after they ate this supplement. The blood results were taken after the people ate this supplement showed that the LDL levels and triglycerides had considerably reduced whereas the HDL had increased to a reasonable extent.
Therefore, regular consumption of broccoli makes you less risky to cardiac ailments, strokes, damages to the cardiac tissues and other serious health ailments.
7. Keeps your gut healthy
When you consume broccoli regularly, you will stay free from gut-related problems such as indigestion, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea and the like. You will notice a considerable improvement in the overall digestive health of your body along with the healthy functioning of your colon. This is because broccoli is rich in fiber. Fiber not only keeps your digestive system healthy but also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria inside, which helps you to have a smooth and regular bowel movement at all times.
8. Good for your mental health as well
Broccoli is packed with nutrients, bioactive compounds, and antioxidants that keep your brain healthy and young. Tests conducted on rats proved that the compound called kaempferol present in broccoli could reduce the risk of brain inflammation and injuries to the brain.
Also, the antioxidant, sulforaphane present in broccoli helps to improve the functioning of the brain even when there isn’t sufficient oxygen circulation. This antioxidant helps in restoring brain tissues and reducing inflammation to the nerves in the event of a brain injury. A study conducted in about 1000 aged adults proved that people who ate one cup of green veggies such as broccoli every day showed lesser chances of brain fog and brain fade than others.
9. Helps in improving your overall immunity
Vitamin C plays an important role in developing the body’s immune system. Broccoli is a very rich source of Vitamin C.
One cup of broccoli every day can give you enough Vitamin C to prevent you from infections such as cold, flu, fever, injuries, etc. It also helps you recover quickly from your existing infections and get going as quickly as possible.
10. Helps in Weight Loss
All the benefits mentioned above make broccoli a great weight-loss food too. Broccoli is low in calories, and aids digestion due to its high-fiber content. Together, these two factors make it the perfect choice when you are looking for foods that help you lose weight. Eat it as part of salads for your evening meal to give your weight loss journey a healthy and tasteful boost.
These are only some of the main health benefits of broccoli that you should be aware of. There are plenty of other benefits associated with this simple vegetable that you can explore when you include it regularly in your meal plan.
Remember to cook it properly (only light cooking) with steam or few drops of oil to ensure that you get the maximum benefits of this powerful vegetable and stay healthy.