Is broccoli the healthiest vegetable? It’s definitely near the top of the list thanks to all the nutrition broccoli provides. Ask any nutritionist, doctor, naturopath, or nutrition researcher for their personal list of the most nutrient-dense foods, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are sure to be on it. It’s no wonder, considering broccoli is a royal vegetable: loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
What are the proven benefits of broccoli? It’s hard to know where to start.
What is broccoli?
Broccoli is technically an edible green plant in the cabbage family, part of the large plant family called Brassica oleracea. Because it’s closely related to cabbage and has many of the same nutritional benefits, the word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means “the flowery crest of a cabbage.”
What are the benefits of broccoli?
As a member of the cruciferous (brassica) family, the same family that includes other green vegetables like bok choy, cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard, broccoli is an excellent source of phytochemicals called isothiocyanates which fight damage caused by free radicals. Apart from isothiocyanates, this vegetable also contains sulforaphanes and indoles, two types of powerful antioxidants and detoxifying enzyme stimulators that protect cells and DNA structure. It also contains glucosinolates, carotenoids, chlorophyll, vitamins E and K, essential minerals, phenolic compounds, etc.
The little story of broccoli
Broccoli was first cultivated as an edible plant in the northern Mediterranean region around the sixth century BC. From the time of the Roman Empire, it was considered a valuable food. exceptional for health and longevity. Although it may be considered a recent vegetable, today broccoli is enjoyed all over the world, and it is eaten in almost every cuisine, be it Indian, Japanese, American or French. Today, the largest broccoli producers are China, India, Italy, Mexico, France, Poland, and the United States.
Top 7 Health Benefits of Broccoli
Why is broccoli healthy for your body? Research links broccoli nutrition and consumption of cruciferous vegetables to numerous health benefits.
1. Helps Fight Cancer
Why is broccoli a cancer prevention superfood? As you have just learned, it is one of the best sources of isothiocyanate compounds that fight cancer by reducing oxidative stress, protecting cell mitochondrial function, neutralizing carcinogens and fighting toxins. They do this by reducing the toxic effects of toxins from poor diet, environmental exposure, heavy metals, and the aging process.
Isothiocyanates work by stimulating the release of special “carcinogen-killing chemicals” that speed the elimination of toxins from the body. Numerous studies show that foods high in antioxidants, such as cruciferous vegetables, inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors and prevent DNA damage. They are therefore known to significantly reduce the risk of colon, bladder, prostate, breast and other cancers.
Along with offering high levels of isothiocyanates, broccoli is also valuable for cancer prevention due to its high levels of a phytochemical called sulforaphane. This disease-preventing compound increases the activation of enzymes known as phase 2 enzymes that powerfully fight carcinogens in the body. In fact, sulforaphane is the strongest phase 2 enzyme inducer of all known phytochemicals and it helps reduce the risk of some of the deadliest forms of cancer, including prostate cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables are linked to a reduced risk of breast and cervical cancer, which makes them especially important for women. This is due to their effects on estrogen in the body.
Try to eat cruciferous vegetables several times a week for better protection. Eating broccoli improves the body’s ability to fight cancer in a variety of ways, including providing antioxidants, regulating enzymes, and controlling apoptosis and cell cycles.
2. Maintaining a strong frame
Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin K, calcium, magnesium and potassium, which are essential for healthy bones, nails and teeth. High levels of vitamin K and iron are essential for maintaining bone mineral density (along with having many other benefits like promoting blood health and boosting your energy levels).
Some even say that vitamin K builds bones better than calcium, and just one cup of broccoli provides more than 270% of your daily vitamin K needs. Human studies have shown that vitamin K and vitamin D work together to positively impact bone metabolism and that vitamin K or vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of bone-related diseases. Vitamin K also has a positive effect on the balance of calcium, a key mineral in bone metabolism.
3. Maintain Heart Health
Why eat broccoli if you want to protect your heart? Eating broccoli benefits heart health in multiple ways, including preventing heart attacks and strokes and keeping arteries clear, in addition to correcting high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Epidemiological studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition easily show that a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, is correlated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The high fiber content of broccoli is excellent for lowering cholesterol naturally and quickly. It prevents cholesterol from entering your bloodstream by binding to it and removing it from the body.
Sulforaphane can also significantly improve high blood pressure levels as well as kidney function, while the compound called lutein found in this vegetable can prevent thickening of the arteries and plaque buildup that can lead to cardiac arrest.
Is broccoli anti-inflammatory? Yes, it contains high levels of minerals important for reducing inflammation, fighting free radical damage, and protecting cardiovascular health. These include calcium, potassium and magnesium. For example, it is well known that calcium plays an essential role in maintaining healthy and strong bones, but it also helps in blood clotting and the proper functioning of muscles and nerves.
4. Improves Intestinal and Digestive Health
In addition to supporting heart health, foods high in fiber also keep the digestive system healthy.
Does broccoli make you have a bowel movement? He can definitely help you. Eating whole foods as part of a high-fiber diet promotes regular bowel movements, better gut and colon health, a more alkaline digestive tract (which boosts immunity), and the prevention of constipation, IBS and other digestive disorders.
The sulforaphane isothiocyanate compounds found in abundance in broccoli also powerfully fight harmful bacteria in the gut and prevent oxidation that can lead to cancer in the digestive organs. Studies have found that when mice are fed broccoli-rich diets, they exhibit reduced gastric bacterial colonization, lower expression of tumor growth and inflammation, and higher antioxidant activity which increases immunity . The broccoli diet further supports the body’s natural detoxification processes through its phytonutrients glucoraphanin, gluconasturtian and glucobrassicin, which contribute to liver function.
5. Maintain healthy eyes and vision
A lesser-known benefit of eating broccoli is that it keeps your eyes free from age-related disorders. It has a positive impact on eye health thanks to its high levels of carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for eye health and maintaining good vision into old age. They help protect night vision and prevent UV damage to the retina and cornea of the eye. Eating a diet rich in foods that provide antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin A is a natural way to prevent macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in older people.
6. Promote Healthy Skin
Want to maintain healthy, youthful-looking skin even in old age? Thanks to its sulforaphane which helps repair skin damage, eating broccoli benefits the look, feel and health of the skin. Its high levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin C prevent collagen breakdown, skin cancer, UV damage, wrinkles and skin inflammation. Additionally, a vitamin A derivative found in broccoli, beta-carotene, is essential for immune system function and has been shown to help fight cancer, including skin cancer.
7. Aids in weight loss
Why is broccoli good for dieters? Because it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods on Earth. A cup of this cooked vegetable has just over 50 calories, but a healthy dose of fiber, protein and detoxifying phytochemicals.
Is broccoli a carbohydrate? As a fiber-rich complex carbohydrate, broccoli is an excellent choice for supporting balanced blood sugar levels, continued energy, and feelings of fullness. Want to know the secret to losing weight fast? Include more high-volume, low-calorie, high-nutrition foods in your meals.
Broccoli is a very bulky food due to its high water content. It therefore takes up space in your stomach and eliminates food cravings or excess food without adding calories to meals.
Can you eat broccoli every day?
Some people are concerned about eating large amounts of cruciferous vegetables and their effects on thyroid health. Fortunately, there is nothing to worry about.
According to research, it would take a large amount of cruciferous vegetables to cause any type of hypothyroidism. It also appears to be a risk primarily for people with an existing iodine deficiency. If you have a thyroid problem, eat cooked cruciferous vegetables and limit them to one or two servings a day. Otherwise, most people stand to gain from eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables.