Health Secrets of Broccoli that you need to know!
Broccoli is a key part of a healthy diet for majority of the people around the world, and while broccoli is hugely loved for its unique taste and crunchiness, most people don’t even realize the Health Secrets of Broccoli, it prevents various types of cancer, improves eye health, and helps you to shed your extra pounds.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and is a very rich source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
However, thanks to its nutritional value, broccoli can also be called as the ”Queen of a Healthy Diet!”
You’ve probably heard your friends bluster about how happy or stable they feel after having a piece of broccoli or how they managed to slim down having broccoli as part of their healthy diet, and judging by the long list of health benefits broccoli offers, your friends have a point!
Interesting Facts about Broccoli?
- Broccoli name was derived from the Italian word “broccalo”, which means “cabbage sprout”.
- The most common type of broccoli is Calabrese broccoli – named after Calabria (Italy), its place of origin.
- If you want to eliminate the smell of broccoli, you can add a slice of bread to the pot.
- California produces almost the entire broccoli consumed in the United States.
- And though available all year round, the vegetable is most nutritious from October to May.
- Broccoli was brought to America by Thomas Jefferson. In 1767, he imported the seeds from Italy and planted them in his own garden.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
The antioxidants are present in broccoli in great amount which plays a major role in preventing inflammatory diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Broccoli also improves liver health and helps body detoxification. Find out about the potential broccoli benefits for your overall health.
Helps Prevent Cancer
This vegetable contains glucosinolates, which is a type of chemical that has sulfur. During cooking, chewing, and digestion, these glucosinolates are mash down to form biologically active compounds. One of them being indole-3-carbinol, a compound with fully packed potent anticancer properties
And Of course, there is research which states, that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables can help big time to prevent various forms of cancer – notably, cancers of the prostate, lungs, breast, and colon.
Improves Bones and Teeth Health
Having troubles with bones can be real pain. Unbearable and insufferable. You can’t just easily move around. And that’s terrible.
But you sure might find some solace in broccoli. Being an excellent source of vitamin K, calcium, potassium, and magnesium – broccoli performs a big role in maintaining bone mineral density (because it contains good levels of iron too).
Some health experts also say that vitamin K builds bones better than calcium. And a cup of broccoli contains 270% of the vitamin K you need in a day. This vitamin, along with calcium, also helps maintain your teeth. Which means broccoli helps you to fight against osteoporosis.
Keeps Heart Healthy
Broccoli is major helpful in keeping the blood vessels strong, which is one of the ways it improves heart health. The sulforaphane in the vegetable can stop and even reverse damage to blood vessel linings caused by severe chronic sugar issues.
Certain study found that broccoli intake can improve your heart’s blood-pumping ability. It also decreases damage to the heart during oxygen deprivation. Numerous other studies have also associated broccoli in take with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. The vegetable can prevent inflammation and oxidation of the arteries in stroke-prone individuals.
Additionally, Studies have also shown that the very same sulforaphane in broccoli can also uplifts blood pressure levels. And moreover, broccoli contains no cholesterol. It has fiber too, which also regulates cholesterol levels and prevents major heart attacks.
Improves Digestive Health
Vegetable reduces inflammation in the colon and helps blocking colon cancer. Broccolis broken down in the stomach into certain different compounds, one of them being indolocarbazole (or ICZ). This ICZ activates its mate compound called aryl hydrocarbon receptor (or AHR), which maintains the gut barrier function and treats related issues like leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when the intestinal barrier is compromised and opens up to attack by toxins and microbes, leading to poorer absorption of nutrients.
Upgrades Vision Health
Do you have an eye problem which is bothering you from quite some time? You need to turn to broccoli. Because studies show that broccoli might interceptsblindness. And this effect, again, is attributed to the humble sulforaphane in broccoli, the naturally presentantioxidant that protects the eyes from ultraviolet radiation.
Green fruits and vegetables are also found to be packed with lutein and zeaxanthin – antioxidants that are crucial for the human eyes. These super-antioxidants help prevent other majoreye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. Just around 100 grms of boiled broccoli contains 1,080 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Aids in Treating Diabetes
If the fiber available in broccoli forms one part of the equation, sulforaphane forms the other. The latter prevents damage to blood vessels caused by diabetes. Sulforaphane activates certain enzymes that limit this type of damage.
In few lab experiments, sulforaphane was found to reduce glucose levels and lower the harmful effects of sugar. Eating broccoli post a meal can help slow down the rise in blood pressure (thanks to its fiber content).
Boosts up Brain Health
The two much needed nutrients in broccoli that improve brain health are vitamin K and choline. Vitamin enhances cognitive abilities, and the latter improves memory. And most importantly, broccoli contains a decent amount of folic acid that helps prevent Alzheimer’s and depression and anxiety disorders.
The sulforaphane in broccoli has proven to improve spatial memory, especially after a traumatic injury. Hence, this compound is widely considered as a potential therapeutic option for treating brain injury in patients.
Balances the Body’s pH Levels
Broccoli, like most other vegetables (and fruits), is an alkaline food item and helps keeping balance the body’s pH levels.
Are Great During Pregnancy
Proper and complete nutrition is more important during pregnancy than any other period in a woman’s life. And broccoli, being a full powerhouse of nutrients, can offer just that.
Whereas, the calcium in broccoli helps prevent bone osteoporosis in pregnant women (as they are more prone to the disease during this phase), foliate ensures a healthy and happy pregnancy – it eliminates neurological defects in the baby.