Health Benefits of Broccoli

Broccoli is considered to be one of the most nutritious vegetables that can offer numerous benefits to your health. Some people love broccoli and some people hate it, but there's no denying that broccoli is a nutritional wonder. 

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and Broccoli is a member of cabbage family and is closely related to cauliflower. If you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family, you must include broccoli as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis.

Its cultivation originated in Italy. Broccolo, its Italian name, means “cabbage sprout.” Broccoli’s name is derived from the Latin word brachium, which means branch or arm, a reflection of its tree-like shape that features a compact head of florets attached by small stems to a larger stalk. 
Because of its different components, this vegetable provides a complex of tastes and textures, ranging from soft and flowery (the florets) to fibrous and crunchy (the stem and stalk). Its color can range from deep sage to dark green to purplish-green, depending upon the variety. 

Throughout the year, broccoli is one of the easiest foods to locate, as most supermarkets across the world offer a hearty supply of this nutrient-rich vegetable. One of the most popular types of broccoli sold in North America is known as Italian green, or Calabrese, named after the Italian province of Calabria where it first grew.

Studies have shown that even kids like broccoli and one way to ensure that they enjoy it is to cook it properly by using healthy steaming method. Overcooked broccoli Loses both nutrients and flavor and becomes soft and mushy.


Health Benefits of Broccoli


1)Cancer Prevention 
The unique combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pro-detoxification components in broccoli make it a unique food in terms of cancer prevention. But it is particularly good for breast cancer and uterus cancer, as it removes extra estrogen from the body. This is due to the presence of strong anti-carcinogens like glucoraphanin, dindolylmethane, beta-carotene, selenium and other nutrients like vitamin-C, vitamin-A and vitamin-E, zinc, potassium and certain amino acids, which are also good anti-cancer agents.
Recent studies have also provided us with a much better idea about the amount of broccoli that we need to lower our cancer risk. At the lower end of the spectrum, it looks like an average of 1/2 cup of broccoli per day—only 22 calories' worth of broccoli!—is enough to provide some measurable benefits.

2)Detoxification
Broccoli contains an unusual combination of three phytonutrients, glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin. Together these nutrients have a strong impact on our body’s detoxification system. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in body's detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) are the detox-regulating molecules made from broccoli's glucosinolates, and they help control the detox process at a genetic level.

3)Anti-Inflammatory. 

Broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol, which helps to battle allergies and inflammation. Especially inside of our digestive tract, kaempferol has the ability to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances (by lowering the immune system's production of IgE-antibodies). By lessening the impact of allergy-related substances, the kaempferol in broccoli can help lower our risk of chronic inflammation.

4) Antioxidant benefits
Amongst all of the commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the most concentrated source of a premiere antioxidant nutrient—vitamin C. This central antioxidant vitamin can provide longer-term support of oxygen metabolism in the body if it is accompanied by flavonoids that allow it to recycle. 

Broccoli provides many such flavonoids in significant amounts, including the flavonoids kaempferol and quercitin. Also concentrated in broccoli are the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. All three of these carotenoids function as key antioxidants
Considered as a group, the vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and carotenoids contained in broccoli work to lower risk of oxidative stress in the body.

5)Improves Vitamin D Deficiency.
Broccoli contains vitamins A and K, which help to keep the metabolism of vitamin D in balance. Vitamin D promotes the body’s absorption of calcium and thereby sustains and promotes bone health and growth. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A help keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. For people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores through vitamin D supplements, broccoli may be an ideal food to include in the diet.

6)Digestive Support
Fiber helps to lower cholesterol and facilitates digestion. Fiber comes in two forms -- soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel in the stomach. This type of fiber helps keep blood sugar levels stable and also blocks the absorption of cholesterol. Insoluble fiber softens stool and decreases transit time in the digestive tract, which reduces the risk of constipation and colon cancer.

7)Heart health support

You can improve your heart health by eating broccoli regularly as when we eat broccoli, fiber-related nutrients in this cruciferous vegetable bind together with some of the bile acids in the intestine in such a way that they simply stay inside the intestine and pass out of our body in a bowel movement, rather than getting absorbed along with the fat they have emulsified. When this happens, our liver needs to replace the lost bile acids by drawing upon our existing supply of cholesterol, and as a result, our cholesterol level drops down. 

Also potassium found in broccoli helps to fight high blood pressure and other anti-inflammatory bio-chemicals like sulforaphane, glucoraphanin and kaempferol found in broccoli help to prevent damage to blood vessel lining due to chronic inflammation and chronic blood sugar problems promoting heart health and preventing risk of heart attacks and strokes. 

8)Increases Eye Health. 
Broccoli improves eye health due to high concentrations of two carotenoids in it—lutein and zeaxanthin—which play an important role in the health of the eye.

9)Supports Skin Health And Repair. 
When glucoraphanin from broccoli is converted into sulforaphane the result is healthy skin and repair of skin damage.

10)High in Nutrients vitamins and minerals. 

Broccoli contains a substantial amount of nutrients that are extremely good for health including vitamins, folic acid, fiber and calcium, It is a great source of vitamins K, A, and C, in addition to fiber, potassium, folate, and lutein. 

11)Rich in Calcium Supports bone health
Calcium strengthens and promotes bone growth and health, which assists in the prevention of osteoporosis.

12)Decreases Blood Sugar Levels. 

Thanks to its high levels of soluble fiber and chromium, broccoli helps to maintain low blood sugar.

13)High In Protein. 

Broccoli is not only a great source of protein but is also low in calorie.

14)Helps To Prevent Heart Disease

Broccoli contains lutein, which helps to fight heart disease by preventing the thickening of arteries

15)Fights cholesterol.
Broccoli provides us with this cholesterol-lowering benefit whether it is raw or cooked. However, a recent study has shown that the cholesterol-lowering ability of raw broccoli improves significantly when it is steamed. 

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