Broccoli is one of the most commonly used vegetables on earth. Many people love it for its flavour, which it adds to any dish it’s in. Still others, even those who may not like the taste as much, eat it for its health benefits. The health benefits of broccoli include increased vitamin and mineral intake, detoxification, an improved digestive system, protection against cancer, improved vision and ocular health, reduced inflammation, lowered blood pressure, reduced risk of birth defects, skin protection, boosted immunity, protection against allergic reactions and more. Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about broccoli!
What is Broccoli?
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This green, or sometimes violet, vegetable is closely related to cauliflower and cabbage. It belongs to the group Italica Cultivar, from the Brassicaceae family. The commonly consumed part of the broccoli is its flowering head, which resembles a tree as it comes off a thick, edible central stalk. There are three primary varieties of broccoli eaten around the world: Calabrese broccoli, which is the most common, purple cauliflower and sprouting broccoli. The latter two types are more common in Europe and the Mediterranean.
Back in the 6th Century BC, broccoli spread across Europe as a favoured vegetable, but it wasn’t until the early 20th century that it crossed over to America. Today, the biggest cultivators of the vegetable are India and China, as well as other Asian locales.
Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked, but the best way is to steam it or shallow fry it. This preserves all of its nutrients and ensures you get the health benefits you’re looking for.
Nutrition Facts of Broccoli
Broccoli contains a lot of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that make it incredible for your health. It has good amounts of phosphorus, vitamin B6, tryptophan, manganese, vitamin A, selenium, potassium, folate, dietary fiber, vitamin K and vitamin C. When it comes to its exceptional organic compounds, broccoli is rich in flavonoids, phytonutrient glucosinolates, and numerous other antioxidants.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
Here are some of the health benefits of broccoli:
Helps maintain eye health. The vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, phosphorus, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin in broccoli helps improve eye health.
Helps prevent heart diseases. This is one of the most amazing health benefits of broccoli. This is primarily because of the fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and beta-carotene content of the vegetable. It also helps maintain proper heart function by regulating blood pressure.
Helps treat stomach conditions. Since the vegetable is rich in fiber, it helps get rid of various stomach conditions, while the magnesium and vitamins help treat acidity and facilitate digestion.
Helps protect against harmful UV rays. The glucoraphanin in the broccoli helps reverse the harmful effects of sun exposure.
Helps take care of the skin. The beta-carotene and vitamin C helps make your skin glow and look more radiant.
Helps detoxify the body. The vitamin C, amino acids and sulfur in the broccoli help get rid of free radicals and toxins.
Helps treat cancer. Broccoli helps get rid of extra estrogen in the body via its strong anti-carcinogenic properties such as diindolylmethane, glucoraphanin, selenium and beta-carotene. It also contains other nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, potassium, zinc and various amino acids, all of which help treat cancer.
Even though broccoli is an amazing vegetable and its health benefits are very enticing, there are still warnings to consider. The powerful compounds in it may trigger an allergic reaction in some, irritating the skin. Overall, though, broccoli is a beneficial vegetable that is good for the health!