Health Benefits of Broccoli and Why You Should Add It To Your Menu
Vegetables are great for our health, which is why when we were children; our mothers usually forced us to eat them. But there are different kinds of vegetables, with different benefits. One of these vegetables is broccoli. And there are many health benefits of broccoli.
Broccoli is a very popular vegetable and a close relative to cabbage and cauliflower. Even though it is edible as a whole the flowering heads are what are commonly eaten.
Broccoli is also known as the heart of vegetables because it is packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and compound content. There are 3 types of broccoli namely; the sprouting broccoli, the purple cauliflower, and the Calabrese broccoli. The latter one is the most common one and its name is simply shortened to ‘broccoli’.
In ancient Rome, the Romans grew broccoli from wild cabbage, so it’s safe to say it has been consumed since time immemorial. This crunchy vegetable didn’t appear in Europe until the 16th century. The Italians made it popular in the United States in the 1920’s.
This superfood outperforms a lot of other vegetables and apart from its richness in vitamins and minerals, it is also high in antioxidants and plant compounds, making the health benefits of broccoli more important.
Another reason to be eating broccoli at least every day is that it fights diseases and as we all know, prevention is better than cure.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
One of the most important health benefits of broccoli is cancer prevention. A compound in broccoli known as sulforaphane fights cancer by increasing the enzymes which kill abnormal cells. It also limits oxidation, which is the process that imitates many chronic diseases.
The fiber in broccoli helps in lowering cholesterol levels. This is another reason to include broccoli in your diet especially if you are looking to lose weight.
Broccoli is full of fiber and it helps by soaking up the toxins dumped into the intestines by the liver thereby keeping our systems clean. In the process, it also gives us a feeling of being full which is great when you’re dieting.
The compound sulforaphane, found in broccoli, is highly antioxidant and protects the body from free radicals. It triggers enzymes which help with the radical irritation of the airway.
Prevention of Heart Disease
Sulforaphane again activates the naturally protective protein in the body in case of the building up of plaque in the arteries. The protein is normally inactive around the heart and that’s why it needs to be activated in order to work.
Broccoli contains vitamin K which improves bone health by improving calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.
Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked and shouldn’t be stored in airtight containers or bags as this kills their nutritional value. Also, broccoli should be eaten as soon as it’s bought and shouldn’t be stored for more than 3 months. Whether you like it or you don’t or whether you were forced to eat it as a child the fact is that there are a lot of health benefits of broccoli and it’s good for you.