Broccoli has an impressive nutritive food profile, it is high in fiber, very high in vitamin C, contains potassium, B6 and vitamin A and has a good amount of protein. It is also packed with phyto-chemicals and antioxidants. Broccoli is a good source of lutein, a compound antioxidant, and sulforaphane, which is a very potent antioxidant. It contains some magnesium, phosphorus, a little zinc and iron.
Boiling Broccoli can lead to the biggest losses of cancer-fighting nutrients. Steaming for up to 20 minutes, microwaving for up to three minutes and stir-frying for up to five minutes does not produce significant loss ofcancer-preventive substances. Raw broccoli maintains all of its nutrients, but it is also more likely to irritate your bowels and cause gas
Prevent Cancer: Broccoli is rich in glucoraphanin which can be processed by the human body into a kind of compound capable of preventing cancer. It works by eliminating H. pylori from a human body which is known as a bacterium that triggers gastric cancer. The American Cancer Society notes broccoli’s isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. These chemicals boost detoxifying enzymes and act as antioxidants, reducing oxidative stress. They also may affect estrogen levels, which may help reduce breast cancer risk.
Cholesterol reduction: Broccoli helps to lower cholesterol because of the soluble fiber (5 grams of fiber per cup) in the vegetable that binds with the cholesterol in the blood. This binding makes the cholesterol easier to excrete, and consequently lessens cholesterol levels in the body.
Detoxification: Phytocheimcals glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin compose a terrific trio in broccoli. Together, they aid all steps of the body’s detoxification process, from activation to neutralization and elimination of contaminants. A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that the sprouts of broccoli may be especially potent in this regard.
Heart health: In addition to reducing cholesterol, broccoli can aid in keeping the heart healthy by keeping the blood vessels strong. The sulforaphane in broccoli is also an anti-inflammatory and may be able to prevent or reverse damage to blood vessel linings caused by chronic blood sugar problems. The vegetable’s B-complex vitamins help regulate or reduce excessive homocysteine, according to the Harvard University School of Public Health. Excess homocysteine, an amino acid that builds up after a person eats red meat, increases the risk of coronary artery disease.
Eye health: Broccoli contains lutein, a compound antioxidant that’s really good for eye health. Another antioxidant in broccoli called zeaxanthin is similarly beneficial. Both chemicals may help protect against macular degeneration, an incurable condition that blurs central vision, and cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens.
Aids Digestion: Broccoli has nearly 1 gram of fiber per 10 calories. Fiber helps keep you regular and helps maintain healthy bacteria levels in the intestines. Broccoli also aids in digestion by helping to keep your stomach lining healthy. The sulforaphane in broccoli helps keep the stomach bacteria Helicobacter pylori from becoming overgrown or clinging too strongly to the stomach wall. A 2009 Johns Hopkins study on mice found that broccoli sprouts are especially good at helping in this way. Mice that were fed broccoli sprouts daily for two months reduced the levels of H. pylori in their stools by more than 40 percent.
Maintains a healthier nervous system. This can be attributed to its high potassium content. This works not only in maintaining a healthier nervous system but also in allowing the human brain to function optimally. It also works in promoting the regular growth of muscles.
Anti-inflammatory benefits: Broccoli is a great anti-inflammatory and may slow down the damage to joints associated with osteoarthritis. A 2013 study at the University of East Anglia found that broccoli’s sulforaphane may help people suffering from arthritis because this chemical “blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction by stopping a key molecule known to cause inflammation.” Broccoli’s isothiocyanates andomega-3 fatty acids also help to regulate inflammation. Furthermore, a 2010 study published in the journal Inflammation Researcher suggested that the flavonoid kaempferol lessens the impact of allergens, especially in the intestinal tract, which can reduce chronic inflammation.
A great addition to your diet. For those who are dieting, broccoli can be a perfect addition to their diet plans. This is rich in fiber which prevents digestive problems and constipation, curbs overeating and maintains a lower and healthier level of blood sugar.
Broccoli contains goitrogens, naturally-occurring substances that can interfere with function of the thyroid gland. If you are healthy there is no risk, but if you have thyroid problems limit excessive consumption of foods that contain these compounds. Cooking seems to inactivate the goitrogenic compounds found in food, so steaming of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli makes good sense.