Health Benefits Of Broccoli – What Makes Broccoli The Best Of All Cruciferous Vegetables?
If your mom has ever insisted you to eat broccoli but you did not pay heed to her advice, I bet you have missed on some of the wonderful health benefits of Broccoli! Your body could have been benefitted to a large extent because of this super nutritious green veggie!
Is Broccoli good for health? What is the best and healthiest way to eat broccoli? Here is everything you need to know about this super healthy food which is also adorable in its appearance because it resembles a miniature tree!
Table Of Contents
- Is Broccoli Good for Health?
- Who Should Avoid Broccoli?
- Health Benefits of Broccoli
- Nutritional Value Of Broccoli
- The Healthiest Way To Eat Broccoli
Is Broccoli Good For Health? If Yes, How?
Yes, Broccoli is extremely beneficial for your health. Eating broccoli more often is, in fact, the simplest way to upgrade your overall health! You can scroll down to know some of the amazing health benefits of Broccoli in detail.
Broccoli belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables like Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale and Brussel sprouts but is highly beneficial than any of these green veggies because of its high nutritional value! But, can everyone eat Broccoli?
People Who Are Subjected To These Conditions Should Avoid Broccoli!
Well, there are no serious side effects of consuming Broccoli but people with Hypothyroidism may have to avoid eating Broccoli since the presence of goitrogens in them can interfere with the production of the thyroid hormone.
There is no real harm in consuming broccolis but if you have been habituated to eat broccoli more often, you may have to consult your physician for the best advice!
People who are on medication (those using blood thinners) may have to avoid eating Broccoli because of the presence of vitamin K in it.
Blood thinners are used for promoting a proper and continuous flow of blood through the veins but the intake of vitamin K clots the blood!
If you are totally free of these two conditions, you must see to it that broccolis are necessarily included in your plate!
10 Health benefits of Broccoli – How Healthy is Broccoli? Know the Best Way to Eat it!
The presence of Vitamin C and Vitamin K in rich amounts along with other essential vitamins and minerals makes Broccoli the most powerful vegetarian food! Also, the presence of antioxidants in broccoli is of a superficial advantage!
Here are 10 amazing positive changes that might take place in your body when you start eating Broccoli.
1. Broccoli Exhibits Anti-Cancer Properties
Due to the advancement in everything including our lifestyle habits, it has become incumbent on us to take the necessary steps to prevent the risk of cancer. Fortunately, we have a wide range of foods available with us which entail anti-cancer properties but we have been ignoring these natural inhibitors due to the lack of awareness.
Broccoli is one such variety that contains certain bioactive compounds which can prevent the risk of cancer. This is because of the ability of these bioactive compounds to reduce the damage of DNA.
Cell damage is what increases the risk of cancer and you have broccoli as the best medicine. A regular intake of broccoli can help you stay away from various types of cancers like breast cancer, colorectal cancer, renal cancer, prostate cancer, and gastritis or stomach cancer.
Sulforaphane is the major compound in Broccoli that is known for its anti-cancer properties and also for reducing inflammation.
2. How Does Broccoli Benefit Heart Health?
Our uncontrollable urge to eat street food lands us in some unexplainable heart problems. The only way to combat this is to start consuming heart-healthy foods that can reduce cholesterol levels and decrease the number of Triglycerides.
Broccoli contains rich antioxidant properties like the presence of Flavonoids (Kaempferol) which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Studies conducted on rats regarding Broccoli and its impact on heart health proved that regular consumption of broccoli can reduce the risk of heart diseases and increase the efficiency of the heart. This is because broccoli helps in improving the pumping ability.
Apart from reducing bad cholesterol and decreasing triglycerides, broccoli also helps in increasing the number of heart-healthy chemicals when you are deprived of oxygen and this decreases the risk of heart attacks.
3. Broccoli Improves Your Eye Health
Taking care of vision is quite difficult because there are various factors that impact our eye health. Ageing is also one of the prime factors that is associated with the risk of two common eye disorders which are cataract and Macular degeneration.
Choosing to consume broccoli daily is a perfect decision one can make to reduce the risk of these two disorders because of the presence of Vitamin A in Broccoli.
Just a cup of chopped Broccoli (which weighs around 91 grams) contains 567 IU (International units) of vitamin A which is enough to fulfil 11% of your daily Vitamin A requirement.
In addition to the presence of Vitamin A, broccoli also contains Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are two important carotenoids which possess antioxidant properties that can benefit our eye health.
Lutein prevents the blue light from entering into the deeper layers of the retina, thereby reducing the risk of macular degeneration
Macular degeneration is known to occur due to the blue light that emits from digital devices.
When ignored, macular degeneration can lead to blindness.
4. Helps Those Suffering From Diabetes
If you have been diagnosed with high levels of blood glucose, here is one best tip you can follow to keep your sugar levels in control.
You can buy Broccoli seeds from your nearby stores and utilize them to make sprouts. You may have to wait for a week to obtain fully germinated seeds that are edible.
Consuming broccoli sprouts benefits diabetics because of the presence of Sulforaphane in this leafy green which has the ability to reduce blood glucose levels.
Studies and research conducted on people suffering from type-2 diabetes proved that those who consumed broccoli sprouts experienced a decrease in their blood glucose levels when compared to those who didn’t.
How To Use Broccoli Seeds To Obtain Broccoli Sprouts?
Buy the required amounts of Broccoli seeds from your nearby stores. The seeds take one week to completely sprout. Wash the seeds thoroughly and immerse them in water.
Store in a dark room overnight and keep washing them repeatedly (3-4 times) in a day. After a few days, you will see the emergence of yellow coloured leaves as seeds germinate and break open.
Remove the seeds from the darkroom and take them into the sunlight. Continue rinsing and washing them until you can see the emergence of green leaves (within a few days). This is when your seeds have completely sprouted so that you can finally consume them.
You can add them into your soups or salads for the best benefits.
5. Broccoli Helps You Build Strong And Healthy Bones?
If you are under a wrong assumption that only calcium and vitamin D help in strengthening your bones, you are missing on an interesting fact that Vitamin K also plays a great role in keeping your bones strong and healthy.
People who have higher levels of vitamin K in their blood have a higher bone density whereas those who have lesser amounts of Vitamin K are more likely to develop osteoporosis due to a weaker density of bones.
Not only this, you can obtain good amounts of calcium (42.8 mg), phosphorous (60.1 mg), magnesium (19.1 mg), zinc (0.4 mg) by consuming one cup of chopped Broccoli and all these minerals are known to play a vital role in improving your bone strength.
Presence of vitamin C in abundant amounts (81.2 mg) in one cup of chopped broccoli is also of significant importance since it helps in the formation of collagen which is essential for the formation of healthy tissues and bones.
6. How Broccoli Benefits Your Digestive Health?
Broccoli is extremely rich in its water content. It contains 89% of water in it. This may help you in getting rid of constipation which occurs due to the lack of water intake.
This results in dry and hard stools because most of the water is absorbed by the food in our intestines. We require plenty of water so as to experience a smooth and easy bowel movement which we can acquire through broccoli.
Broccoli is also rich in fibre (2.6 grams in 100 grams) which can add more bulk to your stools so that the digestive process becomes easy.
Broccoli helps in eliminating the toxins from your digestive tract, thereby helping in overall detoxification and helping in the maintenance of a clean and healthy digestive system.
Broccoli benefits your overall gut health because of the presence of Sulforaphane which contains anti-inflammatory properties so as to reduce the inflammation of colon and gut, thereby benefiting your overall gut system!
7. Broccoli Helps In The Process Of Anti –Ageing
Ageing is inevitable! But, we can definitely choose to remain robust and vigorous irrespective of our age factor. This can be done by controlling our oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is your body’s inability to produce antioxidants in response to the production of free radicals.
Free radicals are those compounds which cause damage to healthy cells which results in a number of diseases. Ageing is also determined by the decrease in the metabolic activities.
We can definitely choose to keep our metabolic activities functioning effectively by choosing the right foods. Broccoli would make the perfect food and the credit again goes to sulforaphane which is a bioactive compound that exhibits antioxidant properties.
More is the antioxidant nature, lesser will be the oxidative stress! This helps you in retaining the metabolic functioning and reducing your chances of getting susceptible to chronic diseases.
8. Health Benefits Of Broccoli For Pregnant Women
Pregnant women need sufficient amounts of folic acid so as to minimize the chances of neural birth defects.
Intake of folate reduces the risks that are associated with pregnancy because folate helps in the production of red blood cells which help in the proper development of the brain and spinal cord of the baby.
Though fortified cereals are the best source of folic acid, broccoli contains 57.3 mcg of the vitamin in one cup which helps you meet 14% of your daily folate requirement. An intake of 400 mcg of vitamin B9 (folate) is recommended for women who are at their reproductive age.
A study also proved that women who were about to conceive took folic prior to one year of pregnancy and this has reduced the chances of premature birth by 50%.
9. Benefits Of Broccoli For Skin Health
A perfect skincare regime not only implies to the external tips that you follow using the natural home-made face packs but it is largely determined by the number of healthy foods that you take which keeps your cells active and alive from the inside.
Following external remedies and choosing healthy foods simultaneously is the best way to safeguard your skin from acne, blemishes, scars and spots.
Broccoli contains ample amounts of Vitamin C (81.2 mg in one cup) which helps you meet more than 100% of your daily Vitamin C requirement.
Vitamin C contains anti-oxidant properties which can protect your skin from free radicals so that your skin cells are not damaged.
Broccoli also contains great amounts of water which keeps your cells hydrated so that your skin appears fresh, lively and radiant.
The presence of zinc is an added advantage since it helps in faster healing of wounds and scars!
10. Broccoli Can Improvise Your Dental Health
The presence of two vital nutrients which are vitamin C and calcium is of great use since these nutrients can reduce the risk of periodontal disease which can occur due to the formation of plaque on the teeth and gums.
Any negligence can further result in the loss of the tooth. Regular and proper flossing and consumption of foods like broccoli prevents the occurrence of Periodontal disease.
The presence of Kaempferol which is a type of natural flavonoid is also helpful in protecting your oral health and reducing the risk of dental diseases.
Nutritional Value Of Broccoli
One cup of chopped Broccoli weighing around 91 grams contains the following nutrients!
|Vitamins||Grams||%DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)|
|Vitamin A||567 IU||11%|
|Vitamin C||81.2 mg||135%|
|Vitamin E||0.7 mg||4%|
|Vitamin K||92.5 mcg||116%|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg||8%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.5 mg||5%|
|Minerals||Grams||%DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)|
|Other elements||Grams||%DV (Percentage of daily requirement that it meets)|
Here is to some awesome Broccoli nutrition facts.
Calcium and vitamin C are the two major nutrients in broccoli that are present in abundant amounts. They fulfill more than the required respective nutrient requirement.
Apart from these bone-healthy nutrients, broccoli contains good amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, pantothenic acid, Choline and Betaine all of which are present in minute quantities. They do not fulfil more than 15% of the respective nutrient requirement.
Broccoli also contains decent amounts of Manganese, Potassium, Phosphorous, Magnesium. The presence of Iron and calcium fulfil 4% of your respective mineral requirement whereas the presence of zinc and copper fulfils 2% of the respective mineral requirement.
Broccoli also contains selenium and sodium in very minute quantities.
Calories And Proteins
There are only 30 calories in a cup of chopped broccoli which makes it the best weight loss food. Moreover, it contains 2.6 grams of proteins in the same quantity.
Carbohydrates And Fats
Total fats account only to 0.3 grams which do not meet more than 1% of the fat requirement. Carbohydrates areas less as only 6 grams in one cup.
The Healthiest Way To Eat Broccoli
Though many of us prefer various modes of eating Broccoli, such as frying, boiling, steaming or cooking them in a microwave, steaming seems to be the best mode of eating which provides the maximum health benefits of Broccoli.
Choosing the mode of steaming is the best option because the nutritional value of Broccoli seems to be less altered by this method of cooking when compared to other methods!
You can add in some healthy cooking oils like extra virgin olive oil and spice it up with red chillies, onions, sea salt, lemon juice, pepper, and garlic.
You can also buy broccoli seeds and germinate them to consume some healthy broccoli sprouts as your breakfast food!
Broccoli is among the best cruciferous vegetables which are a low calorie, best hydrating, fibre-rich and a highly nutritious superfood that can ward off cancer, improve your digestive health, strengthen your bones, improve your skin health, protect your heart health and promote good oral hygiene.
Regular consumption of Broccoli also helps in anti-ageing, helps those who are diabetic and prevents the risks that are associated with pregnancy.
Consuming steamed broccoli and adding the right spices is the best and healthy way to eat Broccoli.
Sai Sudha is a certified health blogger, who has an experience of above 2 years with an authorized certificate in the area of Introduction to food and health from Stanford University.
She has a special interest in life sciences, human psychology and fitness which drove her to make blogging turn passion to profession. Being an introvert, writer, empath and a nature lover, she loves Yoga and believes it to be one of the best pathways to self discovery! She loves travelling, exploring new places and wants to spread help through words. She finds happiness in little things which makes her live life to the fullest.