All green vegetables are well-known for their supernatural health benefits. Broccoli is one of the nutritious options to include in your diet. Are you wondering how is broccoli good for you? All this lies in its excellent nutritional profile, showing high contents of minerals, dietary fibers, vitamins, glycosides, etc. From maintaining blood sugar levels to lowering the risks of eye and heart diseases, it benefits in more ways.Are you interested in learning more about it? Keep reading the article to explore what broccoli is, how it is good for you, its nutritional profile, health benefits, and more.
Is broccoli man-made?
No, broccoli is not man-made; it is a naturally occurring plant. Broccoli is a cultivated form of Brassica oleracea, a wild cabbage plant. Over centuries, humans selectively bred this plant to enhance certain desirable traits, developing the vegetable we now know as broccoli. While humans played a role in its cultivation and selective breeding, broccoli existence is rooted in the natural evolution of plants.
How Is Broccoli Good For You?
Undoubtedly, broccoli is good for you in many ways! This green vegetable highly consists of vitamin C, calcium, and selenium. All these nutrients play an essential role in preventing many health issues. It also works as a detox food that cleanses the airborne carcinogens and many unwanted oxidants from the body. Sulforaphane, a phytochemical found in it, performs this activity of detoxification.
Besides this, this superfood benefits in protecting cells from DNA damage. However, several other facts show how broccoli can contribute to better health. On this, we will have a detailed discussion. But before that, let us take a look at its nutritional profile.
Nutritional Profile Of Broccoli
A cup of raw broccoli consists of :
- 6 grams of carbohydrates.
- 2.6 grams of protein.
- 0.3 grams of fat.
- 35 milligrams of vitamin C
- 30 milligrams of sodium.
- 2 grams of fiber.
- 0 grams of cholesterol.
- 1.6 grams of sugar.
- 31 calories.
10 Top Health Benefits Of Eating Broccoli
Broccoli is a nutrient-rich green leafy vegetable that offers several health benefits. Here are some of the most important ones:
1. Enhances Digestive Health
Broccoli plays a role in enhancing digestion by reducing colon inflammation. It, as a result, prevents colon cancer. This green leafy veggie breaks down into compounds like indolocarbazoles(ICZs) when you consume it as a food. These ICZs act as activators, stimulating another compound called aryl hydrocarbon receptor.
The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor(AHR) eases the gut barrier function and prevents related problems like leaky gut. The leaky gut issue develops due to the disturbance of the intestinal barrier that exposes toxins and microbes. It, as a result, leads to poor absorption of nutrients. So, to boost your digestion, have broccoli 2 to 4 times per week.
2. Supports Diabetes Management
Mostly, people with Type 2 diabetes are not allowed to have certain foods, especially the ones containing high-level sugar content. Let’s make it clear that broccoli can effectively be a great aid in diabetes management. With its antioxidant properties, this superfood can reduce blood glucose levels and oxidative stress in grown-up adults.
Moreover, broccoli also consists of sulforaphane, controlling blood glucose levels and preventing the effects of sugar. Research reveals that fiber content in it also manages diabetes. 2.5 grams of fiber per cup provides enough dose to maintain blood sugar levels. If you want to control your blood sugar levels, include broccoli in your eating plan.
3. Improves Skin Health
Sulforaphane is an antioxidant that promotes skin health and slows down aging-related issues. Glucoraphanin is a substance in broccoli that gets converted into sulforaphane and helps restore skin problems. This results in healthy skin.
Also, the vitamin C in this leafy vegetable increases collagen levels and contributes to a fresh and young skin look. This way, such nutritious food helps renew your skin, giving it a natural glow. Moreover, studies show that the broccoli sprout extracts protect against harmful ultraviolet radiation that causes skin damage and cancer.
4. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation helps in strengthening the immune system of the body. This process enables the body to fight off harmful viruses, bacteria, and toxic compounds and protect it from their effects. This defense mechanism can result in redness, pain, swelling, etc., making the health condition acute or chronic.
Here, broccoli can help reduce inflammation as it is a powerhouse of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and bioactive compounds. Kaempferol, a type of flavonoid present in it, possesses anti-inflammatory properties, supporting the body to fight off viruses and bacteria. Moreover, sulforaphane in it also controls inflammation.
5. Boosts Heart Health
Broccoli with certain bioactive compounds can improve your heart health. It lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (LDL) and triglycerides. High LDL in the body results in the deposition of fats in the artery walls, contributing to heart disease risks. Research shows that adding broccoli to your diet can help lower the LDL and triglycerides. It can reduce heart attacks, artery diseases, and stroke.
Moreover, broccoli is highly rich in dietary fiber, which helps with low chances of coronary artery and cardiovascular diseases. Besides, this superfood prevents calcium buildup on the walls of blood vessels. Consequently, it decreases the risks of stroke and heart attack.
6. Promotes Eye Health
Are you curious to know how is broccoli good for you to promote better eye health? Thanks to its high content of antioxidants and different vitamin types, making it a great option to add to your diet. This edible leafy vegetable prevents the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A in broccoli reduces eye issues like night blindness and additional vision difficulties.
In addition to this, Vitamin E prevents cataracts and other age-related eye conditions and diseases. Also, Vitamin C helps protect the eyes from free radical damage. Moreover, the beta-carotene in it promotes good eyesight and overall eye health.
7. Prevents Cancer Risks
Broccoli is the most potent green veggie with anti-carcinogenic effects which are basically due to the uncountable bioactive compounds present in it. These compounds are indole-3-carbinol, sulforaphane, glucosinolates, diindolylmethane, and selenium. These active elements restrain the colon, liver, breast, lung, prostate, renal, and skin cancers by protecting the body cells from DNA damage.
Besides this, these compounds also prevent the actions of carcinogens and free radicals. They help get rid of unwanted cells, ensuring the proper functioning of the body. Additionally, they also prevent the formation of tumors.
8. Protects Liver Health
Active extracts of broccoli act as a great aid in liver protection by removing toxic substances from the body. It prevents toxins buildup and reduces the risks of liver damage. In addition, it lowers the action of bilirubin and serum enzymes that can severely impact your liver.
Also, broccoli helps fight off carbon tetrachloride in the liver from consumed food. The action of carbon tetrachloride can lead to the formation of reactive free radicals and increased oxidative stress. This, as a result, can cause damage to the liver. So, it would help if you made it a part of your daily diet to eliminate the chances of such liver issues.
9. Helps In Weight Loss
As broccoli is rich in fiber and possesses anti-diabetic qualities, it boosts insulin sensitivity and helps in weight loss. Typically, increased insulin sensitivity is helpful, which resists the insulin to absorb much glucose, which significantly helps in shedding off body fat.
Moreover, this green leafy vegetable is an excellent source of phytochemicals called bioactive compounds. These effective compounds greatly aid in managing a healthy weight as they target the body fat cells and reduce fat. Besides this, chloroform and ethanol are the active extracts of broccoli and have anti-obesity effects, promoting weight loss.
10. Eases Hormonal Balance
Broccoli is rich in a plant compound which is known as indole-3-carbinol. This compound eases hormonal balance by maintaining estrogen levels. Moreover, it also helps reduce the chances of estrogen-induced breast risks and reproductive cancers in females and males.
This nutritious vegetable improves the oestrogen metabolism, which shows many positive effects. Those include a proper menstrual cycle, great bone strength, and other functions of the body.
Does broccoli have protein?
Broccoli contains protein, although it is not as high as other foods. On average, when cooked, broccoli contains about 2.8 grams of protein per cup. While it may not be a significant source of protein compared to other protein-rich foods, broccoli contributes to your overall protein intake as part of a balanced diet. Additionally, broccoli is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making it a nutritious vegetable choice.
How To Add Broccoli To Your Diet?
So, if you have an answer to Is broccoli healthy for you? You can add it to your daily diet in many ways. Here are some ideas:
- Eat the broccoli raw to avoid losing the nutrients present in it. Additionally, you can steam it for 5-6 minutes to retain some of its nutrients.
- Prepare a salad. Just mix it with other vegetables such as berries and tomatoes. Also, add your favorite cream and spices for more flavor.
- Boil it, and then sprinkle some salt and pepper. You can also use seasoning ingredients like vinegar and olive oil to enhance taste.
- Mix broccoli(chopped pieces or pureed form) with homemade pesto, baked goods, or some savory sauces.
- Add it to your favorite dishes, such as soups, stews, stir-fry, etc.
- Gently saute it in extra virgin olive oil.
- Roast it in an oven using avocado oil.
- Blend frozen or raw broccoli and make a smoothie.
Who Should Avoid Eating Broccoli?
You should avoid having broccoli as a part of your everyday diet if you have health issues. Seek professional help to know what is best in such cases.
So, you should not have broccoli if:
- Taking blood-thinning medicines: Broccoli is highly rich in vitamin K, which plays a vital role in blood clotting. Consuming it in excess quantities can prevent your body from responding appropriately to your medicines. Remember that you do not have to stop eating this green vegetable if you have blood thinners. Just watch the dose of vitamin K you’re taking (it should be stable).
- Having kidney-related problems: A healthy kidney helps remove excess phosphorus from the body. If you have kidney issues, eating broccoli has led to a severe buildup of phosphorus in your blood. This can cause specific health problems such as joint pain, heart disorders, weak bones, and even death.
- Experiencing irritable bowel syndromes: Typically, irritable bowel syndromes include constipation, gas, abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. Having broccoli may upset your bowel movement as they are highly rich in fiber, giving you a gassy, constipated, or bloated feel.
Indeed, there is no wonder how much is broccoli good for you! From maintaining blood sugar levels to promoting heart health and enhancing skin health, this versatile superfood can surprise you in many ways. It is a valuable addition to your everyday diet.So, whenever you are planning to cook wholesome food, undoubtedly consider broccoli. Not only does it taste delicious, but it also serves as a healthy choice to relish for a day.
Note: Remember that how you cook the broccoli decides the quantity and kind of nutrients you get from it. So, if you want to reap its numerous benefits, avoid overcooking!