Top 5 Health Benefits of Broccoli

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Top 5 Health Benefits of Broccoli

Top 5 Health Benefits of BroccoliTop 5 Health Benefits of Broccoli

 

What is broccoli?

 

Broccoli is a branching green vegetable with purple or more commonly green flower buds. It belongs to the brassica family, along with cauliflower, cabbage, and kale, and can be eaten raw or cooked.

 

Nutritional Benefits of Broccoli

An 80g serving of broccoli (cooked) provides:

22kcal/96KJ

2.6g protein

0.4g fat

2.2g carbohydrates

2.2g fiber

478mcg carotene

35mg of vitamin C

An 80g serving (about two spears) counts as one of your five a day. Take a look at our printable infographic to find out what counts as five a day.

 

Top 5 Health Benefits of Broccoli

 

1. Good for heart health

A study from Nutrition Research found that regular consumption of steamed broccoli reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering the total amount of cholesterol in the body. Another American study also found that increasing the number of vegetables in the diet, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli can reduce the risk of heart disease.

 

2. Contains Cancer-Protective Compounds

Although there are no single “superfoods” that can prevent cancer and some cancer risk factors are unrelated to diet, there is evidence that a healthy diet can reduce cancer risk. A key component of broccoli is a phytochemical known as sulforaphane, which is also responsible for broccoli’s slightly bitter taste. Studies have shown that sulforaphane may play a role in increasing the detoxification of airborne toxins, such as cigarette smoke, and may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Other research has suggested that broccoli may have anti-cancer properties and reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Broccoli sprouts are an even more concentrated source of these cancer-fighting compounds. You can easily sprout broccoli seeds on your windowsill just like you would watercress.

 

3. It may be good for eye health

Broccoli contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which is 2003 and 2006 studies were linked to a lower risk of age-related eye disorders such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Broccoli also contains beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, a deficiency of which is associated with night blindness.

 

4. May Support Hormonal Balance

Brassica vegetables, such as broccoli, contain a plant compound called indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which acts like plant estrogen and can help balance hormones by regulating estrogen levels. I3C has also shown promise as a means of reducing the risk of estrogen-induced breast and reproductive tract cancer in both men and women, although further study is needed in this area.

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli appear to influence estrogen metabolism, potentially changing it to a more favorable composition.

 

5. May support the immune system

Being rich in sulfur, broccoli-like broccoli can support gut health and therefore improve your defense against infection. Sulfur supports the production of glutathione, which is important for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal lining and helping to repair it. As a powerful antioxidant, glutathione works throughout the body, protecting cells from inflammatory damage.

 

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