Speaking of superfoods, broccoli is definitely one on the list. This cruciferous vegetable is rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants which make it a high-value food. Learn about its benefits, including cancer management.
Besides kales, cabbage, and cauliflower, broccoli is yet another superfood among the cruciferous vegetables. This vegetable is low in calories, but quite rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Its high nutrition profile places it ahead of most foods. The antioxidants are especially crucial in fighting free radicals which result in adverse reactions in the body cells. Cancer management, immunity boost, and bone health maintenance are among the insurmountable health benefits of broccoli. Learn about these and some more by reading this article.
i. Cancer management
This is one of the main benefits of including broccoli in your diet. Research has shown that taking broccoli supplies the body with antioxidants which limit the free radicals and their ability to initiate destructive reactions on the cells. Cancer often results due to inflammation caused by free radicals’ adverse reactions. Sulforaphane is a compound made of sulfur found in broccoli and known for battling free radicals. Breast, prostate, renal, and stomach cancers can be prevented by taking broccoli. Although these studies are promising, there is a need for further studies to come up with more convincing evidence.
ii. High nutrition profile
Broccoli provides the body with a strong buildup of nutrients. This cruciferous vegetable has a wide array of nutrients, ranging from fibers, antioxidants, vitamins, and other bioactive elements that the body needs. Vitamins A, B9, C, and K, are all critical to the body’s functionality, and a single serving of broccoli provides all this. Selenium, fats, carbs, and phosphorus are all present in the vegetable. Broccoli can be cooked or eaten raw. To enjoy the highest nutritional value, have it raw or slightly steamed since deep frying n other similar methods lower the vitamin C content of the vegetable.
iii. Immunity boost
If you are constantly fighting infections and having problems with wound-healing, it’s a clear indication that you need a boost for your immunity. One food element that will undoubtedly help boost immunity is broccoli. This is primarily due to the vitamin C and the antioxidants present in broccoli. They improve the body’s ability to fight inflammation and infection.
iv. Skin protection
Some scientists think that broccoli can be effective in managing skin cancer and its related damages. Skin cancer is a condition caused by excess UV radiation striking on the skin. Eating broccoli provides the body with the preventive advantage to limit the effects of UV radiation and skin cancer development.
v. Good brain health
Modern studies tend to link broccoli to enjoying good brain health and cognitive abilities. Alzheimer’s and other diseases of the same kind are known to affect the brain negatively. The main cause of such diseases is the inflammation of the brain cells. However, taking broccoli is thought to be having shielding effects against brain cell inflammation. The bioactive compounds and the antioxidants in broccoli fight inflammation and maintain the brain cells in good health. This minimizes cognitive decline at premature stages.
vi. Good bone health
Another health benefit you can boast of while taking broccoli is enhanced bone health. As mentioned earlier, broccoli has a high nutrition profile and contains a great nutritional value. Phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, B, & C, selenium, and calcium are among the few nutrients contained in broccoli. Yet, the bones require all these nutrients to remain strong and build up their mass. Therefore, if you intend to work on your bone mass and strength, start taking more broccoli, either raw or steamed.
vii. Healthy pregnancy
This area requires more studies. However, the existing research already shows positive results regarding the connection between taking broccoli and having a healthy pregnancy. For the unborn child to develop healthily, he requires Vitamin B9, otherwise known as folate. Yet, this is one of the key nutrients in broccoli. As the mother takes broccoli and other folate-based foods, she lets the fetal development happen smoothly, allows the child’s cognitive ability to build, and facilitates good spinal cord development.
viii. Good oral and dental health
Are your teeth weak, limiting you from eating particular food the body needs? Worry not; by incorporating broccoli into your diet, you will solve oral and dental problems. Calcium and magnesium are two minerals needed for good dental health, and taking broccoli supplies the body with these nutrients. Broccoli is also rich in flavonoids which work to reduce the risk of contracting periodontitis. In addition, broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, a sulfur-containing substance that reduces sores and the risk of developing cancerous cells in the mouth. There are claims that attribute teeth whitening to broccoli eating, but more research is needed to prove this.
ix. Slowing down aging
Aging is a natural process and definitely inevitable. However, the process can be slowed or fastened, depending on the diet a person is on. Some foods are known to increase oxidative stress, the main cause of aging. Yet, there are goods, which when taken, will promote the expression of anti-oxidative genes which fight oxidative stress. Broccoli is one such food element. Because of sulforaphane, promotes anti-oxidative reactions, which are thought to be slowing down aging and age-related complications.
x. Good digestive health and reduced chances of constipation
Many people who often eat broccoli are grateful for the vegetable’s ability to promote good gastric health and slow down the chances of having constipation. Fibers are among the most abundant dietary components of broccoli and these are critical in promoting a positive bowel function and lowering the chances of constipation. With fibers in the gastric route, the food movement is slowed down, allowing enough time for digestion, hence no constipation. Several studies have revealed positive results when investigating the effects of broccoli on the diet. One study involved rats and showed that broccoli intake reduced possibilities of colon inflammation. Besides, individuals who often take broccoli have an easier time defecating than those who don’t.
When discussing superfoods for good health, broccoli is a must-include. This vegetable is rich in nutrients and poses many health benefits to whoever eats eat. Although there are many means through which broccoli can be taken, overcooking it through stir-frying and the likes drain vitamins and other nutrients. However, when served raw or slightly steamed, a person reaps the highest amounts of nutrients.
We would like to thank the below contributors who have helped us to write this article: