There has been much hype over broccoli in recent time. The question remains: Does broccoli live up to its title as a heavy-weight superfood?
Let’s just say it runs in the family. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable. Other members of this family include kale, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and collard greens. All of these are excellent sources of healthy vegetables that you should add to your plate.
This is by no means an all-encompassing list—otherwise, this would be a very long list—but here are five benefits of eating your broccoli:
1. Protects Against Cancer
These “little trees” have a major benefit—broccoli has anti-cancer properties. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, broccoli contains phytochemicals which help fight cancer. Two of these phytochemicals are sulforaphane and isothiocyanates.
Sulforaphane fights cancer cells. Isothiocyanates can slow down the progression of cancer growths.
Cancers broccoli protect against include colon cancer, cervical cancer, stomach cancer, and pancreatic cancer. It also reduces the risk of breast cancer as well.
2. Good for Bones and Joints
Sulforaphane does more than fight cancer. It also protects bones from damage. By regularly incorporating broccoli into your diet, you can fight osteoarthritis by either preventing or slowing it down.
In addition, broccoli can help keep bones healthy with Vitamin K and calcium—preventing the onset of osteoporosis.
3. Boost Immune System
Broccoli has a high concentration of Vitamin C. In just one NLEA (Nutrition Labelling and Education Act that encourages serving sizes a person should eat) serving of broccoli there is 220% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C; this has a crucial role in boosting the immune system making you healthier.
Another benefit of Vitamin C is that it helps create healthier and more vibrant skin.
As supplements can help the detox process—flushing the body of unnecessary toxins—so can a diet rich in broccoli. Particularly glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, and gluconasturtiin help the body detox, getting rid of those unwelcome impurities.
5. Helps with Digestion
Broccoli also helps the body with digestion. This is due to the fact that broccoli has fiber in it. It helps keep the blood sugar low while stopping constipation.
Get more broccoli in your diet. End of story. One serving only has 50 calories. Make sure you do not throw out the stems of the broccoli either; according to the United States Department of Agriculture, these pack just as much nutrition. While these are harder to incorporate into your meals, consider using them in stir-fry or soup.
Broccoli is not only a nutritious food jam-packed with benefits, but it is good for a balanced diet.