8 amazing health benefits of eating Broccoli
Broccoli is often overlooked as a superfood, but these little tree-shaped florets are packed with vitamins and nutrients. Broccoli can help regulate blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and manage diabetes.
It also contains the phytochemical sulforaphane, which can help prevent cancer.
Most scientific studies have concentrated on the florets, but the leaves and stems have also been found to contain high levels of antioxidant phenols, so don’t throw them away.
Here are 8 positive ways in which broccoli can benefit your body:
1. Helps prevent cancer
Cruciferous veggies like broccoli contain sulforaphane, which helps to protect against cancer. Young broccoli sprouts have been found to contain a higher concentration of sulforaphane than mature vegetables.
The anticancer properties of broccoli and the risk of cancer have been widely studied, and results differ. Some studies didn’t find a positive result, while others found that those at risk of prostate cancer lowered their risk by eating larger amounts of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. It has also been discovered that women who ate more cruciferous vegetables have a lower risk of contracting colon and lung cancer.
2. Keeps the heart healthy
Broccoli contains folate, which can help keep the heart healthy. Broccoli also contains quercetin, a polyphenol that strengthens the cardiovascular functions.
3. Helps reduce inflammation
Broccoli florets have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, due to inhibiting nitric oxide, which has been shown to play a role in inflammation. Sulforaphane also helps to fight inflammation, and the vitamin K in broccoli also helps reduce inflammatory markers in the blood.
Research on young male smokers showed that consuming broccoli might reduce the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a marker for inflammation.
4. Regulates blood pressure and blood sugar
Low calcium levels can contribute to high blood pressure, but by including calcium-rich broccoli in your diet, you can help control your blood pressure. The chromium content in broccoli also regulates blood sugar by increasing the efficiency of the insulin, which in turn increases the tolerance to glucose.
5. Good for digestion
Broccoli is full of fiber, which has positive benefits for your gut health and digestive functions.
6. Promotes eye health
When you age, your eyes become more prone to conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Broccoli can help prevent these diseases due to it containing lutein and zeaxanthin, two essential compounds for healthy eyes.
Dietary antioxidants and anti-inflammatories play a significant role in protecting the eyes, and broccoli contains the antioxidant vitamin C. It also contains vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which is important to maintain normal vision.
7. Reduces cholesterol
There is a new variety of broccoli being bred to contain two to three times more of the naturally occurring compound glucoraphanin. This broccoli variety reduces LDL cholesterol by around 6%, according to a study by the Institute of Food Research.
8. Helps to fight depression
According to research, the sulforaphane in broccoli has deterrent effects on inflammation-related depression symptoms, so it could be a valuable ally in the fight against one of the most common mental conditions in the world.
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