Broccoli has to be one of the most detested vegetables and it’s often missed out on many children’s plates. While adults have simply learned an acquired taste towards it, often adding spices or cheesy sauces to disguise its rather plain taste.
For many, cooking or steaming can improve the taste of broccoli. This may mean cooking it until soft, while others prefer it crispy and raw. Getting more broccoli into your diet is a good idea if you want to stay healthy as it’s full of health benefits. Listed below are some of the best reasons to eat broccoli…
1. Supports the Immune System
Broccoli is high in Vitamin C and this is vital to supporting a healthy immune system. There are many antioxidants within broccoli such as lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin along with other powerful antioxidants that can fight free radical damage within the body, meaning it works on a cellular level.
2. Is a Natural Detoxifier
Broccoli is full of three special phytonutrients: phytglucoasturtiian, glucoraphanin and glucobrassicin and these can support the body’s natural detoxification process, along with the neutralization and elimination of contaminants and toxins. Broccoli is also full of isothiocyanates that can control the detox process, even on a genetic level.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure and Improves Kidney Function
Broccoli is full of sulphoraphane that can lower blood pressure while improving the functioning of the kidneys. A study involving rats with poor kidney function and hypertension found that when the animals were given a sulphoraphane extract there was a significant improvement in their kidney functioning and lowering of the blood pressure.
4. High in Folate
Folate has been shown in studies to offer protection from various kinds of cancer including breast cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer and pancreatic cancer. Broccoli contains approximately 52mcg of folic acid per half cup.
5. Alkalizes the Body
As broccoli is a green vegetable with an alkaline pH, it can prevent the body from becoming an acidic environment. When the body’s natural pH is unbalanced it can result in various health issues including a depletion of vital minerals and even high blood pressure. Several studies have also indicated that cancer cells cannot survive within an alkaline environment.
6. Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Broccoli is rich in soluble fiber and this can naturally help to sweep up cholesterol from within the blood. Fruits and vegetables are filled with many essential elements. Eating broccoli on a regular basis can help with this process.
7. Helps with Weight Management
As a rich source of fiber, broccoli can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer but won’t make you fill out! Broccoli takes up room within the stomach but it makes you feel full rather than weigh you down with heavy carbs and calories. Water, protein and fiber are all nutrients to watch for if you want to lose weight and broccoli contains all three!
8. Natural Anti-inflammatory
As a plant-based source of Omega-3 fatty acids, broccoli is a natural anti-inflammatory meaning that the more you eat, the more likely you are to reduce your risk of chronic health conditions developing including inflammation, arthritis and Alzheimer’s.
9. High in Fiber
Broccoli is a high fiber food and the soluble fiber it contains can help us to maintain proper blood sugar balance and aid in digestion. It’s best to avoid overcooking broccoli, instead lightly steaming it or eating it raw is recommended for best health benefits.
10. Heart Healthy
As a green leafy vegetable, broccoli is excellent for lowering both blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It contains kaempferol, a flavonoid found in many edible plants…this has been shown within numerous studies to help with preventing cardiovascular disease.
11. Fights Damage Caused by Diabetes
Diabetes can be difficult on the body and sulforaphane found within the broccoli vegetable can help to counteract this damage, especially within the heart and blood vessels. This encourages the body to produce more enzymes that can protect the blood vessels from being damaged.
12. Reduces Allergic Reactions
Broccoli is a rich source of kaempferol and this natural anti-inflammatory has been shown to lessen the impact of allergens. As it contains omega-3 fatty acids, this anti-inflammatory can lessen any allergic reactions like watery eyes, runny noses or sneezing.