Hi, I am Ruby Agarwal and this is my article on the benefits of broccoli.
'B’ for Broccoli and ‘B’ for bliss for health.
For years, parents have been right: Eating your broccoli is a good idea. This hearty, tasty vegetable is rich in dozens of nutrients. In fact, it packs the most nutritional punch of any vegetable.
“Broccoli” comes from the Latin word “brachium,” meaning “strong arm” or “branch,” and the Italian “piccoli bracci,” meaning "little arms.”
The Roman farmers called it the “five green fingers of Jupiter” because of its curative and preventive properties. These are due to the presence of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber.
It is one of the most popular vegetables and was originated in Italy.
Biological Background: Broccoli is a dark-green vegetable with small, tight heads (curds) mounted on stem-like buds, and is a member of Brassica family of the Cruciferous vegetables.
Pharmacological Information: Broccoli is a spectacular and unique package of versatile disease fighters and abundant in numerous strong, well-known phytochemicals and antioxidants, including indoles, isothiocyanates, quercetin, glutathione, beta carotene, vitaminC, folate, lutein, glucarate, and glutathione.
Essential minerals found in broccoli are iron, folic acid, calcium, selenium and potassium. The amount of calcium is equal to that in one glass of milk.
“Broccoli beats most other veggies in health benefits”- CNN news.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
1.Nutritional Information: One cup of chopped and cooked broccoli (146 g) provides 46 calories, 4.6 g protein, 8.7 g carbohydrates, 6.4 g fiber, 178 g calcium, 1.8 mg iron, 220 RE vitamin A, 0.13 mg thiamin, 0.32 mg riboflavin, 1.18 mg niacin, 98mg vitamin C.
2. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins K, C, and A, folic acid and dietary fiber. It’s a very good source of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and E.
3. Cataract Prevention: Research at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston has concluded that the carotenoids present in broccoli, and its consumption, is associated with a lower risk of cataracts.
4. Cancer Prevention: Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate, an organic chemical compound that has been shown to inhibit the growth of carcinogen-induced cancer.
5. A naturally occurring compound in broccoli, already shown to fight cancer in cells, may also be able to reduce risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to a new animal study.
6. Glucoraphanin, also known sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS), is present in high levels in broccoli sprouts. Testing the effects of the sprouts on an animal model for hypertension in humans, researchers found evidence of increased tissue antioxidant defense mechanisms, lowered inflammatory response and improved cardiovascular health.
7. Broccoli is an important calcium source for those who don't consume dairy products. Calcium does more than build strong bones. Research shows that this mineral may play a role in the control of high blood pressure, and it may work to prevent colon cancer.
8. Broccoli is a fiber find. Not only is it a rich source, but half of its fiber is insoluble and half is soluble, helping to meet your needs for both types of fiber.
9. Broccoli provides a health bonus in the form of protective substances that may shield you from disease.
10. Broccoli provides a high amount of vitamin C, which aids iron absorption in the body, and also eases the symptoms of the common cold.
11.The folic acid in broccoli helps women sustain normal tissue growth and is often used as a supplement when taking birth control pills and during pregnancy.
12. The potassium in broccoli aids those battling high blood pressure, while a large amount of calcium helps combat osteoporosis.
13. Broccoli can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming.
14. In recent years, broccoli has made the headlines regarding three components found in the vegetable. For instance, indole-3-carbinol has captured the attention of those looking to prevent hormone-related cancers, such as breast- and prostate cancer.
15. Immunity: The substances responsible for green and purple color of broccoli, vitamin C, beta-carotene and other vitamins and minerals, particularly selenium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, etc., present in broccoli are really great immune-strengtheners. They protect you from numerous infections.
16. Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body's detoxification system, and researchers have recently identified one of the key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in body's detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants.
17. Broccoli may help us solve our vitamin D deficiency epidemic.
18. Broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol. Recent research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body.
19. Like other cruciferous vegetables, it speeds up the removal of estrogen from the body, helping suppress breast cancer.
20. It is a super source of chromium that helps regulate insulin and bloodsugar.
21. Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, stomach and colon cancer, malignant tumors, lung cancer, arthritis, and even the aging process can be dealt with.
22. Anemia: Anemia is directly related to lack of iron and certain proteins. Broccoli is rich in both of these and hence forms an excellent remedy for anemia. Eat them and blush.
23. Eye Care & Cataract: Primarily Zeaxanthin and then Beta-carotene, vitamin A, phosphorus and other vitamins such as Bcomplex, C and E present in Broccoli are very good for ocular health. These substances protect eyes against Macular degeneration, cataract and repair damages from UV radiations.
24. Skin Care: The credit for keeping your skin glowing and young goes to expert anti-oxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin-C and other helpers like vitamin B complex, vitamin E (the one that gives shine to your skin, hair etc. and revives skin tissues), vitamin A & K, omega 3 fatty acids (adds glamour), amino acids and folate present in the broccoli. They take very good care of your skin.
25. Stomach Disorders: Broccoli is very rich in fiber or roughage, the best thing which can cure almost all the stomach disorders by curing constipation, since constipation is the root to almost all the stomach disorders.
26.The magnesium and the vitamins present in the broccoli also cure acidity, facilitate proper digestion and absorption of nutrients from the food and soothe the stomach by reducing inflammation.
Even kids like broccoli and one way to ensure that they enjoy it is to cook it properly.
To get the health benefits of broccoli, it can be boiled, steamed, eaten raw, and baked. with great-tasting accompaniments, such as a good tasting creamy cheese.
Broccoli also decorates casseroles, rice dishes, and is an excellent addition to a salad.
Though available year round, broccoli is a cool-weather vegetable, and its flavor is best from late fall through early spring.
Caution; Overcooked broccoli becomes soft and mushy, an indication that it has lost both nutrients and flavor. So, don’t overcook it.
After reading these benefits I’m sure you'll want to include broccoli as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family.
Also, the next time you're shopping for vegetables, note that some broccoli tops appear purplier than others, meaning they possess a higher level of carotenoids, which is better for your health.
Author Brief Bio: Ruby Agarwal is a psychology graduate, pursuing her MBA in Human Resource Management. She is also doing her Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Guidance. She practices Pranic Healing and is working with a few NGO’s, highly creative, loves travelling, reading and a guitar player.