The Many Benefits of Broccoli
When it comes to superfoods, broccoli's got its name all over that game. Whether raw or cooked, this vegetable is one of the healthiest options you can go for. It is in the same family of cruciferous vegetables as other nutritional powerhouses such as kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, but in this blog we're going to be focusing on broccoli. So, if you're interested in a deep dive on all that broccoli can do for you, read on!
- Lots of nutrients. Broccoli is extremely high in vitamin K and vitamin C, with one cup providing over 100 percent of the daily target for each of these important nutrients. In addition, it packs a significant amount of vitamins A, B6, B2, and E, plus phosphorus, manganese, copper and potassium.
- High in fiber. If you're looking for a fiber fix, look no further than this green vegetable. One cup of broccoli provides two and a half grams of fiber, enough to make an impact on digestive health and feed helpful bacteria in the gut tied to anti-inflammation.
- May protect against cancer. There is not definitive evidence on this claim yet, but several studies have shown broccoli to be beneficial in protecting against several varieties of cancer: breast, prostate, gastric, colorectal, kidney, and bladder.
- Supports heart health. A study in Nutrition Research found that eating steamed broccoli on the reg lowers the risk of heart disease, because it lowers the amount of cholesterol in the body. Other studies have also shown that broccoli lowers the risk of heart disease.
- Slows aging. One study, of 960 older adults, found that one serving a day of dark green vegetables, including broccoli, helped resist the mental decline associated with aging. Furthermore, sulforaphane, a key ingredient in broccoli, has been shown in research to slow the aging process by increasing the expression of antioxidant genes.
- Improves teeth. In addition to reasonable speculation that the physical act of eating raw broccoli cleans plaque off your teeth (unproven, but makes sense!), the vitamin C and calcium found in broccoli are known to prevent periodontal disease.
- May help control diabetes. A study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that consuming broccoli sprouts improved insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes patients. The study suggests that some of the nutrients in broccoli help lower blood sugar.
- Supports healthy pregnancy. Folate, found in broccoli, is an essential nutrient that supports the development of the fetal brain and spinal cord. Broccoli also supports pregnant mothers. Since it's so rich in fiber, it can eliminate constipation, which is super common in pregnant women.
- Promotes healthy skin. Broccoli contains antioxidants including beta-carotene, folate, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, all of which contribute to healthy, glowing skin. There are many ways to eat broccoli. It's great raw, but can also be steamed, sautéed, or roasted in the oven. You can add broccoli to stir fry's, omelettes, fajitas, and many more dishes. It can even be cut into tiny pieces to become a great substitute for rice. No matter how you consume your broccoli, rest assured that you're doing your body a big favor by doing so!