Everyone knows that you should eat your vegetables, and broccoli is no exception. Virtually a superfood, broccoli is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In just one cup of broccoli, you’ll sacrifice only 55 calories and receive in return high amounts of vitamins A, K. E, and C, as well as the minerals folate, fiber, potassium, zinc, and iron, just to name a few.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
Read on to learn how incorporating more organic broccoli into your diet can improve your overall health.
1. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Thanks to its high volume of omega-3s, broccoli is well-known for its ability to fight and decrease inflammation throughout the body. Broccoli is also rich in kaempferol, a flavonoid that addresses the effects of an allergic reaction, further increasing broccoli’s ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent.
2. Antioxidant Powers
Broccoli is chock-full of vitamin C as well as the flavonoids that support the role of vitamin C, making it successful in putting all that vitamin C to good use. In addition, broccoli contains three specific carotenoids that further support the immune system: lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.
Vitamin E, manganese, and zinc further attest to broccoli’s antioxidant powers. It is also this unique combination of nutrients found in broccoli that improve oxygen metabolism in the body, therefore reducing inflammation.
3. Detox the Body
The nutrients found in broccoli help support the body’s natural two-step detoxification process. By being involved in both steps, broccoli helps your body rid itself of dangerous substances that threaten the health of your cells.
4. Cancer Prevention
Because it is so rich in a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, it should come as no surprise that broccoli also helps prevent cancer by removing harmful free radicals and toxins from the body. Broccoli has been shown to be especially productive in preventing prostate, breast, bladder, ovarian, and colon cancers.
5. Digestive Support
Broccoli is full of fiber, which is a vital component in determining the speed, consistency, and bacterial populations of our food as it travels through the digestive system. Fiber helps keep things running on time and as smoothly as possible. Broccoli also helps encourage the growth of healthy bacteria inside of our stomachs.
6. Heart Healthy
Thanks again to its anti-inflammatory capabilities, as well as its cholesterol-reducing properties, broccoli is an excellent choice for those that are especially concerned about their cardiovascular health. In fact, steaming broccoli may actually increase its ability to lower cholesterol, for reasons yet not completely understood by scientists; so, if you don’t like your broccoli raw this is good news for you.
The B vitamins found in broccoli also help lower your risk of excessive homocysteine in the body; excessive homocysteine formation is often linked to stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.
7. Eye Health
That’s right, broccoli also contains vitamin B2 which helps support the healthy function and structure of the eyes. Thanks in large part to the carotenoids found in the cruciferous vegetable, broccoli may help address/prevent ocular issues such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
8. Skin Support
Most likely related to the detoxification abilities of broccoli, this veggie may also help counteract sun damage in the skin. This means it may also help the skin look younger and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
9. Arthritis Support
Research suggests that sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli, can block a destructive enzyme that attacks and damages cartilage. By preventing this, sulforaphane helps to reduce and prevent pain and inflammation that results from a loss of cartilage and an increased wearing on the bones.
10. Blood Pressure and Kidney Support
Related to its ability to reduce cholesterol in the body, broccoli also helps reduce blood pressure. Sulforaphane has been shown in studies with lab rats to not only decrease blood pressure and the stress on the heart, but to also improve kidney function.
The benefits of broccoli are endless! In addition to those already mentioned, broccoli may also help reduce blood sugar levels and slow the natural decline of our immune systems. Needless to say, broccoli should be added into your diet as often as possible. If you can’t eat it by itself, try sprinkling a small amount of shredded cheese and letting it melt over the broccoli. Or, sprinkle some of your favorite seasoning over the vegetable.
Shoot for at least ½ cup every time you eat it. With all of these health benefits and virtually no negative side effects, everyone should be adding ORGANIC broccoli to their diet as often (and as soon) as possible.