10 Health Benefits of Broccoli
Can you think of a more hated vegetable by children than broccoli? There are a lot of adults that won’t even eat this leafy green vegetable. It looks weird, smells bad when cooked and doesn’t exactly taste like cherries. The fact of the matter is this food is one of the natural world’s wonders. Broccoli is one of the riches foods on the planet in terms of vitamins, minerals and biochemicals. Broccoli’s chemical makeup has been known to help fight cancer, boost your immune system, help women fight birth defects, prevent bone deterioration and provide a solace from individuals with diabetes.
This article could go on and on about the benefits of broccoli, but we have provided the top 10 benefits of including broccoli in your daily diet.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
Cancer Fighting Chemicals
1. Isothiocyanates – Researchers have been studying Isothiocyanates for years. Their results show that this chemical stops cancer causing chemicals, such as carcinogens, from manifesting in the body in the form of cancer. Isothiocyanates fight carcinogens in the liver by stopping them from activating, counteract those that have been activated and help to remove them from the body. Studies show that Isothiocyanates are particularly effective at fighting lung and esophageal cancers. Broccoli happens to be one of the best places to find this cancer fighting chemical.
2. Indole-3-Carbinol – Breast cancer is one of the leading diseases women face today. A chemical in broccoli has been shown to help fight this widespread disease. Indole-3-Carbinol manipulates estrogen levels to slow and even prevent breast cancer. Unfortunately, these studies have only proved true in animals. Researchers are working to see if this natural chemical found in vegetables like broccoli can do that same for humans.
3. Glucoraphanin – Another silent killer in today’s society is skin cancer. More and more people are being affected by this disease because there didn’t protect themselves from the sun’s rays. Glucoraphanin is another amazing chemical found in broccoli that helps the skin to repair itself by removing toxins caused by the sun.
Immune System Boost
4. Vitamin C – Vitamin C seems to be able to fix any day-to-day ailment. Broccoli contains the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which helps to alleviate cold and allergy symptoms. Antioxidants found in Vitamin C have also been shown to prevent damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are atoms that have unpaired electrons. Free radicals have been observed by researchers to cause aging and cancer in humans.
5. Beta-Carotene – Beta-Carotene was first discovered by a 19th Century scientist by the name of Wachenroder. This wonderful chemical that provides half of the Vitamin A needed in our diet. It has proven to be effective in preventing cancers and diseases such as breast cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s and more.
6. Zinc – Zinc is critical in helping the body repair itself and giving us energy. It is a trace mineral that helps our cells repair and generate after illness, injury or muscle tears. Studies have shown Zinc to be effective in preventing the risk of cancer in animals. Human studies have not been as effective, but the mineral does help curb the side effects caused by radiation therapy in humans. Broccoli is a great source of Zinc.
7. Selenium – Selenium has amazing antioxidant properties that have been shown to reduce the risk of some forms of cancer such as prostate cancer. The Selenium mineral can been found in the leafy green vegetable called broccoli.
A Pregnancy Must
8. Folate and Folic Acid – Birth defects are every expectant mother’s worse nightmare. One of the causes of birth defects is the lack of folic acid consumed by the mother. Folate, which is the natural form of Folic acid, is a B Vitamin found in foods such as broccoli. A lack of folic acid can cause the neural tube to grow slower or not completely develop. The neural tube becomes a baby’s brain and spinal cord. Expectant mothers should be consuming at least 400 micrograms of folic acid per day. This should come from broccoli and be supplemented because broccoli does not contain all of the folic acid needed during pregnancy.
9. Calcium – Calcium is critical in bone development and strengthening. Most people don’t know that broccoli contains more Calcium than dairy product. This is a great reason for lactose intolerant people, children and the elderly to eat their broccoli every day.
10. Fiber – Fiber is a great carbohydrate that helps the body digest foods. The byproduct of eating too much Fiber is bloating and gas. The recommended daily intake of Fiber is between 25 and 40 grams. A cup of broccoli contains about 10% of your daily recommended intake of Fiber.
Broccoli’s health benefits are almost endless. This is one of nature’s super foods in the form of a leafy green vegetable. While broccoli contains many of the vitamins, minerals and natural chemicals our body needs to run efficiently and protect against disease, many of us still need to eat other natural foods to reach our daily intake of vitamins, minerals and natural chemicals.
Read some of our other guides on the benefits of fruits and vegetable and let us know how they have positively affected your health.