Broccoli is a popular health food that frequently appears on lists of super foods. What makes this green vegetable the object of so much attention by nutritionists and researchers? In this article, I’ll take you through some of the most amazing benefits of making broccoli a part of your everyday diet.
1. Anti-inflammatory properties
Broccoli is an excellent source of kaempferol. This flavonoid has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It helps reduce chronic inflammation in addition to controlling allergic symptoms in the body. It is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have powerful antioxidant properties. These slow down the decay process of cells. Studies also show that kaempferol and omega-3 fatty acids can even reduce the risk of cancer.
2. Digestive support
Rich in fiber and low in calories, it is perfect if you’re on a diet. The high fiber content in it smoothens the digestion process and prevents fat from building up in the body. As a result, your body is able to maintain a proportionate weight.
3. Cholesterol reduction
The high amount of fiber in broccoli may help to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Certain varieties of this vegetable are rich in the compound glucoraphanin, a powerful antioxidant that is readily soluble and has cholesterol-reducing properties. A recent study shows that it might actually reduce LDL, also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body by 6%. The fiber in it attaches to bile salts and transports them out of the body. This stimulates the liver to use the cholesterol in the body to produce another batch of bile salts. This, in turn, helps to lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
4. Delayed aging
This vegetable is also great at keeping the skin looking younger. It is rich in Vitamins C and A that promote the buildup of skin collagen, which prevents signs of premature aging appearing on the skin. It also contains Vitamin B complex that makes your skin healthier and fresh.
5. Eye health
Broccoli contains several antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein (okay, that’s a mouthful) that protect the eyes against the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and prevents glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other ailments of the eye.
6. Lowered risk of cancer
Broccoli helps fight cancer by boosting the immune system. Compared to other leafy green veggies, it is particularly rich in sulforaphane. This very powerful agent cleanses the body of cancer-causing substances. The sulforaphane in it is also effective at destroying cancerous cells. It also curbs the spread of the disease to other parts of the body.
7. How to cook broccoli
Raw! Steamed! Boiled! There are endless ways to cook broccoli. The best way to preserve the nutrients in it is to sauté it lightly in olive oil and/or butter. However, if you truly want to get the maximum benefit out of this super-veggie, the best way is to steam it. Steaming helps to lock in all the vital nutrients and enzymes that your body needs to stay healthy.
Research keeps opening up doors to new benefits of broccoli, with much more waiting for us to discover them. Making fresh broccoli is a part of our diet is a wise decision and can go a long way to getting a healthy body.
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