Good Reasons to Include Broccoli in Your Healthy Diet

Good Reasons to Include Broccoli in Your Healthy Diet

Good Reasons to Include Broccoli in Your Healthy Diet
Not many people like broccoli, but you should include it in your list of must-eat veggies. It offers many health benefits from strengthening your immune system to cutting your risk for cancer.

Broccoli is considered by nutrition experts as a superfood because of its nutrient content and its ability to fight diseases including osteoarthritis. It is rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants. It has vitamins A, B, C, K and iron.

Why Eat Broccoli

Mainly popular for fighting cancer, broccoli offers many health benefits for your body. Find below 10 reasons why you should include broccoli in your diet.

Ostheoarthritis Prevention

The University of East Anglia in UK published a research about sulforaphane, which is a compound present in broccoli. This compound appears to prevent osteoarthritis in test mice. Researchers learned that sulforaphane has anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to slow down the decomposition of joint cartilages. Information such as this is helpful in the further studies of arthritis, which hopefully will find a diet solution as an alternative to expensive medication and treatment.

In addition, this can give doctors a supplementary understanding of which dietary substances can help improve joint health. This in turn can help them give helpful advice to patients suffering with joint problems that can reduce economic burden as well.

Cancer Prevention

The chief benefit of broccoli is it can remove body toxins to prevent cancer. Keri Glassman, The O2 Diet author, mentions that eating broccoli has been proven effective against colon, bladder, breast and ovarian cancers. Broccoli has two important phytochemicals, isothiocyanates and indoles, which act against cancer, particularly the hormone-related cancers including prostate and breast cancers.

The University of Illinois conducted a study that revealed a way to boost further the anti-cancer property of broccoli. By pairing this veggie with a spicy food containing the myrosinase enzyme like horseradish, wasabi and mustard, its cancer-fighting property is made more effective.

Another research by the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore learned that the sulforaphane in broccoli can increase the activity of cancer-fighting enzymes. The researchers also learned that the beta-carotene in broccoli can transform into vitamin A and help in preventing cancer.

Fights Depression

In her book Eat Your Way to Happiness, author Elizabeth Somer mentions the ability of broccoli to boost brain cells. Broccoli is rich in folate, which helps to activate the brain cells. Without this B vitamin, the risk for fatigue, depression, poor memory and even schizophrenia increases. So, increase your intake of broccoli to help take the blues away and feel happier.

Improved Bone Health

Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin K and calcium, which help prevent osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Healthy Nervous System

As a good source of potassium, broccoli can help stabilize the nervous system and balance the effect of sodium on blood pressure.

Lowers Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Broccoli provides the body with vitamin B6 and folate, which reduces the risk of heart disease as well as stroke.

Better Digestion

Broccoli has high fiber content and helps in good digestion. The fiber helps sweep the digestive tract and prevent constipation.

Enhanced Vision and Skin Complexion

The lutein in broccoli aids in eye health. It can help in slowing down age-related macular degeneration and cataract. Broccoli also contains vitamin A and glucoraphanin, which aids in repairing skin damage due to sun exposure and aging.

Heart Disease Prevention

Researchers from the Institute for Food Research in Norwich, England have developed a “Super broccoli,” with 2 to 3 times more glucoraphanin for the purpose of heart disease prevention. This breed is not genetically modified but a crossbreed of a British and Sicilian variety.

Enhanced Immunity

Vitamin C is widely known for its ability to enhance the immune system and fight infection. Broccoli is not only rich in vitamin C, but also has phytochemicals that help remove body toxins to further strengthen the body’s resistance to cold and flu.

The good news for weight watchers is that broccoli is a non-starchy vegetable, so they can freely add it to their diet. Broccoli can be eaten plain – just blanch or steam and eat. Or include it in stir-frys, omelets and salads for a twist.

Photo credits: Broccoli by Mike Licht via Flickr, CC by 2.0

Categories: Nutrition
Tags: broccoli

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