The health benefits of broccoli are endless, and research has shown that it positively affects more than one part of the body, keeping the stomach full for very few calories. This cruciferous wonder-cum-nutritional showstopper is an edible flowering head going back to as far as the 6th century BC.
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Eaten enthusiastically by the Romans, broccoli landed in England in the mid-18th century and consequently even reached the US. So how does this green veggie improve our health?
1.Helps prevent cancer:
This is undoubtedly one of the most important health benefits of broccoli.
According to The National Cancer Institute, cruciferous veggies like broccoli contain glucosinolates (chemicals containing sulfur) which, while being cooked, chewed, and digested, break down to form biologically active compounds.
One of them contains potent anti-cancer properties – indole-3-carbinol. In fact, according to research, cancer risk reduces by 60% by eating just 3 servings of broccoli every week.
2. Detoxifies the body:
Broccoli contains the dynamic trio of glucobrassicin, gluconasturtiin, and glucoraphanin, which remove unwanted chemicals from the body.
Furthermore, broccoli also contains sulforaphane, which induces a network of detoxification enzymes and protects the cells as well as suppresses the inflammatory responses.
Did you know?
One of the biggest health benefits of broccoli is that it detoxifies the body. A study observed that people who drank broccoli sprout tea had higher detoxification levels post an 8-week long experiment. It essentially established that broccoli aided in the elimination of pollutants which we inadvertently inhale on a daily basis.
3. Improves organ health:
- Being an excellent source of magnesium, potassium, calcium, and Vitamin K,
- maintains bone mineral density,
- fights osteoporosis,
- keeps the blood vessels strong
- reduces the risk of coronary heart diseases,
- improves blood pressure levels,
- regulates cholesterol levels,
- helps prevent colon cancer,
- improves digestive health,
- betters the memory and cognitive abilities,
- and even protects the eyes from ultraviolet radiation.
What’s more, the low-calorie broccoli helps with weight loss too, and is the perfect addition to one’s weight loss diet, because the fibre keeps you satiated for longer and keeps you away from binge eating.
4. Allergy cure:
According to research, if one consumes broccoli for 3 days, the production of antioxidant-generating proteins in the body goes up by a whopping 200%, thus helping in curing allergies.
5. Pregnancy and sexual health:
Broccoli is not only said to ensure a healthy pregnancy, but it also helps prevent osteoporosis in pregnant women, eliminates neurological defects in the baby and helps prevent gestational diabetes.
What’s more, according to a Spanish study, increased folate intake could better production of semen, leading to improved fertility and stronger orgasms.
6. Amazing skin and hair health:
- Impact on the skin are countless.
- Substances in broccoli not only aid skin repair but also better complexion,
- reduce skin wrinkles,
- improve skin elasticity and do away with aging signs.
- Broccoli is also great for the hair – the vitamins in it impart luster to the hair, fight hair loss and improve general hair health.
Did you know?
Vitamin K is said to build bones better than calcium, and a a cup of broccoli contains 270% of one’s Vitamin K RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for the day.
Ways to include broccoli in one’s diet
You can use broccoli in different ways in your diet to get the most nutrition from your food. Here are 6 ways in which you can include broccoli in your diet.
1.Broccoli in pasta:
This is one of the best ways to get people to eat broccoli, especially your kids.
Along with olives, baby corn, tomatoes, add broccoli and stir-fry them before adding the pasta or simply add steamed broccoli, olive oil and nuts to the pasta and whip up an amazing, creamy pasta that will have people licking their fingers.
2. Broccoli in a salad:
This ultra-healthy dish could do with some fresh, blanched broccoli. Toss in some red wine vinegar, crumbled feta, tomatoes, and chickpeas and you have a delicious healthy salad ready to be eaten.
Are you bored with regular salads? Try this recipe for a hung-curd broccoli salad.
3. Broccoli as a snack:
Broccoli can even be had in the form of a side dish in stir-fried form, or even tossed and roasted in the oven along with other veggies.
You can even puree sour cream, grated cheese, and steamed broccoli in the form of a dip and serve it with other veggies.
For a more indulgent snack, once in a while, saute steamed broccoli and chopped garlic and cover with beaten eggs before sprinkling grated cheese and baking it.
4. Broccoli soup:
One of the best, tastiest, and heartiest ways in which you can absorb the advantages of broccoli is in the form of soup.
It can be pureed along with other veggies and sprinkled with delicious seasonings to make broccoli soups of various types.
Broccoli soup doesn’t have to be boring – here’s something comforting and healthy.
5. Broccoli in pizza:
How about making a healthy, homemade broccoli pizza instead of ordering one? Add broccoli and other vegetable toppings on a wheat pizza base along with grated cheese or cottage cheese and watch it disappear from the table in no time.
6. Broccoli in omelet:
Egg lovers can add chopped broccoli stalks and florets to their morning omelettes to make them tastier and nutritious.
Given the numerous health benefits of broccoli, you now know why your mom insists on you downing this amazing veggie, right?
Remember, it might taste bitter, but it doesn’t have to, given all the wonderful ways in which it can be cooked. Make it part of your daily diet and watch it work wonders.
How many calories are present in Broccoli?
100g of raw broccoli has only about 34 calories. Furthermore, it has no trans fats, is made up of 89% water, 2.6 g of fibre, 6.6 g of carbs and 2.8 g of protein.
What are the values of protein and carbs in broccoli?
100g of broccoli has about 6.6-7 g of carbs, while the same amount of broccoli has about 2.8 g of protein, including all essential amino acids.
How does broccoli aid weight loss?
Broccoli is high in dietary fibre, has low fat and calories, which means that it fills you up for very few calories. Thus, one can feel full quicker with healthy food and be satiated for a long while without binging on calorie-rich foods.
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