Some people love broccoli, and others hate it, but nobody can deny that broccoli is a food rich in nutrients that are essential to the functioning of the whole organism. Next, you can discover some of the broccoli health benefits.
Broccoli: Health Benefits
Here are some of the qualities and benefits of broccoli for the health of the human body:
- Prevents cancer – Broccoli contains glucoraphin, a chemical compound that the body processes as anti-cancer compounds called sulforphan. This substance cleanses the body of H. pylory, a bacterium that is known to significantly increase the risk of gastric cancer. In addition, broccoli also contains an antioxidant called idol-3-carbinol. This compound has strong anti-cancer capabilities. Among the types of cancer that it can prevent from developing include breast, cervical and prostate cancer. Idol-3-carbinol also stimulates hepatic function.
- Helps reduce blood cholesterol levels – Broccoli contains an important amount of soluble fiber, which helps reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body.
- Improves inflammation and symptoms of allergic reactions – Broccoli is a particularly rich source of kaempferol and isothiocyanates, both of which are phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory properties. Research has demonstrated the ability of kaempferol to diminish the impact of allergic reactions on the body. Broccoli also contains significant amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory capabilities.
- Contains powerful antioxidants – Of all cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the best source of vitamin C and flavonoids necessary for effective absorption of vitamin C. Broccoli also has a high concentration of other powerful antioxidants such as lutenin, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene.
- Improves bone strength – Broccoli contains a high level of calcium and vitamin K, which are essential for bone mineralization and prevention of osteoporosis.
- Helps maintain heart health – The anti-inflammatory properties of sulphorophane in broccoli may be able to prevent the appearance of blood vessel damage that may be caused by chronic disorders associated with increased blood sugar.
- Helps detoxify the body – Special phytonutrients in broccoli help to all stages of detoxification of the body, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of toxic waste from the body.
- Broccoli helps the digestion process – Broccoli is a smart carbohydrate and has a high fiber content, plant compounds that stimulate digestion. Fiber (especially insoluble) prevents constipation, maintains blood sugar levels at normal levels, and prevents overeating. A cup of broccoli offers as many proteins as a cup of rice or corn, but half of the calories.
Include your broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables in your diet if you want to benefit from the many essential nutrients to maintain optimal health. Eat cruciferous vegetables at least 3 times a week. On average, portions should be about one cup.
Among the side effects that may arise from broccoli consumption are gases and bloating, because this vegetable is rich in insoluble fiber, which can lead to indigestion, especially if you suffer from gastritis or irritable bowel syndrome.
In these cases, consumption of broccoli should be limited. Consumption in large quantities may increase the body’s iodine demand, which could lead to a deficiency.
Broccoli: Nutrition Facts
100 grams of broccoli have:
- 24 calories
- 89% water
- 2 grams of carbohydrate
- 4 grams of protein
- 3 grams of fiber
- 3 grams fat
- vitamins A, C, and K
Broccoli: How to cook it
Let us remember that in order to keep all the properties intact and can take advantage of these beneficial substances, it is best to eat raw broccoli. However, in order to maintain the maximum nutritional value of this vegetable, it must be boiled for a maximum of 10 minutes or it must be cooked in steam.
Broccoli can be also consumed raw, but it has a stronger flavor when cooked, especially as a garnish.
Here are 4 different ways you can prepare it:
- Steaming broccoli – The healthiest way you can cook broccoli is steam. Thus, it keeps intact both the taste and the nutrients contents. How are you doing it? Put the water to boil in a larger pot. Above, put a special strainer for steam cooking. Make sure that the water does not exceed its base. Put broccoli and cover everything with a lid. From time to time, check to see if it’s ready. You only need a little butter or olive oil and salt and you already have a delicious meal.
- Microwave steam – It’s as simple as on the stove. Place the broccoli in a special microwave pot, add a few tablespoons of water, cover them with a lid and put them in the microwave oven for 2-3 minutes at high temperature.
- Saute – After washing thoroughly, let it dry completely. Then take a pan and put some oil in it. Add the bouquets of broccoli and a knife tip of sea salt. Stir well. Wait for about 1 minute then continue to mix until the broccoli catches a light green nuance.
- Fried broccoli – Heat the oven at 200° C. Throw the bouquets of broccoli and broccoli strains, sprinkle a little salt on top and let them sit in the oven between 20 and 25 minutes. They will get a brownish color and will be crisp.