Broccoli is a green vegetable closely related to cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. There are three main types or varieties of Broccoli and they are all powerhouses of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
The most edible parts of Broccoli are the green and purple flowering head, and the raw vegetable has a slightly bitter taste like cabbage and some group of people who have a certain receptor gene find the taste unpleasant and extremely bitter.
The rich presence of glucosinolates is responsible for the slightly bitter taste of broccoli, but this shouldn’t scare you away from this superfood. A hundred gram of broccoli has 34 calories, and this makes it an excellent food for weight loss.
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Broccoli is highly rich in dietary fiber and essential proteins like tryptophan. It is rich in lutein zeaxanthine, beta-carotene, vitamin A, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamine.
It is also a storehouse of vitamin B6, B9, C, B1, E, and K. It is also rich in calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, sodium, and magnesium.
This humble vegetable is a rich source of vitamin C, it has twice the amount of vitamin C in oranges and twice the amount of calcium in whole milk and selenium, an important nutrient that keeps cancer at bay.
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Broccoli contains unique organic compounds that have therapeutic properties, this includes phytonutrients like isothiocyanate, flavonoids, glucosinolates, and powerful antioxidant compounds.
Sulforaphane is another important phytochemical present in broccoli, it helps in detoxifies your body especially after being exposed to carcinogens in food and air and other substances like oxidants that harm your cells and body in general.
It also protects your cells from mutation and your DNA from damages. All these make broccoli a superfood and one on the healthiest cruciferous vegetables on the planet. You can eat it raw and it can also be consumed steamed or raw.
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10 Health Benefits of Broccoli
1. Prevents Chronic Diseases
The rich amount of antioxidants and phytochemicals present in broccoli help keep severe and chronic diseases at bay. They neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidation.
Regular intake of broccoli reduces your risks of diabetes, heart disease and disorders, asthma, and other chronic and life-threatening diseases.
2. Prevents Rapid Aging
Broccoli helps slow down the process of aging, this is because it contains Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN), this compound produces substances that stop premature aging.
It also triggers metabolism and plays a key role in delaying aging.
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3. Boost the Health of your Liver
Broccoli protects your liver and makes sure that it functions at the optimal level. When you include broccoli in your diet regularly, it will help reduce your risks of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which is caused by the presence of excess fat in your body, this, in turn, leads to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
4. Boosts Metabolism and Sexual Performance
The rich content of nutrients in broccoli help boost metabolism, it helps regulate temperature because it has a rich content of fiber and it also increases your rate of metabolism after eating.
Broccoli also improves sexual stamina and performance, it does this by increasing the circulation of blood in your body and your sexual organs, thereby increasing libido.
It is also a storehouse of vitamin C and folate which help to improve sperm count and fertility.
5. Boosts Brain Health and Functions
Broccoli is rich in vital nutrients that your brain relies on for optimum health and functions. It contains choline, vitamin K, and Sulforaphane.
Choline and vitamin K help boost memory and prevent cognitive disorders while Sulforaphane prevents neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Broccoli contains sulfur, amino acids, and vitamin C and all these help in eliminating harmful substances from your body and keeping it clean. It fights free radicals and expels excess toxins from your body.
It purifies your blood and prevents toxin-induced problems like boils, gout, rashes, itches, renal calculi, arthritis, eczema, rheumatism, and hardening of the skin.
It also fights acidity by making your body alkaline.
7. Protects your Hair
Broccoli is rich in essential nutrients required for the hair like vitamin C and vitamin A, they make your hair thick, strong, and shiny and they improve the overall health of your hair.
They increase the production of sebum thus fighting dry hair and hair-splitting and they also help keep your hair moisturized. This helps in reducing hair loss, brittle hair, and fragile hair.
Regular consumption of broccoli will give you lustrous hair.
8. Promotes Healthy Pregnancy
The rich content of essential nutrients present in broccoli is of great importance to pregnant women. It helps greatly to prevent bloating and constipation which is very common in pregnancy.
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Broccoli is dense in folate and this mineral prevents birth defects like neural tube defects.
9. Fights Chronic Inflammation
Broccoli has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps relieves inflammation and prevents inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
10. Treats Anemia
Broccoli is a rich source of iron and protein, these powerful nutrients guard against anemia. It also contains copper which helps in the production of red blood cells.