We all remember as children having to finish our broccoli before we got to have our dessert. Well, Mom was definitely onto something. This natural superfood actually provides us with various incredible health benefits. There is much evidence that broccoli is superior and out ranks most other competing vegetables in nutritional value.
Broccoli has it all, containing calcium, fiber, vitamins A, K and C, protein, fiber, and much more. The amount of vitamin C that broccoli contains is more than that of even oranges (CNN Health, 2000). Its fiber content has been shown to lower cholesterol and help the process of digestion along. It also houses various anti-inflammatory and detoxifying nutrients as well as antioxidants. This vegetable has been shown to prevent colon cancer and stroke while decreasing the risk for cataracts and improving vision, containing carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Broccoli has also been shown to promote healthy skin and skin repair. It is well equipped with cancer fighting agents such as isothiocyanates that promote other cancer battling phase 2 enzymes. These enzymes act as neutralizers for potentially cancerous substances, keeping them from infecting healthy cells (CNN Health, 2000). In addition, broccoli also contains a miracle organic sulfur called Sulforaphane that promotes better vision, lowers blood pressure to decrease the risk for hypertension, and protects against cancer causing tumors and stomach bacteria that can lead to ulcers (Mercola, 2012).
For all you calorie counters out there, this is a great go-to snack or addition to any meal with only 34 calories per 100 grams (Cline, 2012).
How to buy broccoli:
- look for tightly packed heads
- heads should be a dark green color
- stalks should be smooth and firm
- stay away from discolored heads containing any open or yellowing buds as well as those that feel mushy or soft
Ways to prepare broccoli:
- Stir Fried
All in all, broccoli is one of the most nutritious foods you can consume and one of the biggest favors you can do for your body. Now that you have the 411 on this almighty vegetable, its time to get your broccoli on and try out different ways to eat this super food and see which is your favorite.
ACE - CPT
Cline, J. (October, 2012). Food Focus: Broccoli. IDEA Fitness Journal.
Mercola, Dr. (2012, September 23). Mounting Evidence Pegs Broccoli as One of Nature's Most Health-Promoting Foods, Tackling Hypertension, Cancer, and More. Mercola.com. Retrieved January 26, 2012 from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/23/broccoli-health-benefits.aspx.
Wilcox, J. (2012, July 1). Health Benefits of Broccoli. Forbes. Retrieved January 26, 2012 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/juliewilcox/2012/07/01/health-benefits-of-broccoli/
Broccoli Beats Most Other Veggies in Health Benefits (2000, April, 17). CNN Health. Retrieved January 26, 2012 from http://articles.cnn.com/2000-04-13/health/broccoli.benefits.wmd_1_brassica-chemoprotection-laboratory-broccoli-isothiocyanates?_s=PM:FOOD