Broccoli is known as one of the most nutritional vegetables around. It is a member of Cole family which grows 1.5 to 2.5 feet tall. It is grown in most of the US states during different seasons but, is not suitable for hot climates. Its unique nutrients help promote many health benefits. Broccoli is categorized into two main types: Headed or sprouts. The difference is in the structure, the headed broccoli forms a large solid head whereas the sprouted broccoli forms many florets.
Benefits of Broccoli
- Cancer prevention nutrient: It contains glucoraphanin that is processed by the human body into a kind of compound which helps in the prevention of cancer. It is rich in powerful anti-oxidant such as indole-3-carbinol. It prevents development of prostate, cervical and breast cancer due to the presence of anti-carcinogenic properties.
- Improves the nervous system: It contains high level of potassium which helps in maintaining a healthy nervous system. Helps in proper functioning of the human brain. It promotes the regular growth of muscles.
- Maintains blood pressure: Due to the presence of magnesium, calcium and potassium broccoli helps in regulating the blood pressure.
- Reduction of cholesterol: It contains soluble fiber, which helps in reducing the cholesterol in the body.
- Helps in dieting: As it is rich in fiber, it helps in resolving digestive problems and constipation. It curbs overeating thus, helps in maintaining a normal sugar level in the body. It is also good for people who are planning for weight reduction.
- Eye Health Maintenance: Vitamin A is known for its prevention in eye problems, Broccoli contains Vitamin A. This vitamin helps in forming retina, the light absorbing molecule that is essential for low light and color vision. Also studies suggest that carotenoid lutein prevents age related macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Healthy heart: Its helps to fight against heart disease and stroke due to the presence of carotenoid, which prevents the narrowing of arteries in the human body. It also contains B6 and folic acid which helps in the prevention of brain stroke, heart attack and arteriosclerosis.
- Sun Burn: The presence of glucoraphanin in Broccoli, helps the skin to detoxify and repair itself.
- Prevents birth defects: It is advisable for pregnant woman to have broccoli due to presence of folic acid and B vitamins. The folic acid helps in the proper development of the nervous system in babies. Thus, it helps in prevention of birth defects such as spinal bifido.
Nutritional facts of broccoli
Broccoli is a vegetable which is rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. The other nutrient facts of broccoli are:
- It is low calorie vegetable, 100 g of broccoli contains 34 calories.
- The head of broccoli contains Phyto-nutrients, which helps in developing a kind of compound which can help in protecting from prostate, breast cancer, colon and urinary bladder.
- It is rich in vitamin C which is natural anti-oxidants, helps in protecting against the common cold.
- A good source of minerals like zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
- The flower vegetable is also a rich source of vitamin-K and B-complex group of vitamins. It also contains omega-3 fatty acid.
Tips and Warning
- You can get more from broccoli if it’s steamed or stir fried. It should not be overcooked.
- It should be steamed for not more than 7 mins, removing the lid in between steaming helps broccoli to maintain its green color.
- Too much intake of broccoli every day may increase the risk of kidney stone.