Broccoli is a staple food in many parts of the world. This tasty vegetable is rich in various nutrients and that is why it is one of the healthiest vegetables to include in our diets. Coming from the cabbage family, broccoli can be categorized as an edible green plant. Broccoli has a high vitamin content and provides many health benefits. Here are 5 reasons to start adding broccoli to your diet.
1. Bone health: Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis. Along with calcium, broccoli is also full of other nutrients like magnesium, zinc and phosphorous. Because of these properties, broccoli is extremely suitable for children, elderly and lactating mothers.
2. Reducing Inflammation: Broccoli is a great anti-inflammatory that may help to reduce the effects of joint damage caused by osteoarthritis. A 2013 study conducted by the University of East Anglia found that broccoli’s sulforaphane content may assist in easing the suffering associated with arthritis. This quality is largely attributable to sulphorane’s ability to “block the enzymes that cause joint destruction by stopping a key molecule known to cause inflammation.”
3. Cholesterol Reduction: Broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body. This is because the fiber in broccoli helps bind with bile acids in the digestive tract. This makes excreting cholesterol out of our body easy.
4. Cancer Prevention: Broccoli shares cancer fighting and immune boosting properties with other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. The chemopreventive properties of sulforaphane have been extensively studied and research into the effect that sulforaphane has on cancer stem cells (CSCs) has drawn some interesting conclusions. CSCs are suggested to be responsible for initiating and maintaining most forms of cancer, and are known to be largely drug-resistant. A number of studies have indicated that sulforaphane may have the ability to target CSCs in different types of cancer, which would greatly assist in the recovery process and reduce the risk of relapse.
5. Aids Digestion: Broccoli is known for its ability to aid digestion. This helpful characteristic can be attributed to a particularly high fiber content – around 1 gram of fiber per 10 calories! Fiber assists in keeping your bowel movements regular and helps to maintain healthy bacteria levels in the gut.