10 Health Benefits of Broccoli

1 – Broccoli for Cancer

Broccoli has exceptional anticancer properties, especially for breast cancer. Compounds in broccoli known as glucosinolates, specifically indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, increase the excretion of the type of estrogen (2-hydroxyestrone) associated with breast cancer.

There are numerous studies investigating the health benefits of these sulphur-containing compounds in combating breast cancer as well as prostate cancer. Research has revealed that sulforaphane halted the growth of breast cancer and prostate cancer cells.

Indole-3-carbinol is also a significant cancer-fighting compound, since it has been proven to stop the growth of both breast cancer and prostate cancer cells. Researchers have found that indole-3-carbinol works by halting the cell cycle in breast cancer cells without actually killing the cells.

In addition, indole-3-carbinol increases the ability of the liver to detoxify toxic compounds and also decreases the growth of human papillomavirus (a virus associated with cervical cancer).

The growth of thyroid and goiter cancer cells slowed if they were treated with indole-3-carbinol and diindolylmethane (DIM), another sulphur-containing substance in broccoli.

Research suggests that to be able to cut the risk of cancer in half the average individual would have to eat about 2 pounds of broccoli weekly. As the concentration of sulforaphane is a lot higher in broccoli sprouts than in mature broccoli, exactly the same decrease in risk theoretically may be had with a weekly intake of slightly over an ounce of sprouts.

2 – Broccoli for Arthritis

Study results reveal that a compound found in broccoli known as sulforaphane could prevent or slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. It was discovered that a joint damaging enzyme is blocked by sulforaphane.

10 Health Benefits of Broccoli Infographic

3 – Broccoli for Healthy Bones

Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin K, which have clearly been shown to play a part in improving bone health. Research has shown that vitamin K can increase bone mineral density and reduce fracture rates in individuals with osteoporosis. There is evidence that vitamins K and D works synergistically on bone density. Calcium balance is also positively affected by Vitamin K.

4 – Broccoli for Cholesterol

A study has shown that people with mild to moderate LDL cholesterol levels who drank a broccoli and cauliflower juice had a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels.

5 – Broccoli for a Healthy Heart

Epidemiological studies have shown that broccoli consumption is linked to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease mortality.

Researchers have also discovered that sulforaphane activates a protein called Nrf2, which protects arteries from inflammation, and broccoli is the best dietary source of sulforaphane.

6 – Broccoli for Ulcers

Sulforaphane in broccoli could also be effective in the prevention and elimination of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, often attributed to causing stomach ulcers along with other stomach ailments, including gastritis, esophagitis, and acid indigestion. Even strains of bacteria which have been found resistant to antibiotics were effectively reduced in the presence of broccoli.

7 – Broccoli for Immunity

We already know that sulforaphane activates the Nrf2 protein, which researchers have shown to restore age-related decline of the immune system.

8 – Broccoli for Healthy Eyes

Broccoli also offers a substantial amount of lutein, which can help preserve vision by preventing the development of age-related macular degeneration, as this carotenoid is concentrated in the retina, where it acts to protect it from damage.

9 – Broccoli for Skin

Topically applied sulforaphane extracted from broccoli sprouts has been shown to protect against UV radiation.

10 – Broccoli for Detoxification

Phytocheimcals in broccoli, and especially broccoli sprouts, help to detoxify and protect against carcinogens

Nutrients in Broccoli

Though low in calories, broccoli is among the most nutrient-dense foods. Broccoli is a fantastic source of vitamins C, K and A, as well as fiber and folic acid. It’s a very good source of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins E and B6. In addition, it contains glucosinolates, phyto-chemicals with powerful anticancer properties.

Nutritional value of broccoli per 100g:

  • How many calories are in broccoli – 34
  • How much protein in broccoli – 2.8g
  • How many carbs in broccoli – 7g
  • What is the fat content of broccoli – 0.4g

History of Broccoli

Broccoli ‘s been around for at least 2,000 years and originated from a wild cabbage native to Europe. It was improved upon by the Romans and is currently cultivated across the world. Broccoli was introduced to the United States in colonial times and made popular by Italian immigrants.

The United States, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong and Japan are the major broccoli producers. Ninety percent of the broccoli cultivated in the United States originates from California’s Salinas Valley and Santa Maria. During winter, it comes from Texas, Florida, Arizona and Washington.

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