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19 Major Health Benefits of Broccoli

Broccoli is an edible green plant which belongs to the cabbage family and is mainly grown for its flowering head, which is eaten as a vegetable. There are many varieties of broccoli, and the most common ones are Calabrese Broccoli, Sprouting Broccoli, and Purple Broccoli. Being a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers and phytonutrients etc., they provide a number of health benefits. In this article, we will know about the major health benefits of broccoli, but first, let’s take a look at the below-mentioned nutrition chart of Broccoli.

Nutrition Chart of Broccoli

Nutrition Chart of Broccoli
Source-USDA

Health Benefits of Broccoli

Health Benefits of Broccoli
Source-Pixabay.com

(1) Reduces The Risk of Several Types of Cancers

Regular and moderate consumption of broccoli has been found to be very beneficial for reducing the risk of several types of cancers. This benefit of broccoli is mainly due to the presence of antioxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin C etc. in them. These antioxidants fight with the free radicals in our body, stabilizes them and thus prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells. By protecting our cells from the oxidative damage, antioxidants reduce the risk of several types of cancers like stomach cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, abdominal cancer etc.

In addition to this, broccoli is also a good source of glucosinolates, a chemical that contains sulfur. As per the finding of The National Cancer Institute, cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower etc. are very effective in reducing the risk of several types of cancers like lung cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer etc. because of the presence of glucosinolates in them. These compounds break down to form biologically active compounds like Indole-3 Carbinol, an important compound that inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

In addition to this, Sulforaphane, a naturally occurring sulfur also plays a significant role in reducing the risk of several types of cancer as it supports normal cell functions and division, and also promotes apoptosis in cancer cells. ( apoptosis refers to programmed cell death of cancer cells). It has been found that eating 3 servings of Broccoli per week can reduce the risk of cancer by about 60 percent.

(2) Aids In Removing Toxins From Our System

Broccoli is also beneficial for removing toxins and other impurities from our system. Presence of toxins and other relevant materials are bad for our health because they damage our health, and also increases the burden on our vital organ like liver and kidneys. This is because our liver and kidneys have to put on an extra effort to get rid of these toxins from our system, and this prevents them from performing other functions associated with them.

This benefit of broccoli is mainly due to the presence of antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin A etc. in them. These antioxidants fight with the free radicals in our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells, and thus helps in keeping our organs healthy. It not only aids in removing toxins from our system, but also improves the functionality of liver and kidneys, and thus allow them to function optimally.

In addition to this, other compounds like glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, and glucobrassicin present in the broccoli also play a major role in getting rid of toxins from our body. The Sulforaphane present in the Broccoli sprouts induces a network of detoxification enzymes, and thus protects our aerobic cells from the damage.

As per an 8-week study, it was found that individuals who consume broccoli sprout tea were found to have the higher level of detoxification in comparison to those who didn’t. They also showed a decreased level of benzene and acrolein in their blood sample. Benzene and acrolein are the toxic products of chemical combustion found in the highly polluted area. We unknowingly inhale these pollutants every day while breathing, and getting rid of them is very important, and broccoli can help in doing the same.

(3) Strengthens Our Bones And Teeth

Broccoli has been found to be very beneficial for making improving our bone and teeth health, and for making them stronger. This benefit of broccoli is mainly due to the presence of various nutrients like Vitamin K, calcium, potassium and magnesium in them. These minerals play a significant role in making our bones and teeth stronger, and aids in maintaining bone mineral density.

Some experts have even mentioned that when it comes to bone building, VItamin K builds bone more efficiency in comparison to calcium. Eating a single cup of Broccoli provides 270 percent ( almost 3 times) of the daily required amount of Vitamin K. Vitamin K not only aids in building bones but also provides a number of other benefits like aids in blood clotting, promotes cell growth, improves cardiovascular health etc.

Eating broccoli on a regular basis is also effective for reducing the risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which our bones become very weak and fragile. They are also a good source of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects our cells from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals. They also improve the production of collagen in our body. Collagen is an important amino acid found in abundance in connective tissues like joints, tendons, teeth, bones etc.

(4) Keeps Our Cardiovascular System Healthy

Eating broccoli on a regular and moderate basis has been found to be very beneficial for our heart, and helps in keeping our cardiovascular system healthy. This benefit of broccoli is mainly due to the presence of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc. in them.

The antioxidants present in the broccoli protects our cardiovascular system from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals. In addition to this, the dietary fibers present in the broccoli aids in maintaining cholesterol level in our system. It reduces the level of bad LDL cholesterol from our system and increases the level of good HDL cholesterol, and this also improves our cardiovascular health.

Potassium and sulforaphane present in the broccoli provide relief from high blood pressure which is a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, irregular heartbeat etc.

(5) Keeps Our Digestive System Healthy

Consuming broccoli on a regular and moderate basis has been found to be very beneficial for our stomach and helps in keeping our digestive system healthy.

This benefit of broccoli is mainly due to the presence of various nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers etc. in them. The dietary fibers present in the broccoli acts as a natural laxative, improves bowel movement and thus ensures smooth elimination of waste from our system. This provides relief from constipation and as well as other digestive problems like abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, flatulence etc.

Additionally, broccoli is also a good source of antioxidants that fight with the free radicals of our body, stabilizes them and thus prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells, and reduces the risk of stomach cancer, colon cancer etc. By reducing the risk of these cancers, they play a major role in improving our digestive health.

In addition to this, broccoli on consumption breaks down to various compounds like Indolocarbazole ( ICZ) which activates another compound called aryl hydrocarbon receptor ( AHR) which improves the function of gut barrier and treats issues like leaky guts. Leaky gut is a condition that occurs when the intestinal barrier gets compromised by the attack of toxins and microbes. This also leads to poorer absorption of nutrients.

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(6) Enhances Liver Health

Eating broccoli on a regular basis has been found to be very beneficial for reducing the risk of liver cancer, and for increasing its overall functionality. This benefit of broccoli is mainly due to the presence of antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds in them.

These antioxidants fight with the free radicals in our body, stabilizes them and thus prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells. Free radicals are nothing but the unstabilized ions ( toxins) that get formed during the oxidation process in our body. As these are unstabilized ions, so they steal electrons from the neighboring molecules and thus cause oxidative damage to them. Free radicals also put a burden on our vital organs like liver and kidneys, as our organs have to put on an extra effort to eliminate toxins from our system.

Broccoli sprouts can even increase the level of detoxification enzymes in our system. By helping with the detoxification process, broccoli not only minimizes the risk of liver cancer but also improves the overall health of the liver. Some other important functions performed by the liver are the removal of toxins from our system, processing nutrition, cholesterol production, synthesis of protein, production of bile, blood sugar regulation etc.

It has also been found that dietary broccoli can also reduce the risk of fatty liver disease.

(7) Aids In Curing Various Allergies

Broccoli is also good for treating allergies. A research study has found that eating broccoli just for 3 days can increase the level of protein ( by 200 percent ) that generates antioxidants in the nasal cells, and can thus help in curing allergies.

Broccoli is rich in polyphenol compounds like quercetin and kaempferol that reduces the effect of particulate pollution (pollutants) on the allergic disease and asthma. Quercetin is so effective in treating allergies that are widely used as a major ingredient in most anti-allergic drugs.

They are also a good source of antioxidants that protect our immune system from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals. When our immune system is stronger, it is more effective in dealing with the allergens and this helps in getting relief allergies.

(8) Good For Weight Loss

Eating broccoli on a regular basis is very beneficial for individuals who are on a weight loss regime or those who would like to get rid of some extra pounds. This benefit of broccoli is mainly because of its low caloric value. Eating 100 grams of broccoli provides only 34 calories which means one can enjoy benefits of broccoli without worrying about the weight gain.

In addition to this, they are also a good source of dietary fibers that keep our stomach full and satisfied for a longer duration and decreases our urge to eat again and again. As overeating is a major cause of weight gain, so by controlling overweight, broccoli helps in controlling weight gain or obesity.

Last but the not the least, broccoli is also rich in water, and about 91 percent of broccoli weight is just water. Water has no calories which means it will not contribute to the weight gain. In fact, it will help in the weight loss process by increasing metabolism and improving digestion.

(9) Improves Vision Health

Our eyes are our window to the world, as they allow us to enjoy the beauty of this world. It is therefore important for us to take a good care of our eyes, and broccoli can help in doing the same. It has been found that eating broccoli on a regular basis is very beneficial for keeping our eyes healthy.

This benefit of broccoli is mainly due to the presence of antioxidants like Vitamin A and Vitamin C in it. These antioxidants fight with the free radicals in our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells. By protecting our eyes from the oxidative damage, it reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration like cataract, glaucoma etc.

Vitamin A present in the broccoli is an important mineral for maintaining eye health and reduces the risk of night blindness.

In addition to this, they are also a good source of other compounds like lutein and zeaxanthin that significantly aids in keeping our eyes healthy. Eating just 100 grams of broccoli contains about 1000 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Vitamin C present in the broccoli also contributes to our vision health. It improves the production of collagen, an important protein found in abundance in our body, and forms a part of connective tissues, bones, nails, teeth, eyes, tendons, cartilage etc.

Last but not the least, broccoli is also rich in sulforaphane which is a naturally occurring antioxidant that protects our eyes from the harmful effect of the UV rays and keeps them healthy.

(10) Good For Diabetic Patients

Consuming broccoli on a regular and moderate basis has been found to be very beneficial for diabetic patients or those who are at the risk of developing diabetes. This benefit of broccoli is mainly because of its low glycemic index. Glycemic index of broccoli is 15 which is considered as low, and it reduces the rate at which sugar gets released into the system. This prevents a sudden spike in the blood sugar level and thus helps in managing diabetes.

The dietary fibers present in the broccoli also plays a significant role in managing diabetes as they reduce the rate at which sugar gets absorbed into the system, and thus helps in managing diabetes. Sulforaphane present in the broccoli also aids in managing diabetes.

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(11) Improves Cognitive Function

Broccoli is very good for our brain and helps in improving cognitive functions. Eating broccoli on a regular and moderate basis keeps our brain and neurological system healthy.

This benefit of broccoli is mainly due to the presence of antioxidants and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols etc. in them. These antioxidants fight with the free radicals in our body, stabilizes them and thus prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our brain cells aka neurons. It aids in treating various neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease etc.

The sulforaphane present in broccoli has been found to improve spatial memory, especially after a traumatic injury, Other nutrients vitamin K and choline also helps in keeping our brain healthy.

(12) Improves Metabolism

A healthy metabolism plays an important role in keeping us healthy. When our metabolism is good, our body is able to digest and process food more efficiently. This also means better absorption of nutrients.

Eating broccoli on a regular and moderate basis improves metabolism, aids in digestion and also helps with the absorption of nutrients. This benefit of broccoli is mainly due to the presence of calcium and Vitamin C in it. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects our digestive system from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals. By removing toxins from our system, antioxidants lessen the burden on the liver, a vital organ that helps with the synthesis of protein and fat.

In addition to this, broccoli is also a good source of dietary fibers which acts as a natural laxative, improves bowel movement, and ensures smooth elimination of waste from our system. This helps in providing relief from constipation and also reduces the risk of various digestive problems like abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, poor metabolism, flatulence etc.

(13) Strengthens Immune System

Our Immune system plays an important role in keeping us healthy. It is the defense mechanism of our body that prevents disease-causing microbes like bacteria and virus etc. from invading us, and even if they somehow enter our body,, and make us sick, it is the immune system that fights against them and makes us healthy again. It is therefore important for us to take good care of our immune system, and broccoli can help in doing the same.

It has been found that eating broccoli on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for keeping our immune system stronger. This benefit is mainly due to the presence of antioxidants like Vitamin C in them. These antioxidants fight with the free radicals in our body, stabilizes them and thus prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells, including the white blood cells that form the backbone of the immune system.

When our immune system is stronger, it is able to fight with the disease-causing microbes like virus and bacteria etc. in an efficient manner and thus reduces the risk of cold, cough, flu etc. In addition to this, sulforaphane, a naturally occurring antioxidant and the glutathione, a master antioxidant also aids in boosting the immune system as they reduce the rate at which immune cells decline with age. In other words, it keeps our immune cells younger and improves their performance.

(14) Beneficial During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an important stage in every woman’s life and eating healthy and nutritious food is very important during this stage. This is because what a pregnant woman eats not only determines her health, but also the health and wellness of the fetus developing in her womb. Broccoli has been found to be very beneficial for the pregnant woman because of the various nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients etc. present in them.

They are a good source of folic acid or folate that aids in reducing the risk of neurological defects like spina bifida and neural tube defects etc. A per a Canadian study, broccoli sprouts can prevent the newborn from the brain injuries.

In addition to this, other nutrients like vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers etc. also plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. The dietary fibers not only helps in keeping our digestive system healthy but also aids in preventing gestational diabetes. The calcium present in the broccoli reduces the risk of osteoporosis in pregnant women, and the antioxidants in broccoli prevent the vital organ of the pregnant woman and the fetus from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals.

(15) Improves Sexual Health of Men

Broccoli is a good friend of men as it can help in improving their sexual health. It has been found that eating broccoli on a regular and moderate basis can enhance the sexual health of men. This benefit of broccoli is mainly because of the presence of nutrients like folate and vitamin A in them.

As per a Spanish study, folate is very effective in enhancing semen production, which leads to stronger orgasms and improved fertility. Vitamin A present in it is an antioxidant that not only enhances sperm count but also prevents our cells from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals.

(16) Balances pH Level of Body

Broccoli is alkaline in nature which means it is very effective for balancing the pH level of our body. Balancing pH level of our body is very important for our optimal health. Both too much acid in our blood or too less acid in our blood is bad for our health. It has been found that excess acid in our blood can give rise to metabolic acidosis which builds up ketones in the blood, Too much acid can also affect respiration and give rise to problems like vomiting, fatigue, breathing complications, weakness, and confusion.

Similarly, if the level of acid in our blood is too low it can cause alkalosis. It can also increase the level of carbon dioxide in our blood and may give rise to symptoms like irritability, muscular twitching or cramps. (source).

Therefore, balancing pH is very important for maintaining good health, and broccoli can help in doing the same.

(17)Reduces The Risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ( Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Eating broccoli on a regular and moderate basis has been found to be very beneficial for reducing and delaying the onset of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. This benefit of broccoli is mainly due to the presence of Omega-3 fatty acids in them. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a motor neuron disease which causes the death of neurons that controls the death of the voluntary muscles.

(18) Helps In Regulating Blood Pressure

Regular and moderate consumption of broccoli has been found to be very beneficial for controlling high blood pressure or hypertension, which is a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, irregular heartbeat etc.

This benefit of broccoli is mainly due to the presence of an essential mineral “Potassium” in it. Potassium acts as a natural vasodilator which means it relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation and thus helps in controlling high blood pressure.

In addition to this, chromium present in the broccoli also plays a significant role in regulating blood pressure as it helps with the proper functioning of the insulin, regulates blood sugar and thus helps in regulating blood pressure. Other compounds like dietary fibers and Omega-3 fatty acid also plays a good role in regulating blood pressure.

(19) Helps In Treating Anemia

Eating broccoli on a regular basis is very effective for treating anemia and also reducing the risk of developing anemia. Anemia is a condition caused by the lack of iron in our body, and give rise to symptoms like general fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, brittle nails etc. (source).

Broccoli has been found to be very beneficial for treating anemia because of the presence of iron in them. The iron plays an important role in carrying oxygenated red blood cells to every part of the body and thus helps in performing them optimally.

Broccoli is also a good source of copper, an essential mineral that increases the production of red blood cells.

Reference(s)

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-broccoli-for-skin-hair-and-health/

https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/broccoli.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broccoli

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-broccoli.html

 Disclaimer

The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.

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