13 Outstanding Broccoli Benefits
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable which is green in colour and looks like a tree as it has florets attached to the stalk just like that of Cauliflower.The organosulfur chemicals namely glucosinolates and the S-methyl cysteine sulphoxide found in broccoli in concert with other constituents such as vitamins E, C, K and the minerals such as iron, zinc, selenium and the polyphenols namely kaempferol, quercetin glucosides and isorhamnetin are presumably responsible for various health benefits of broccoli. Here are 13 reasons why Broccoli is healthy for you.
1. Broccoli Benefits Vision : Broccoli is loaded with beta-carotene which converts to Vitamin A once it is inside the body. Vitamin A plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision. In its retinal form it combines with the protein ‘opsin’ to form rhodopsin which is an essential light absorbing molecule that aids is vision, especially in dim light. Macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in older adults can be prevented with a diet high in foods like broccoli that provide antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin A is a natural treatment (1).
2. Boosts Immunity : It is a good source of Vitamin C which boosts the immune system and fights off cancers, heart disease and protects the body from free radical damage. The compound 3,3'-diindolylmethane from broccoli has been studied for its immune boosting properties and it was seen that 3,3'-diindolylmethane increased blood levels of cytokines which help to regulate the body’s immune system (2).
3. Good for Bone Health : Broccoli benefits in bone health as it contains Calcium which promotes strong bone growth and prevents osteoporosis. Being a rich source of Vitamin K it helps in preventing the loss of bone density and also prevents osteoporosis (3).
4. Prevents Constipation : Broccoli contains fibre and it adds bulk to your diet which helps prevent constipation. Make tasty salads with broccoli like Stir fried Paneer Broccoli and Baby Corn Salad and Whole Grain Broccoli and Pinenut Salad.
5. Broccoli Benefits in Cancer : Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) can be found in broccoli. I3C lowers the levels of harmful estrogen that promote tumor growth in hormone-sensitive cells (4). It thus helps fight against colon, breast cancer etc. Cruciferous vegetables like Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage when eaten, contain glucosinolates which help fight off bacterial and fungal infection in the body. Cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals such as sulforaphane that have been linked to lowering the risk of lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and bladder cancer (5) (6) (7).
6. Rich in Folate : Broccoli is a good source of folate. A cup of broccoli florets will give 14.56% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of folate. Folate is a mineral which promotes normal tissue growth and can help avoid birth defects (8). Therefore, pregnant women should increase their folate intakes before and during pregnancy. Low folate levels in the body can lead to folate-deficiency anemia. Regular inclusion of broccoli in the diet may help prevent folate-deficiency anemia.
7. Important for women : Being rich in Indoles, Broccoli and other Cruciferous Vegetables maintain Estrogen balances (9). Estrogen hormone is more important to women and also called the female sex hormone which is crucial for reproductive and sexual development.
8. Broccoli Benefits Weight Loss : 1 cup of broccoli florets give only 13 calories. As it is a low calorie vegetable which can be used in a large amount of recipes like salads, soups and tossed into pasta or just have grilled broccoli in olive oil. There are so many healthy recipes for weight loss you can make with Broccoli.
9. Rich in Antioxidants : Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are rich in Antioxidants which helps remove harmful substances called free radicals from our body (10). These free radicals need to be neutralized in the body as they comes in lots of different grades and you need to neutralize that by consuming different antioxidant rich foods. Only one food will not do the trick. But remember to consume a rainbow of colorful vegetables and fruits daily. Antioxidants in turn lowers the risk of infection and inflammation of the body due to eating processed foods. Give a boost of antioxidants to your body with this Broccoli Spinach and Zucchini Stir Fry recipe loaded with antioxidants like Vitamin A and C.
10. Helps Blood Clotting : Broccoli is rich in Vitamin K which is crucial role in blood clotting (11). Vitamin K helps to clot wounds and bleeding, leading to quick healing.
11. Maintains Heart Health : Studies have shown that increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables can promote cardiovascular health and overall longevity (12). The fibre in broccoli benefits by reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood thereby decreasing the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Broccoli contains sulforaphane which can significantly improve high blood pressure. Being low in sodium, it can be safely consumed by hypertensive individuals.
12. Low Carb : Broccoli is extremely low in carbs and therefore does not raise blood glucose levels. One cup of Broccoli has only 2.34 grams of carbs. Perfect food for a healthy life style.
13. Iron absorption : Broccoli being rich in Vitamin C, helps in at the absorption of Iron in the blood boosting hemoglobin count (13) and producing more energy.
Nutrition Information for Broccoli
Nutritional Information for 1 Cup of Broccoli Florets
One Cup of Broccoli Florets is 52 grams.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
1.61 grams of Protein
2.34 grams of Carbs
0.15 grams of Fat
46.80 mg Vitamin C = 117% of RDA (about 40 mg)
92.50 mcg of Vitamin K = 77.08 % of RDA (about 120 mcg)
1300 mcg of Vitamin A = 27.08 % of RDA (about 4800 mcg)
29.12 mcg of Folic Acid = 14.56% of RDA (about 200 mcg)
48.36 mg of Phosphorus (P) = 8.06% of RDA (about 600 mg)
45.76 mg of Calcium (Ca) = 7.62% of RDA (about 600 mg)
1.20 mg Vitamin E = 6.0% of RDA (about 20 mg)
0.11 mg of Vitamin B6, Pyridoxine = 5.50% of RDA (about 2 mg)
0.06 mg of Vitamin B2, Riboflavin = 5.45% of RDA (about 1.1 mg)
0.78 grams of Fibre = 3.12% of RDA (about 25 grams)
138.84 mg of Potassium (K) = 2.95% of RDA (about 4,700 mg)
9.93 mg of Magnesium (Mg) = 2.83% of RDA (about 350 mg)
0.33 mg of Vitamin B3, Niacin = 2.75% of RDA (about 12 mg)
0.03 mg of Vitamin B1, Thiamine = 2.50% of RDA (about 1.2 to 1.5 mg)
0.41 mg of Iron (Fe) = 1.95% of RDA (about 21 mg)
5.20 mg of Sodium (Na) = 0.27% of RDA (about 1902 mg)
Healthy Recipes to Gain Maximum Broccoli Benefits
A cleansing broth becomes substantial enough for a light lunch or when you are down with running noses and sneezy wheezes. Bulk this Broccoli Broth with celery, onions and carrots. This vibrantly colored and flavorful broth tastes best when served hot. Top up your calcium intakes with this quick and easy to prepare Broccoli Soup
When you think about recipes to make with broccoli, the first thing that comes to our minds is healthy salads. You can make a wide range of salads using Broccoli like Broccoli Bean Sprouts and Green Peas Salad
Broccoli is a perfect fit for Indian subzis too. Try this delicious Spicy Broccoli Subzi, a unique gravy, which is prepared without using oil and is a good low calorie option for lunch or dinner. You can even combine broccoli with paneer and cook in an onion tomato masala and make this Broccoli Aur Paneer ki Subzi.