Why Broccoli is a Superfood? – Healthy Positive Mind –
The “little green trees” have the ability to combat depression, improve bone strength and aid digestion, among other benefits.
And according to a paper published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, broccoli is also steeped in “isothiocyanates,” biochemicals that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
A perfect healthy snack, broccoli clocks in at 27 calories per half cup, with less than 1g of fat. As long as you don’t deep-fry your florets (or drown them in cheese whiz), broccoli is a great alternative to more conventional, processed snacks.
As if that’s not enough, a cup of cooked broccoli offers as much vitamin C as an orange, and is a good source of beta-carotene. Broccoli contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc too. It also provides fiber and is low in calories.
Broccoli belongs to a family of vegetables called cruciferous vegetables and its close relatives include Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. Broccoli contains sulforophane, a sulfur-containing compound present in cruciferous vegetables. Researchers are studying the anti-cancer properties of sulforophane and have come to some interesting conclusions, although more research is needed.
Broccoli is a great source of vitamins K and C, a good source of folate (folic acid) and also provides potassium, fiber.
Vitamin K – essential for the functioning of many proteins involved in blood clotting
Vitamin C – builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals.
Fiber – diets high in fiber promote digestive health. A high fiber intake can also help lower cholesterol.
Potassium – a mineral and electrolyte that is essential for the function of nerves and heart contraction.
Folate – is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells in the body.
Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body of H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Furthermore, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinders the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function.
Broccoli shares these cancer fighting, immune boosting properties with other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
Like many whole foods, broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body.
Reducing Allergy Reaction and Inflammation
Broccoli is a particularly rich source of kaempferol and isothiocyanates, both anti-inflammatory phyto nutrients. Research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. Broccoli even has significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which are well known as an anti-inflammatory.
Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the most concentrated source of vitamin C, plus the flavonoids necessary for vitamin C to recycle effectively. Also concentrated in broccoli are the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, other powerful antioxidants.
Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.
The anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane, one of the isothiocyanates (ITCs) in broccoli, may be able to prevent (or even reverse) some of the damage to blood vessel linings that can be caused by inflammation due to chronic blood sugar problems.
Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin are special phytonutrients that support all steps in the body’s detox process, including activation, neutralization and elimination of unwanted contaminants. These three are in the perfect combination in broccoli. Broccoli also contains isothiocyanates (which you read about in inflammation) which help control the detox process at a genetic level.
Broccoli is a smart carb and is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Furthermore, a cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.
Alkalizes your Body
Like many vegetables, broccoli helps keep your whole body less acidic, which has a host of health benefits.