Broccoli belongs to the cabbage family botanically which is collectively known as cruciferous vegetables; and just like every other cruciferous vegetable, broccoli contains two important phytochemicals (indoles and isothiocyanates) which studies has shown that they help the body fight against cancer and other diseases by increasing the activeness of the enzymes in the body. Most people especially the younger ones may not really “love” broccoli that much – probably because it does not taste super great like other sweet foods but surely, it contains a whole lot of nutrients which makes it have a place in your kitchen and home. Broccoli has existed for over 2000 years and can be said to have an Italian origin or history. Its name “broccoli came from the Italian plural of broccoli. They are three main types of broccoli cultivated all around the world they include: Calabrese broccoli which is named after Calabria in Italy and it is most familiar one, sprouting broccoli which is characterized by it larger number of heads with many thin stalks, and purple cauliflower which is peculiar to Europe and North America. Broccoli’s large contain of nutrient like vitamin A, C, E, K, folic acid, calcium, sodium, fibre and other nutrients has made it possible for it to offer health benefits to the body which includes:
- Lowering the risk of cancer: the risk of prostate cancer, breast cancer and even the cancer of some internal organs like lungs, kidney and liver can be reduced if one eats broccoli because broccoli contains good amount of potassium, glucoraphanin, diindolylmethane, and beta-carotene which are anti-carcinogenic compounds that helps in removing extra estrogen from the body and inhibits the further growth and spread of cancer cells.
- Antioxidant and detoxifier: broccoli helps to eradicate free radicals from the body and by so doing, it purifies the blood and prevents some diseases which are associated with toxins like gout, rheumatism, rashes and so on.
- Preventing constipation: broccoli is high in fibre which makes it able to enhance digestion and promote smooth bowl movement. Adding broccoli to your meal will aid in digestion and prevent constipation.
- Heart care: the presence of beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids and fibre both soluble and insoluble in broccoli make it able to flush unhealthy cholesterol out of the blood vessel and promote a healthy heath. Cholesterol has been associated with great number of heart problems and even stroke – so, having broccoli in your meal may help you minimize that risk.
- Bone health: broccoli might not be the best source of calcium but it is a very good source of calcium and other nutrients like zinc, phosphorus and magnesium which helps to fight against osteoporosis and ensures healthy bone.
Broccoli also offers great benefit to our skin as it contains a good amount of vitamin C and E which are very effective for a shiny skin. It also contain other nutrients like beta-carotene, folate, omega 3 fatty acid and amino acids which enhances the presence of collagen in the body and ensures a glowing and shiny skin.