From fiber to vitamins and minerals, learn why broccoli is so good for you. In organic broccoli recipes, we share the healthiest ways to prepare it.
What is broccoli?
Broccoli is a branched, green vegetable with purple or green flower buds, depending on the variety. It is a member of the cruciferous family, which includes cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. It can be consumed raw or fried, and 80g (about 2 spears) counts as one of your five-a-day servings.
Nutritional benefits of broccoli
Many health myths have been made over the years about broccoli and whether it can be considered a “superfood,” but its nutrient-dense profile does provide some real health benefits.
Broccoli is high in fiber and protein, as well as iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as a variety of B vitamins, including folic acid.
Is broccoli good for heart health?
According to Nutrition Research, eating steamed broccoli on a daily basis reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering total cholesterol levels in the body. Another study in the United States discovered that eating more vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, can lower the risk of heart disease.
Can broccoli help build strong bones?
Vitamin K is a nutrient that is needed for blood clotting and may play a role in maintaining bone health and strength. While further research is required, there is consistent evidence that vitamin K can improve bone health in general, increase bone mineral density, and reduce fracture rates in osteoporosis patients.
Adults need 1 mcg of vitamin K per kilogram of body weight, so a 75kg adult will need 75mcg per day. Vitamin K is easily obtained by diet alone, with only 100g of steamed broccoli providing 145mcg.
Please note that if you are taking blood thinners like warfarin, you must be cautious about your vitamin K intake because it can interfere with the drug. Consult your doctor before making any dietary changes.
Is broccoli good for eye health?
Broccoli contains carotenoids named lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been linked to a lower risk of age-related eye disorders including cataract and macular degeneration in studies conducted in 2006 and 2003. A vitamin A deficiency is also linked to night blindness. Beta-carotene is found in broccoli, which the body converts to vitamin A.
Can broccoli help prevent cancer?
Although no one “superfood” can prevent cancer, and some cancer risk factors are unrelated to diet, there is evidence that consuming a balanced diet can minimize cancer risk. Sulforaphane, a phytochemical that gives broccoli its faint bitter flavor, is a key component of broccoli. Sulforaphane has been shown in studies to aid in the detoxification of airborne toxins like cigarette smoke, as well as reduce the risk of some cancers. Broccoli may have anti-cancer properties, lowering the risk of prostate cancer, according to new studies.
Broccoli sprouts, on the other hand, contain a higher concentration of these cancer-fighting compounds. Similar to increasing cress, these can be sprouted from seed on your windowsill.
Is broccoli best eaten raw or cooked?
According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, boiling and steaming broccoli preserves its antioxidant status the best, but cooking destroys vitamin C. Raw broccoli, on the other hand, was found to be the best way to preserve sulforaphane levels, according to another study. In conclusion, whether you consume broccoli raw or cooked, it is an essential part of a well-balanced diet.