Remember these green vegetables that we refused to eat when we were younger? Often, we will say ‘yuck’ or discreetly put them away from our plate when our parents are not looking.
It is a green vegetable that vaguely resembles a miniature tree. Broccoli belongs to the Brassica oleracea species and closely related to the cabbage family.
The three main varieties of broccoli are:
1. The word “broccoli” is derived from the Italian plural of broccoli, meaning “the flowering crest of a cabbage”. Did you know that broccoli serves plenty of health benefits as it is a nutritional powerhouse full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants? Thus, is also known as the “Crown of Jewel Nutrition”.
2. Per 100g serving of broccoli contains only 34 calories. Therefore, it is an excellent addition to a weight loss diet.
3. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C which is essential for immune function. Half a cup (78g) of cooked broccoli gives 84% of the reference daily intake (RDI) – more than one-half orange can offer.
4. Broccoli is a good source of Vitamin K and calcium, which helps to maintain strong healthy bones and prevent bone-related disorders.
5. Broccoli contains high levels of glucoraphanin, a compound that is converted into potent antioxidant; sulforaphane during digestion. Sulforaphane aids in reducing blood sugar, cholesterol levels and oxidative stress. In addition, sulforaphane also aids in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and many neurodegenerative diseases.
6. Many small studies have shown that eating broccoli may protect against certain types of malignancy, such as breast, prostate, gastric, colorectal, kidney and bladder cancer. This is due to the presence of strong anti-carcinogenic compounds like sulforaphane, glucoraphanin, diindolylmethane, isothiocyanates, beta-carotene and selenium.
7. Broccoli has the capacity to slow the biochemical process of aging with the help of compound called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). NMN promotes the production of a compound that triggers the metabolism, thus prevent the genetic changes that lead to premature aging.
8. Broccoli helps with skin care that gives you a glowing, healthy and radiant appearance. The antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K, omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, and folate will do its magic.
9. Carotenoids like zeanxanthin, beta-carotene, phosphorus and vitamins A, B complex, C and E are good for ocular health. These substances protect the eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts while repairing the damage caused by radiation.
10. Common side effects of broccoli are gas and bowel irritation. The vitamin K content in broccoli may inhibit anticoagulant medications. Thus, be cautious while eating it when you are on warfarin or any other blood thinners.
With all the above health benefits, it's time to start eating these greens again!
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