Like many others, do you wrinkle your nose in disgust at the mention of the word broccoli? Then clearly, you’ve not sampled any dishes based on Ina Garten’s broccoli recipes. Well, you should, because they are absolutely delicious and make you wonder why you hated this vegetable before now. To top it all, the health benefits of broccoli are aplenty.
Broccoli is definitely a winner when it comes to health foods. Let’s explore some of the magic benefits of broccoli so that you have enough reasons to add this veggie to your diet.
6 Health Benefits of Broccoli You Didn’t Know About
Healthy vision has a lot to do with the consumption of broccoli and other green leafy vegetables. This is because these veggies contain certain phytochemical antioxidants that are very potent. These substances, called lutein and zeaxanthin, are included in the carotenoid family and are present in large amounts in the eye lens.
Improved Immune System
The immune system is highly strengthened by broccoli. How does this vegetable manage to do that? It possesses the recommended dietary concentrations of vitamin C and a hefty 1359 mcg of beta-carotene that work on the immune system. It also contains beneficial amounts of zinc and selenium. These two trace minerals participate in immune defensive actions as cofactors.
Help Against Birth Defects
Did you know that folate deficiency, according to research, is the most common deficiency in the world. Folate is responsible for the healthy growth of the fetus in the uterus. This is because it is required for DNA synthesis and for the fetus’ nervous system cells to divide appropriately. Also folate, although abundantly present in various foods, is primarily derived from leafy greens. It takes its name from the Latin word “folium” meaning “foliage”. Pregnant women must add broccoli to their diets.
A cup of broccoli supplies 94 mcg of folic acid.
Protection From Colds
Colds always seem to be just around the corner, and are usually awful and irritating. The right way to fight colds is by consuming broccoli, as it is rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties and fights infections.
Calcium has always been associated with dietary products. But findings have established that calcium is present in higher quantities in broccoli than in other dietary sources. This mineral is important for building bone mass and as a result, is required to increase and maintain the strength of bones. Also, here’s some refreshing news for lactose-intolerant individuals – they can obtain calcium content from broccoli since they cannot tolerate milk products.
Help Against Cancer
Broccoli contains isothiocyanates, biochemicals known for their potency against cancer-causing agents. These agents entering the body are neutralized by the enzymes produced by the liver, all stimulated by broccoli. Subsequently, the DNA suffers a lesser extent of damage and the susceptibility to tumors is greatly reduced. Even existing cancer cells slow down in their progression when faced with the chemicals present in broccoli!
Another cancer–fighting agent broccoli consists of is indole-3-carbinol, which alters the levels of estrogen and lowers the risk of breast cancer in women.
As you can see, broccoli comes packed with the goodness of nature and the best of nutrients, so why not include it in your diet and get all the benefits of broccoli? Start by googling for amazing broccoli recipes on the Internet.