Fun fact: Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family, making it a cruciferous vegetable. It’s name is derived from the Italian word broccolo, meaning the flowering top of a cabbage.
A cool-season crop, broccoli (scientific name: Brassica oleracia) is usually grown for its flower heads. It is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes arugula, cabbage, and cauliflower. This vegetable is known as a powerhouse when it comes to nutritional value. It is very low in caloric content, but has enormous amount of vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals.
One hundred grams (100g) of broccoli has 34 calories. Aside from low calorie count, it is also very low in fat. Adding to its superfood feature is its richness in dietary fiber at 7% recommended daily allowance (RDA). The level of dietary fiber in broccoli makes it a perfect snack or vegetable option when trying to shed some pounds.
Aside from the impressive level of dietary fiber it produces, broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient to achieve overall wellness. Broccoli has 149% RDA of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that furthers growth and development. It is also a salient nutrient that boosts the immune system and functions as a natural antioxidant.
Broccoli is also packed with good amount of vitamin A at 21% of the RDA. Vitamin A is important to keep visions healthy as well as the cells in the intestinal tracts and skin. It is also high in vitamin K with 85% of the RDA. Vitamin K helps in transporting calcium for proper bone formation and even blood clotting.
This vegetable also comes with a moderate supply of vitamin B complex including thiamine (6% RDA), riboflavin (9% RDA), niacin (4% RDA), pantothenic acid (12% RDA), and pyridoxine (13% RDA).
A good amount of folates is also found in broccoli. Folates are very important to support the nervous and cardiovascular system as well as the brain. Broccoli has 14% of the RDA of folates per 100 grams.
Broccoli is not a superfood without the necessary amount of minerals found in it. It has 9% of the RDA of both iron and manganese. Iron plays a vital role in the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, kinds of protein necessary to transport oxygen to all parts of the body including muscles. Manganese, on the other hand, improves bone structure and boosts metabolism. Aside from iron and manganese, broccoli is also a source of other minerals like calcium, magnesium and selenium (5% RDA each), copper (5.5% RDA), and zinc (4% RDA).
Broccoli is not only equipped with numerous nutrients, it is also a versatile vegetable that you can eat raw or cooked either on its own or as an ingredient.
The Health Benefits of Broccoli
Broccoli is one of the most famous vegetables that are rich with vitamins and minerals. Eating broccoli regularly can bring many benefits to our overall health. Health experts say that broccoli contain almost all nutrients that all other fruits and vegetables combined. If you eat broccoli in one sitting, it is as if you have eaten various fruits and vegetables at the same time. Broccoli is known to be very nutritious because of its fairly huge amount of calcium, fiber, folic acid, and vitamins A and C. Recent studies and research concluded that broccoli is one great factor of cancer prevention and treatment. Aside from reduction of risks of developing cancerous tumors, broccoli also has other more very significant health benefits. To help you understand better about what broccoli can positively do to your body, below are some of its amazing health benefits.
Promotes Weight Loss
First and foremost, broccoli contains very low amount of calorie. For 100g it only has 34 calories. Knowing this justifies why this vegetable is always recommended by nutritionists in daily diet plan. On top of that, broccoli has antioxidants, dietary fiber, and plenty more vitamins and minerals. As measured by ORAC or the oxygen radical absorbance capacity, the antioxidant it contains is utmost 1623 TE per 100 grams. Antioxidants play vital role in our body because it is the main eliminators of bad cholesterols.
Because broccoli is an excellent source of fiber, eating such improves digestion. Fiber allows the food we eat to properly move to the subsequent process of digestion. This fruit is very popular in cleansing digestive tract in order that we digest the food we intake the right way.
The glucoraphanin content of Broccoli develops an anti-cancer substance called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane fights harmful bacteria that highly generate development of cancer cells in the body. On top of that, broccoli has anti-carcinogen that is actually a very effective and powerful antioxidant that prevents growth of cervical, breast, and prostate cancer. Anti-carcinogen is also good for the liver. It promotes its proper function.
Detoxify the Body
Broccoli is a rich source of soluble fiber. The fiber removes bad cholesterol in the body through proper digestion and bowel movement. It is also high in protein and helps maintain normal sugar levels. On top of that, broccoli has antioxidants that clear the unwanted contaminants in the body. With its detoxifying properties, you can assure that your systems are properly function to achieve overall optimal health. This vegetable has glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, and gluconasturtiin that promote the detoxification process in the body.
Anti-Inflammatory properties reduce allergic reactions
One very important compound that can be found in broccoli is the kaempferol. Kaempferol is one of the most effective phyto-nutrients that prevent inflammation. This compound is proven to materially reduce the effect of substances in the body that causes allergy. In fact, broccoli also has one of the most common anti-inflammatory called omega 3 fatty acids.
The calcium and vitamin K content of Broccoli improves and maintains the health condition of the bones. These minerals help prevent osteoporosis and other types of bone-related disorders.
Reduces Body’s Acidity levels
Broccoli has the ability to alkalize the body. Almost all vegetables have the power to reduce the acidity level of the body. This is why the importance of eating vegetables is always stressed out not only by our parents but also at school and other means of education.
Eating broccoli regularly reduces risks of skin damage. If you apply it directly to your skin, you will instantly notice its desirable effects. Research proved that broccoli extract can promote a healthier and young-looking skin because of its ability to fight of the effects of UV radiation.
Alkalizes the Body
Broccoli reduces the body’s acidity levels. Regulating the body’s acidity level can lead to many health advantages. It lessens digestive disorders and promotes overall optimal health condition.
It is essential that the benefits of eating broccoli are not neglected. In buying broccoli, make sure that you choose the freshest ones for your health’s greatest benefit. Fresh broccolis have bright color and firmly compacted flower head texture. Do not buy those that are showing signs of abnormal maturity. If you want to reap more health benefits, go for organic broccolis. Choosing organic broccolis will give you assurance that what you are eating is free from harmful chemicals like pesticide residue and the likes. Make sure that you wash it properly before cooking. In cooking this vegetable, make sure that you do not tend to overcook. In fact you get more nutrients from it if it is eaten raw. You can incorporate it in your salad or you can steam it for just a few minutes. It is found that extensive cooking of broccoli diminishes the minerals and vitamins it contains.