A member of the cabbage family, broccoli derives its name from the Italian plural broccolo meaning ‘flowering top of a cabbage’. Broccoli has been considered a valuable food among the Italians since the days of Roman Empire. There are mainly three types of broccoli – Calabrese Broccoli, Sprouting Broccoli and Purple Cauliflower.
With a plethora of health benefits, the broccoli is one of the healthiest foods in the world. Some of the health benefits of broccoli are:
Anti-Inflammatory: Broccoli is a rich source of flavonoid named kaempferol that helps battling inflammation and allergies.
Detoxification: The presence of three phytonutrients – glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin has a strong impact on the body’s detoxification system.
Fights Vitamin D Deficiency: The presence of vitamins K and A in broccoli help keep the metabolism of Vitamin D in the body. Proper balance of Vitamin D promotes bone and health growth.
Rich Source of Fibre: A rich source of fibre helps lower cholesterol levels. It also facilitates digestion.
Good for Eye Health: Studies have shown that regular consumption of broccoli helps improving eye health. The presence of two major carotenoids- zeaxanthin and lutein is extremely good for eye health.
Supports Skin Repair: The substance glucoraphanin present in broccoli, when converted into sulforaphane helps in repairing skin damage – the result is you get a healthy glowing skin.
Rich in Potassium and Vitamin C: Potassium helps controlling high blood pressure while high Vitamin C ensures absorption of iron.
Cancer Fighting Abilities: The presence of glucoraphanin in broccoli, is processed by the human body into something (a compound) that is capable of preventing cancer. The vegetable is extremely rich in indole 3 carbinol that is a powerful antioxidant. Other anti-carcinogenic substances are known to prevent the development of prostate cancer, breast cancer and also cervical cancer. It also promotes the growth of a healthy liver.
Health organizations advise eating broccoli several times a week. However, remember, the vegetable has to be cooked properly. If it becomes too tender it might not retain the nutrients. So, always slow cook or rather boil or lightly sauté broccoli before having it.