'B' is for Broccoli and for blissful health. This popular vegetable has a wide variety of nutritional and medicinal benefits, including its ability to prevent many types of cancer, improve our digestive system, lower cholesterol, detoxify the body, and maximize vitamin and mineral uptake. Broccoli also prevents allergic reactions, boosts the immune system, protects the skin, prevents birth defects, lowers blood pressure, eliminates inflammation, and improves vision and ocular health.
Nutrition facts of Broccoli: The health benefits of broccoli are derived from the unique mixture of nutrients, organic compounds, minerals, and vitamins that are found in this lovely vegetable. These include significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber, folate, potassium, selenium, vitamin A, manganese, tryptophan, vitamin B6, and phosphorus. In terms of unique organic compounds, broccoli is a rich source of phytonutrient glucosinolates, flavonoids, and various other antioxidant compounds that boost our health in a major way!
Health benefits of Broccoli include the following -
Treats cancer: Broccoli may prove to be a natural wonder drug for many types of cancer, including breast cancer, cancer of the uterus, prostate cancer, and cancers of various internal organs like the lungs, colon, liver, kidneys, and the intestines. That being said, it is particularly beneficial for breast cancer and uterine cancer, since it removes extra estrogen from the body. This is due to the presence of strong anti-carcinogenic compounds like glucoraphanin, diindolylmethane, beta-carotene, selenium and other nutrients like vitamin C, A, and E, zinc, potassium and certain amino acids, which are also good anti-cancer agents.
Detoxifies the body: The presence of vitamin-C, sulfur, and certain amino acids make broccoli a very good detoxifier. It helps to remove free radicals and toxins like uric acid from the body, thereby purifying the blood and keeping away problems related to toxins such as boils, itches, rashes, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, renal calculi, skin diseases like eczema, and hardening of the skin.
Skin care: The credit for keeping your skin glowing and young goes to expert antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin-C, as well as other helpers like vitamin B complex, vitamin E (the one that gives shine to your skin and hair while reviving skin tissues), vitamin A & K, omega 3 fatty acids (adds glamor), amino acids, and folate present in broccoli. They all help to take very good care of your skin and leave it glowing, healthy, and radiant.
Protects from UV rays: Furthermore, glucoraphanin, one of the phytonutrients found in significant amounts in broccoli, has been connected with reversing the negative effects of sun exposure, so you can turn back the clock on your skin by eating plenty of this beneficial vegetable!
Prevents heart diseases: Apart from the antioxidants mentioned above, broccoli has a very high fiber content, along with significant levels of beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and other vitamins that help reduce bad cholesterol and keep the heart functioning properly by regulating blood-pressure. When you steam it, studies have shown that the fiber components combine better with bile, making it much easier and efficient to excrete. Reducing bile has a strong impact on cholesterol levels, thereby helping your heart health. Furthermore, the potassium found in broccoli is a vasodilator that can boost blood flow and oxygenation of essential organs by relaxing tension and stress of veins and blood vessels.
Eye care: Zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, vitamin A, phosphorus and other vitamins such as B complex, C, and E found in broccoli are very good for ocular health. These substances protect eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts, while also repairing the damage caused by radiation.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Broccoli is rich in various nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids. Recent research suggests that intake of diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce or delay the onset of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Improves immunity: The substances responsible for the green and purple color of broccoli are vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other vitamins and minerals, particularly selenium, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. These compounds present in it are really great immune system strengtheners that can protect you from numerous infections.
Improves bone health: Being very rich in calcium (present by 47 mg. per 100 grams) and other nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus, eating broccoli can be very beneficial, particularly for children, old people, pregnant women or lactating mothers. That's because these are the people most prone to osteoporosis, weakening of bones and teeth, and calcium deficiency.
Helps in pregnancy: Since it is full of nutrients essential for pregnant women, such as proteins, calcium, vitamins, antioxidants, detoxifiers, iron, phosphorus and others, it is an ideal component of any diet for them. Being rich in fiber, this will also eliminate constipation, which is very common during pregnancy. Furthermore, the folate content in broccoli ensures that there are no birth defects, such as neural tube defects, which are a major problem for pregnant mothers who have a folic acid deficiency in their diet.
Regulates blood pressure: An important mineral, chromium, found abundantly in broccoli, helps in the proper functioning of insulin and regulates blood sugar, thereby regulating blood pressure as well. Vitamins, which make all our systems function properly and are found in abundance in it, along with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, help regulate blood pressure even more. So add some broccoli to your diet for some real heart health protection! (excerpt)
The write-up has also appeared on www.organicfacts.net
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