Why exactly is broccoli so good for us? With our parents telling us as kids to “eat your broccoli” and nutritionists applauding the king of green vegetables, it seems that we know it’s good for us, but we don’t necessarily know why. To answer this question, let’s delve into the numerous health benefits of broccoli and understand why it should be a part of all of our diets.
Broccoli is a famed vegetable for the various ways it can improve our health. In fact, it may be easier to discuss what broccoli doesn’t provide us. However, we think it’s important to know why including more broccoli in your meals is always a wise move.
Broccoli Can Protect us From Cancer
Broccoli can protect against several types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancer, mainly because it contains sulforaphane. According to Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, this compound is in many cruciferous vegetables. It works by slowing tumor growth by “preventing cancerous cells from multiplying,” according to an article published by the MD Anderson Center.
The multifaceted sulforaphane found in broccoli protects us from cancer in more ways than one. Several scientists also strongly assert that eating broccoli can prevent cancer-causing mutations in your DNA. You’ll want to consider including more broccoli in your meals, knowing it can protect us from one of the world’s most harmful diseases.
It’s important to note that boiling broccoli can eliminate most of the vital nutrients it has to offer. This may also affect how much sulforaphane remains in your portion of broccoli. Don’t worry; you can still sauté, steam, stir-fry and roast your broccoli.
Broccoli can Lower your Blood Sugar
High blood sugar can lead to various health complications. If your doctor has told you that you are at risk of developing high blood sugar, you should do everything possible to change that. Hypoglycemia can restrict blood flow in our blood vessels, affecting our body’s most important organs and causing heart disease and kidney problems.
Eating broccoli can help diabetes patients manage their insulin levels. More specifically, it contains glucosinolates that enhance insulin sensitivity, according to Healthline. Eating your broccoli raw as a snack is the best way to reap the benefits of its ability to regulate blood sugar.
Broccoli Promotes Digestive Health
Many of us don’t get enough fiber in our diet, affecting our digestive health and causing issues like constipation. Web MD includes broccoli as a critical ingredient in a standard high-fiber grocery list, containing 2.6 grams in a 100-gram serving. If you struggle with irregular bowel movements, you may want to grab a second helping of broccoli during your evening meals.
Broccoli is Full of Antioxidants
We’ve already discussed sulforaphane, which is an antioxidant that reduces our risk of cancer. Broccoli is full of other valuable antioxidants as well. Antioxidants are responsible for cleansing our body from harmful threats known as free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that enter our system when we regularly ingest harmful and unhealthy things. Examples include smoking, eating fried foods, drinking alcohol and living in a polluted city. Free radicals compromise our cells, and they can lead to tumor growth and contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Regularly eating broccoli can give your body a much-needed boost in antioxidants. This could be an excellent idea if you were once a smoker or a heavy drinker.
Broccoli Improves Heart Health
A diet including high amounts of broccoli can promote heart health for several reasons. We’ve already discussed how it can help regulate blood sugar by protecting our blood vessels. To add to this, damaged or restricted blood vessels can also severely impact heart health and cause high blood pressure and heart disease.
According to Healthline, eating broccoli can also reduce your chances of having a heart attack due to its high antioxidant content. Eating broccoli can also help you recover more smoothly following a heart attack. Specifically, the antioxidants can fight any dangerous free radicals that can further damage your heart tissue.
Broccoli Prevents you from Overeating
Broccoli is one of the most filling vegetables out there and can help people struggling with obesity. Consistently including a portion of broccoli with your meals can help you feel full for a long time. This will prevent you from snacking on sugary or salty snacks between meals or overeating during your next meal.
Not only is broccoli filling, but it’s also low in calories. A full plate of broccoli only contains about 50 calories, according to Discover Good Nutrition. If you are striving to achieve your weight loss goals, you should regularly add broccoli to your grocery lists or grow some in the garden with organic broccoli seeds.