Considered one of the healthiest vegetables available, this cruciferous veggie belongs to the same family as includes cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens,kale, rutabaga and turnips.
Research has shown an association between eating high amounts of cruciferous vegetables and a lower risk of lung and colon cancer. Some studies suggest that the sulfur containing compound “sulforaphane” is what gives them their cancer fighting power along with their slightly bitter taste. They are studying the link between sulforaphane and its ability to inhibit an enzyme that is known to be involved in the progression of cancer cells. Scientists are hoping that the use of sulforaphane could be used to delay or impede cancer. Promising results have been shown in regards to prostate, esphageal, pancreatic cancers and melanoma.
Broccoli contains folate which has been studied with its ability to decrease the risk of breast cancer. Folate has shown a fair amount of promise in protecting against stomach, colon, pancreatic and cervical cancers. Studies are being done to find out folate’s effects in regards to its role in DNA and RNA production plus the prevention of unwanted mutations.
Broccoli has been shown to contain over 100% of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin K2 which will help with improved bone health. Just one cup of chopped broccoli is needed. K2 helps with improving the absorption of calcium and reduces the excretion of calcium in urine. Broccoli also has calcium to bolster you daily need.
Broccoli contains a high fiber content which lowers the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and various gastrointestinal diseases. Much research has been done to link an increase in fiber and the lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Fiber also helps to improve insulin sensitivity and may help in the battle against obesity. The added fiber from broccoli has been shown to prevent constipation, plus lower the risk of colon cancer. As a bonus, the fiber helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract and may play a role in regulating the immune system and imflammation.
Broccoli is full of vitamin C which research has shown to fight against skin damage. Vitamin C may help to reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. One cup of broccoli contain more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C which is important in the formation of collagen. The vitamins A and E are also found in broccoli.
Try these delicious and healthy Broccoli recipes
Dr. Nandi’s Tandoori Grilled Broccoli & Cauliflower Kebabs