Some people don’t like broccoli. As a result, you miss out on numerous health benefits. Because this vegetable is full of fiber, folic acid, vitamins and more. An expert explains what the cruciferous plant can do.
“Broccoli is incredibly versatile and can be used in so many different dishes,” says registered dietitian Beth Czerwony. And it is good for your health. In a recent article by the Cleveland Clinic (USA), the expert reports on the most important health benefits associated with consuming the vegetable.
Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family. The brassica vegetable is related to, among other things, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard and watercress. Many types of cabbage have an intense taste and smell and are therefore not popular with everyone. They offer a wealth of nutrients.
Nutritional Information: One cup of chopped raw broccoli contains approximately 31 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of cholesterol, 0.3 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 2.6 grams of protein, 30 milligrams of sodium and 1.6 grams of sugar.
In addition, this amount provides 81 milligrams of vitamin C (90% of the recommended daily requirement), 93 micrograms of vitamin K (78% of T.), 57 milligrams of folate (11% of T.), 288 milligrams of potassium (6% of T. And 19 milligrams magnesium (5% de T.).
It is worth including broccoli in your diet. The nutrients it contains offer numerous health benefits. The nutritionist names the top 5:
Reducing the risk of cancer
“Broccoli offers some powerful molecules that protect your cells from damage,” explains Czerwony. “Some of them even destroy cancer cells.”
The cancer-fighting molecules in broccoli include DIM, indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane. According to scientific research, they can help:
- When detoxifying certain substances that promote the growth of cancer cells. That is, they do not remove the substances, but eliminate the harmful effects.
- In providing antioxidants that prevent cell damage that can lead to cancer.
- In stopping the growth and spread of cancer cells.
- In supporting apoptosis, a process the body uses to destroy cells that could turn into cancer.
These anti-cancer molecules are also found in several cruciferous relatives of broccoli. These nutrients do not survive cooking or freezing. To reap the benefits, raw broccoli is best.
“Some of these compounds are even more concentrated in broccoli sprouts,” notes Czerwony. “Broccoli sprouts can be found in health food stores and many grocery stores. You can also easily grow sprouts at home with a sprout set.”
Nutrients to support blood sugar control
Both human and laboratory studies suggest that compounds in broccoli may help lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. This effect may be due to the antioxidants in broccoli, such as vitamin C.
Research shows that fiber can also help with blood sugar control. With 2.5 grams of fiber per cup, broccoli is a good source of this nutrient.
Compounds that protect the intestines
In one study, researchers found that broccoli can help protect the lining of the small intestine. Compounds found in broccoli called aryl hydrocarbon receptors help small intestinal cells function well.
Why are these cells so important? When your small intestine lining is healthy, it only allows water and nutrients to enter your bloodstream.
However, when the cells of the mucous membrane are damaged, undigested food particles, bacteria and other pathogenic particles can pass through the cells. Damaged small intestinal lining can lead to infection and inflammation. It can also prevent you from getting the nutrients you need.
Vitamin C to strengthen the immune system
Vitamin C has been well studied as an immune-boosting nutrient. If you don’t get enough vitamin C, you’re at higher risk of infections.
The antioxidant effects of vitamin C also help your body keep free radicals under control.
“Free radical damage is linked to all sorts of problems, including Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease, cancer, heart disease and Parkinson’s,” says Czerwony. If you don’t have enough antioxidants to neutralize free radicals, they damage your cells.
Surprising but true: broccoli has more vitamin C than oranges. In one cup, you get a whopping 81 milligrams of vitamin C. An orange has about 70 milligrams.
Nutrients to Support Heart Health
Research suggests that certain bioactive compounds in broccoli may improve heart health in several ways:
Lower triglycerides and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol: “High LDL levels can lead to fatty deposits on artery walls and increase the risk of artery disease, stroke and heart attack,” explains Czerwony. Research shows that eating broccoli can lower triglycerides, a type of fat, as well as LDL.
Provide fiber: According to a review of 22 clinical studies, fiber can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease.
Reducing the buildup of calcium in blood vessels: When calcium builds up on the walls of blood vessels, the risk of heart attack and stroke increases. According to research, broccoli can help reduce this calcium buildup.
Choose fresh vegetables
“If you want anti-cancer agents like sulforaphane, choose fresh broccoli,” advises Czerwony. Sulforaphane is inactivated by freezing.
“Frozen broccoli also loses some of its vitamin content. But overall, frozen broccoli is still very healthy. “It’s better than not eating broccoli because you still get a lot of health benefits,” she continues. (ad)