Thanks to their precious sulforaphane, they protect the intestine, represent a shield against tumors and help the body fight oxidative stress
Let's take a tour of the market stalls: broccoli, in winter, is king. And it is no coincidence that in this period nature makes available to us such a special product of nature: all the vegetables and fruits of the cold season, in fact, seem to be able to activate the body's immune defenses, protecting us from colds. and influence. Thanks to vitamin C, a substance that also has actions on our mood, preventing tiredness and weakness typical of the months from October to March.
A concentrate of beneficial actions
Like all other vegetables of the cruciferous family, they are good for health. But compared to cabbage, savoy cabbage, radishes, cauliflower, rocket and others, broccoli has even enhanced properties. Suffice it to say that, compared to cauliflowers, they have a higher content of proteins, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, folic acid, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium and sulfur.
The greatest merit is certainly of the sulforaphane. Broccoli reacts to low temperatures and the reduced exposure of the winter sun by producing this molecule, which is essential for maintaining its vegetable integrity. It is therefore useful for the broccoli plant to survive, but capable of bringing its precious protective qualities also to human cells.
In praise to sulforaphane: a friend of the intestine
As soon as it is ingested through broccoli, sulforaphane enters into action within the stomach, helping to heal gastritis and gastric ulcers. It is capable of acting against Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium responsible for gastric diseases when present in the stomach, and protects the integrity and functionality of the intestinal villi. Passed from the intestine into the blood, the precious molecule rich in ORAC pursues, captures and destroys the toxic free radicals of oxygen and carries out a prolonged action over time, even days after its food intake with broccoli.
But the beneficial actions on the gastro-intestinal system of this winter food do not end there: ideal for stimulating intestinal transit, due to the presence of fibers, it is purifying, remineralizing and promotes tissue regeneration.
Good for the prevention of arthritis and osteoarthritis
Thanks to the bromine and calcium content (they contain 178 mg per 100 grams), broccoli are foods recommended especially for women for bone health. Furthermore, eating broccoli can be an effective weapon for the prevention and perhaps even for the treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis. To say it is a study by the University of East Anglia published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. According to the researchers, sulforaphane, resulting from the digestion of glucoraphanin present in vegetables of the cruciferous family, is able to counteract the enzyme that causes damage to the cartilage of the joints.
A weapon against cancer
But it is above all on their anticancer action that science has recently focused. In broccoli and other similar vegetables, there is a protein that could become part of the anti-cancer weapons: a study led by the Italian Pier Paolo Pandolfi, director of the Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, shows that a natural compound (indole-3-carbinol) present in crucifers turns off a gene that favors tumors. The discovery is reported in the journal Science.
How to best consume them
From a nutritional point of view, broccoli reduce their characteristics if stored for too long: they should therefore be consumed fresh, even in combination with other foods to achieve health goals. If you want to lose weight, for example, the combination with fish is excellent, as long as you choose the one less rich in iodine, such as ray and sole. No, however, when consumed – albeit very famous – with legumes or cheeses, as the excess of nutrients would cause significant digestive difficulties, burdening the kidneys and liver.
Who should avoid them
According to experts, due to their iron and especially sulfur content, they could be problematic in those with severe liver problems, even if they are more tolerated than cauliflower. Talk to your doctor if you have thyroid problems – they may not recommend them.