When was the last time you ate broccoli? This green vegetable is one of the healthiest on the planet, thanks to its incredible nutrient content. It is rich in the bone-healthy magnesium and calcium, heart-healthy potassium, vitamins C, B9, K, and E, as well as fiber.
What’s more, it contains powerful antioxidants and anti-cancer agents such as sulforaphane, as well as lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and other carotenoids.
Besides the florets, the stems and leaves of this cruciferous vegetable are also beneficial. They are high in phenols which provide anticancer and antioxidant effects.
We hope you eat broccoli every day, but if you’re not, here are 10 reasons to eat it more often.
10 Reasons to Eat Broccoli Every Day
1. Helps Prevent Cancer
Cruciferous veggies, including broccoli, contain the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. In fact, broccoli sprouts contain the highest concentration of this compound.
Even though more research is needed to prove its anti-cancer effects, some case-control studies say regular intake of cruciferous vegetables cuts the risk of prostate, lung, and breast cancer.
2. Protects the Heart
The folate in broccoli supports the heart health. Also, the antioxidants it contains help reduce the risk of heart disease. This vegetable contains quercetin – a polyphenol which helps improve the cardiovascular functions.
3. Fights Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of broccoli florets help prevent nitric oxide which participates in the inflammatory responses. Also, the natural isothiocyanate it contains, sulforaphane, works against inflammation.
One research shows that eating broccoli can lower the CRP levels (C-reactive protein) in male smokers. That’s a blood test marker for inflammation. So, you can add it in your arthritis diet.
4. Helps Control Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Levels
Broccoli is rich in calcium, and deficiency in this mineral can contribute to hypertension. That’s why you should eat more broccoli and other foods high in calcium.
Moreover, the chromium in this veggie helps balance blood glucose levels. It does this by improving the insulin efficiency and increasing the glucose tolerance.
5. Improves Digestion
Broccoli helps promote digestion, being rich in fiber. The higher dietary fiber intake, the healthier gut, and digestion you’ll have.
6. Prevents Vision Problems
This vegetable contains two of the essential nutrients for the eye health – lutein and zeaxanthin. So, consuming it regularly will help reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration, catarac6ts, and other age-related conditions.
7. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Scientists from the Institute of Food Research discovered that a new variety of this vegetable lowers the bad cholesterol levels by six percent. They bred the broccoli to contain 2-3 times more glucoraphanin than the ordinary one.
8. Protects Your Bones
Broccoli is high in calcium which is easily absorbed in the body. As you probably know, this mineral is important for optimal bone health. What’s more, it contains high levels of vitamin K which is also beneficial for bones.
9. Supports Weight Loss
If you follow a fat-free diet, broccoli might be the ideal choice. It’s low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. So, enjoy half a cup of broccoli as your next low-calorie snack.
10. Fights Depression
Research shows broccoli can help treat depression. Namely, the sulforaphane it contains helps prevent and reduce symptoms of depression related to inflammation.
So, we don’t think you more reasons to include this incredibly beneficial vegetable in your diet. Enjoy!