Broccoli is a member of the mustard family and is in fact related to cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. Broccoli is characterized by its abundant green fleshy floral heads and earthy taste.
This delicious vegetable is rich in various nutrients and can provide a plethora of health benefits. For example, Broccoli is an extremely potent source of Vitamin C. It also contains high amounts of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, magnesium, iron, zinc, chromium, and potassium. As if that weren't enough, Broccoli also boasts a ton of protein, fiber, and a wealth of other phytonutrients and antioxidants.
If you are looking for a healthy superfood, look no further than Broccoli.
For this reason, Broccoli has become increasingly popular, and it can now be found in almost every school menu, restaurant, and dinner table all across America.
Don't believe me?
Over the last quarter-century, Broccoli consumption has increased a thousand-fold! In the United States, Broccoli consumption per capita exceeds 5 pounds. This makes the U.S.A. the third-largest producer of Broccoli in the world. Billions of pounds of fresh Broccoli are hand-harvested every year.
This is excellent news because the health benefits provided by Broccoli are no joke. Check them out below.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Broccoli
Benefit of Broccoli #1: Prevents Cancer
Broccoli is chock-full of vitamins and minerals which have been proven to have a preventative effect on certain types of cancer. Tons of Vitamins A, C, and E, plus a load of amino acids can significantly reduce your risk of developing breast, uterine, and prostatic cancer.
Benefit of Broccoli #2: Protects the Heart
Broccoli contains a high amount of fiber, which can help eliminate bad cholesterol from your arteries and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. As if that weren't enough, Broccoli also contains significant amounts of chromium, an essential nutrient that lowers blood sugar levels and regulates blood pressure.
Benefit of Broccoli #3: Removes Toxins
Broccoli is a powerful antioxidant, which means its regular consumption will rid your body of dangerous toxins and cancer-producing free-radicals. Just like radish and cauliflower, Broccoli contains selenium which further detoxifies your blood and improves liver function.
Benefit of Broccoli #4: Protects your Bones
Broccoli is an excellent dietary source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc; all of which are essential for healthy bones. The more Broccoli you eat throughout your life, the less likely you will be of suffering fractures during old age.
Benefit of Broccoli #5: Protects your Eyesight
Broccoli can significantly improve eye health. Issues like cataracts and macular degeneration can be staved off with regular consumption of this wonderful vegetable. This is because Broccoli contains potent carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein.
Benefit of Broccoli #6: Protects your Skin
If you want to have softer, younger-looking skin, it would behoove you to incorporate Broccoli into your diet. Besides its antioxidant properties, which are conducive to healthy skin, Broccoli also boasts a decent amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Its Vitamin C content promotes the formation of new collagen, and its Vitamin E content can help protect your skin from UV radiation damage.
Benefit of Broccoli #7: Prevents Anemia
Broccoli has a decent amount of iron and other essential proteins which are crucial to red blood cell production.
Benefit of Broccoli #8: Enhances Gastrointestinal Function
Because of its high fiber content, Broccoli is often recommended to individuals suffering from constipation. Additionally, it can help with certain gastric conditions such as heartburn, indigestion, ulcers, etc.
Benefit of Broccoli #9: Strengthens the Immune Response
Tons of vitamin C and a variety of phytochemicals and flavonoids such as Kaempferol, boost immune function and prevents the contraction of many diseases.
Benefit of Broccoli #10: Ideal During Pregnancy
Expectant mothers require increased amounts of folic acid, calcium, phosphorous, and pretty much every other essential nutrient. Luckily Broccoli is a rich source of many of these nutrients, and is ideal perfect for pregnancy.
How to Eat Broccoli?
Raw: Broccoli is fantastic raw. It provides a unique and healthy crunch to any salad or pasta dish.
Steamed: It is believed that lightly steaming Broccoli is the optimal way to consume it. It softens the strong earthy tones of raw Broccoli while still maintaining its structural integrity. Furthermore, steaming preserves the majority of its nutrients intact.
Roasted: Roasted Broccoli is my favorite dish in the world. It is a perfect companion dish and a super flavorful method of introducing such healthy food into children's diets.
Sauteed: Dry the broccoli well and then add into a lightly oiled and seasoned skillet, (I use a little avocado oil to lightly coat the skillet). Stir frequently until bright green and tender. This tastes great both eaten alone or as an accompanying side dish!