This winter season, vegetable markets are flooded with a unique vegetable called broccoli. Earlier, it was very scantily found in the market that too only at selected shops. This indicates that the demand for the vegetable is pretty good and we Indians are accepting the vegetables and fruits that are more common in the western countries because of their health benefits. Broccoli is considered to be one of the health-promoting super foods as far as nutrition is concerned. Though it looks like cauliflower, it belongs to the cabbage family.
It is dark green in colour and abundantly packed with anti-oxidants. It is a power house of nutrition. It is non-starchy, with high fiber and disease-fighting anti-oxidants. This vegetable promotes health to bones, teeth, vision and skin. It contains phytochemicals that are known to benefit in arthritis, cancer, immune system, sugar disorders and much more.
Osteoporosis or Bone Health: Each serving of Broccoli serves your bones well. It is a good source of calcium and Vitamin K a nutrient that is essential for the formation of osteocalcin (a type of protein found only in bone). So stock up this vegetable to help lower the bone loss and reduce your risk of breaking a bone. It is an ideal food for those who suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. These vitamins are very important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis, which you can find in this vegetable.
Controls Cholesterol: Broccoli provides some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components do a better job of binding together with bile acids in the digestive tract when steam cooked.
Blood Pressure: Broccoli contains potassium, magnesium and calcium that regulate blood pressure. These minerals maintain healthy nervous system, optimal brain function and muscle growth.
Macular Degeneration: Age-related macular degeneration and cataracts can be prevented by eating broccoli as this is an abundant source of Vitamin A.
Prevents Heart Attack: Vitamin B6 and folate in broccoli reduce the risk of heart attack by preventing thickening of arteries by carotenoids
Cancer Prevention: Powerful anti-oxidant compounds found in broccoli prevent or delay the growth of breast cancer, cervical and prostate cancer. Sulforaphane in broccoli has been shown to kill cancer stem cells thereby striking to the root of tumor growth. The compound glucoraphanin in broccoli boosts cell enzymes that protect against molecular damage from cancer-causing chemicals.
Kidney Functioning: Sulforaphane, present in broccoli, improves kidney function.
Anti-inflammatory: Broccoli contains anti-inflammatory phyto-nutrients and significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. They reduce the impact of allergy related-substances in our body.
Healthy Skin: Broccoli has the power to cure skin ailments and repair skin damage due to too much exposure to sun. Eating broccoli renews the skin quickly and gives your complexion beautiful, natural glow. Broccoli also contains vitamins A and E. Vitamin A prevents the skin from ultraviolet radiation damage. Vitamin E stimulates the collagen production and keeps the skin healthy.
Anti-ageing: The anti-oxidant properties of Vitamin C fights the free radicals and prevent them from causing any damage to the skin. These free radicals are responsible for causing skin problems and accelerating skin ageing. Vitamin C prevents skin from ageing by eliminating free radicals. Eating broccoli is essential in this regard as it contains Vitamin C.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna