Brassica vegetables, which includes broccoli, are both the largest and most commonly eaten plant group world-wide. At the same time, higher consumption of these vegetables is consistently associated with lower cancer risks. Broccoli is relatively inexpensive and can be found at just about any grocery store; it makes a great green addition to just about any meal making it easy to incorporate into your daily routine. With that said, why is it a great idea to eat more broccoli (something you’ve probably heard since childhood)?
1. Broccoli is a great source for the antioxidants vitamin C and antioxidant pigmantes ( beta-carotene, quercetin) which are renowned for quenching free-radicals and reducing risks for cancer. These antioxidants are also essential for good health, promoting enhanced immune systems, nutrient absorption (e.g. iron) and overall vitality.
2. Broccoli is rich in calcium, making it an excellent vegan source of a nutrient that supports strong bones. Adequate calcium intake helps promote healthy bones as we age, helping prevent the development of osteoporosis.
3. Broccoli is an important source for glucosinolates (and their breakdown products isothiocyanates and indoles), which are sulfur-containing chemicals. Glucosinolates have been demonstrated to prevent oxidative stress, stimulate the immune system, reduce cancer growth and ultimately lower risks for cancer (e.g. stomach, colon, esophageal, lung and breast). On top of that, they are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and help eliminate toxins from the body by indirectly activating our detoxification systems.
4. Broccoli is a great source of potassium, helping maintain a healthier brain, overall nervous system and muscles. Potassium is especially important for athletes, being a vital electrolyte that is lost through our sweat during a hard workout in the heat.
5. Broccoli has large amounts of soluble fibre, making it effective at reducing LDL cholesterol and risks for heart disease. Moreover, soluble fibre is also excellent at improving satiety, weight loss efforts and blood sugar levels, making it not only effective at preventing heart disease, but also an amazing tool to prevent and manage diabetes.
6. Broccoli is excellent at improving bowel health, regularity and ultimately reducing risks for colon cancer. These benefits are largely associated with broccoli’s fibre content, but also the antioxidants and other nutrients that are contained within this delicious vegetable.
To get the most bang for your buck in terms of nutrition, eating broccoli raw is the best way to get the most nutrients. If you cook broccoli, cook or steam for only about 5 minutes in order to retain its nutrients. Here are some amazing recipes to help you incorporate more broccoli into your routine.
Click “Next Slide” For the Recipes!