B’ is for Broccoli and for blissful health. This popular vegetable has a wide variety of nutritional and medicinal benefits, including its ability to prevent many types of cancer, improve our digestive system, lower cholesterol, detoxify the body, maximize vitamin and mineral uptake, prevent allergic reactions, boost the immune system, protect the skin, prevent birth defects, lower blood pressure, eliminate inflammation, and improve vision and ocular health.
This green vegetable, which occasionally has some purple tinges, is a close relative of cabbage and cauliflower, and belongs to the Italica Cultivar group of Brassicaceae family. The most commonly eaten parts of broccoli are the flowering heads, which are shaped like a tree, coming off a thick, central, edible stalk.There are three main varieties which are popular in different parts of the world. Calabrese broccoli is the most common, and is typically simply shortened to “broccoli”, while sprouting broccoli and purple cauliflower are two other varieties of the vegetable mostly found in Europe and the Mediterranean countries.
It is actually native to that region as well, and has been a part of cultural history dating back to the 6th Century BC. It was eventually spread throughout Europe and was widely cultivated. It didn’t make a significant appearance in the Americas until the early 20th century. The largest cultivator of broccoli in the world is now China, followed closely by India, but the main consumers remain western nations. Broccoli is very common all over the world, particularly in Europe, America, and Australia, but not as much in Africa. It can also be found in some South Asian cuisines like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Brocoli can be eaten cooked or raw, but the best ways are to steam them, shallow fry them, or eat them raw as salad greens, because that preserves the nutrients contained in them. Some ways of cooking this vegetable enhances certain health benefits, such as the increased cholesterol-lowering properties that are gained when broccoli has been steamed. Let’s take a look at some of the nutritional assets contained in broccoli that make it such an important part of our diet! Nutritional Value Of Broccoli The health benefits of broccoli are derived from the unique mixture of nutrients, organic compounds, minerals, and vitamins that are found in this lovely vegetable. These include significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber, folate, potassium, selenium, vitamin A, manganese, tryptophan, vitamin B6, and phosphorus. In terms of unique organic compounds, broccoli is a rich source of phytonutrient glucosinolates, flavonoids, and various other antioxidant compounds that boost our health in a major way! Health Benefits Of Broccoli Cancer: Broccoli may prove to be a natural wonder drug for many types of cancer, including breast cancer, cancer of the uterus, prostate cancer, and cancers of various internal organs like the lungs, colon, liver, kidneys, and the intestines. That being said, it is particularly beneficial for breast cancer and uterine cancer, since it removes extra estrogen from the body. This is due to the presence of strong anti-carcinogenic compounds like glucoraphanin, diindolylmethane, beta-carotene, selenium and other nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E, zinc, potassium and certain amino acids, which are also good anti-cancer agents. broccoliDetoxification: The presence of vitamin-C, sulphur and certain amino acids make broccoli a very good detoxifier. Broccoli helps to remove free radicals and toxins like uric acid from the body, thereby purifying the blood and keeping away problems related to toxins such as boils, itches, rashes, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, renal calculi, skin diseases like eczema and hardening of the skin. Skin Care: The credit for keeping your skin glowing and young goes to expert antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin-C, as well as other helpers like vitamin B complex, vitamin E (the one that gives shine to your skin and hair while reviving skin tissues), vitamin A & K, omega 3 fatty acids (adds glamor), amino acids and folate present in the broccoli. They all help to take very good care of your skin and leave it glowing, healthy, and radiant. Furthermore, glucoraphanin, one of the phytonutrients found in significant amounts in broccoli, has been connected with reversing the negative effects of sun exposure, so you can turn back the clock on your skin by eating plenty of this beneficial vegetable!