Broccoli is a vegetable that some people either like or hate, but whatever your feelings are to towards this power house veg, it is packed full of essential health benefits.
Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promoting regular muscle growth.
Along with a high amount of potassium, Broccoli also contains magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure.
One cup of broccoli contains the RDA of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for fighting against free radicals. Moreover, vitamin C is an effective antihistamine for easing the discomfort of the common cold.
Broccoli bolsters the immune system with a large dose of beta-carotene. Trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium, further act to strengthen immune defense actions.
Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer.
Furthermore, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function.
Studies have shown that the carotenoid lutein helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as possessing anti-cancer effects. Additionally, broccoli is a good source of vitamin A that is needed to form retinal, the light-absorbing molecule that is essential for both low-light and colour vision.
The carotenoid lutein may also slow down or prevent the thickening of arteries in the human body, thus fighting against heart disease and stoke. The B6 and folate in broccoli also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.