Your parents probably always told you to eat your greens because they were good for you. The truth is that they were right, but probably even more so than they ever imagined. Check out the amazing benefits of broccoli and why you should eat it.
1. It’s great for your hair
Broccoli is full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and calcium–all of which promote healthy hair. Calcium strengthens your hair follicles, and the vitamins stimulate the production of sebum, which is a natural moisturizer and conditioner for your hair. This means that more broccoli means stronger and shinier hair. In addition, the vitamin C also combats hair loss by eliminating free radicals.
2. It makes your skin healthier and keeps in looking young
Broccoli can help regenerate your skin due to containing glucoraphanin–an organic compound that is unique to broccoli and cauliflower. Basically, it can regenerate sun-damaged skin. Furthermore, the vitamin B, vitamin E, and beta carotene help the skin to glow and look youthful. Now that’s a benefit I can get behind.
3. It can be used as a sunscreen
Strangely enough, broccoli can also be used as protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays, but not by eating it. Research has shown that applying broccoli extract directly to the skin will work as a kind of sunscreen.
4. It can reduce the risk of cancer
If its beauty benefits weren’t enough to convince you to eat it, maybe reducing the risk of cancer will. Broccoli contains an enzyme called myrosinase that changes the sulfur-based chemicals (glucosinolates) in the vegetable into another type of chemical (isothiocyanates), which have anti-cancer properties. However, if overcooked, the broccoli will lose some of its benefits, so remember to only lightly steam.
5. It’ll help you detox
Very few vegetables have the ability to actively aid in detoxification, but broccoli is one of them. It contains three nutrients by the names of glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin, which detoxify the waste within your body.
6. It’s good for your heart
Broccoli contains fatty acids, fibers and vitamins that reduces cholesterol and regulates blood pressure. Subsequently, this helps to prevent both strokes and heart attacks.
7. It aids in weight loss
Broccoli is an incredibly healthy source of fiber, which makes it perfect for weight loss. Because it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, it helps to prevent constipation and maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
8. It can help prevent osteoporosis
Broccoli is rich in calcium (containing even more than dairy products!) and vitamin K–both of which are essential for good bone health. As such, it’s a great preventative of osteoporosis, including the kind that develops during pregnancy. Rather than taking calcium supplements, it’s far healthier to go the natural route by eating plenty of broccoli.
9. It’s an anti-inflammatory and can reduce allergic reactions
Broccoli contains both kaempferol and isothiocyanates, which are anti-inflammatory nutrients. It’s also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that also act as anti inflammatories. Studies have also shown that kaempferol can lessen the impact of allergens on the body.
10. It helps to maintain healthy vision
The aforementioned Vitamin A within broccoli helps your retinas to absorb light and thus maintain proper vision. Its cancer prevention properties that we have already discussed also help to prevent cataracts later in life.
11. It’s an antioxidant
And a powerful one at that. It has the strongest concentration of Vitamin C out of all the cruciferous vegetables. In addition, it also contains other strong antioxidants such as carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. But why is it so important to ingest antioxidants? They have been proven to assist in preventing a wide range of diseases such as cancer and alzheimer’s. They do this primarily through maintaining low levels of free radicals in your system which are often attributed to aiding in disease.
You may be interested in this too: 11 Amazing Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds You Need To KnowFeatured photo credit: Freshly steamed broccoli on plate with fork and napkin in background. Macro with shallow dof. via Shutterstock