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16 Amazing Health Benefits Of Broccoli You Should Know

16 Amazing Health Benefits Of Broccoli You Should Know

Ah broccoli, that once-hated vegetable of our childhoods that is now at the forefront of better health. When I was a kid, broccoli would be buried under mashed potatoes in a feeble attempt to hide it, fed to my dog when no one was looking, or when I got really advanced, stuffed into our hollow table legs. The smell eventually got me busted. When you start to see all the great benefits of broccoli, you’ll now look to it as a go-to meal choice. I do, even though it would have 8-year-old me shaking his head in disgust. Here are 16 great benefits of the veggie Newman from Seinfeld called a “vile weed” before drowning it in honey mustard sauce.

1. It Helps To Combat Arthritis

There is a compound in broccoli called sulphoraphane that is a sulfer-rich compound. It blocks a key destructive enzyme that damages cartilage. Keeping broccoli a part of your diet may help to slow down and even prevent osteoarthritis. This sulphoraphane actually is crucial in some other areas.

2. It May Help Blood Pressure & Kidney Health

The sulphoraphane in the broccoli may significantly help to improve your blood pressure and kidney function also. A study in rats showed that people who suffered from hypertension showed improved kidney function and lowered blood pressure when given sulphoraphane .

3. It Can Help Fight Cancer

We’re looking again at sulphoraphane which is attributed to cruciferous vegetables and the combined ability to help fight cancer. The bitter taste that comes from the sulfer-containing compound is what aids in it’s ability in fighting cancer. Sulphoraphane can inhibit the enzyme that has known to be involved in the progression of cancer cells. Along with that, compounds in broccoli called isothyiocyanates appear to target and block mutant genes associated with cancer growth.

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4. It Contains High Amounts Of Folate

Adequate intake of folate has shown promise in protecting against stomach, colon, pancreatic and cervical cancer. Folate has been seen to help reduce the risk of breast cancer in woman.

5. It Helps Reduce Cholesterol

Like other vegetables and fruits, broccoli contains soluble fiber that helps draw cholesterol out of your body

6. It’s A Powerful Antioxidant

Vitamin C is just one of many antioxidants, and broccoli contains it in abundance, more than any other cruciferous vegetable. It also contains other powerful antioxidants such as lutein and beta-carotene.

7. It Aids In Bone Health

This is due to broccoli’s high content of both calcium and vitamin K. Both of these are key in bone health as well as preventing osteoporosis.

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8. It Is Effective At Reducing Allergic Reaction & Inflammation

Broccoli is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are like nature’s anti-inflammatory. Broccoli also contains a compound called kaempferol which helps lessen the impact of allergy related substances on the body.

9. It Can Help Fight Cardiovascular Disease

We’re back to the funny sounding word again: kaempferol which has been shown in studies to give us a reduced risk of developing not only cardiovascular disease but cancer as well.

10. It Helps In Overall Heart Health

Not only is that sulforaphane in broccoli an anti-infammatory itself but it may be able to prevent (or reverse) some of the damage to blood vessel linings that can be caused by inflammation due to chronic blood sugar problems.

11. It Helps Ease The Damage Done By Diabetes

This goes hand in hand with the above point, as studies looked at the damage that can be caused by diabetes regarding the heart. It was pointed out that it wasn’t saying that eating broccoli would counteract diabetes but that the sulforaphane encourages the production on enzymes that protect blood vessels and cause a reduction in the number of molecules that can damage cells.

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12. It Protects Against Myocardial Oxidative Damage & Cell Death

When there is lack of oxygen to the heart for a period of time this is known as ischemia. When the blood supply returns the circulation can cause inflammtion and oxidative damage because there was an absence of oxygen and nutrients. This is called reperfusion, and guess what small, tree like vegetable has been shown to protect against this damage? Broccoli.

13. It’s High In Fiber

Broccoli contains a great amount of soluble fiber for the cholesterol issue listed above but soluble fiber also helps aid in digestion, prevent constipation, and helps maintain a blood sugar balance.

14. It Contains Protein

Clearly it’s not as much protein as beef, chicken or fish, but broccoli contains as much protein as a cup of rice or corn. The difference between those starchy carbs and broccoli is that broccoli has half the amount of calories.

15. It Aids In Weight Loss

Speaking of calories, broccoli makes a good choice in weight loss for a few reasons. The main reason has to do with the soluble fiber content which helps curb overeating. Along with that, broccoli promotes satiety which is the ability to feel fuller for longer. There are three things in a food which helps with feeling full and they are protein, water and fiber, three things abundant in broccoli.

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16. It Alkalizes Your Body

Like other vegetables broccoli keeps your body from becoming too acidic. When the pH of your body is out of balance it can lead to issues such as mineral deprivation, hypertension, strokes, and a weakened immune system just to name a few.

Wrapping It Up

You always knew broccoli was good for you, now you REALLY know why it is. It’s time to call your mom up and let her know she was right and you were wrong and you’re sorry. There’s no time like the present to start including this little beauty in as many meals as you can. Broccoli works amazing in stir fries, chopped up into salads, and even steamed with some fresh melted cheddar on top. Broccoli is easy to prepare, cheap, and clearly nutritious.

And you can also let your mom know how wrong you were for thinking those acid wash jeans were cool…

Featured photo credit: Carolyn Coles via flickr.com

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Jamie Logie

Jamie is a personal trainer and health coach with a degree in Kinesiology and Food and Nutrition.

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Last Updated on September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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