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11 Benefits of Broccoli to Convince Anyone to Eat It

11 Benefits of Broccoli to Convince Anyone to Eat It

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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