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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

Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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