Broccoli is low in calories and a rich source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients, which offers the following 9 health benefits.
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) is a cruciferous vegetable, belonging to the kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnip family. It is an edible green plant with a big blooming head that is eaten as a vegetable. It consists of big green blossom heads that are grouped in a tree-like arrangement spreading out from a strong, edible stem.
Broccoli is best eaten steamed, baked, sauteed, or grilled to maintain the nutrients.
Broccoli is rich in vitamins and minerals, containing considerably more vitamin C than oranges, and contains zero fat. The nutritional contents of broccoli vary based on whether it is consumed raw or cooked. While boiling broccoli, water-soluble vitamins and other compounds may be lost.
The nutritional facts of one cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli include:
|Vitamin C||90% of DV|
|Vitamin K||77% of DV|
|Vitamin B6||9% of DV|
|Folate||14% of DV|
|Potassium||6% of DV|
|Copper||5% of DV|
|Manganese||8% of DV|
|Phosphorus||5% of DV|
|Magnesium||5% of DV|
|**DV = Daily Value|
Additionally, broccoli also contains the following minerals:
9 health benefits of eating broccoli
Broccoli is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help prevent several conditions that arise from the cellular level.
The 9 health benefits of eating broccoli include:
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Studies state that cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli, contain a high amount of antioxidants that prevent the damage of cells at the DNA level. So, when consumed as a whole plant or as extracts, broccoli may help prevent cancer.
- Cruciferous vegetables may contain indole-3-carbinol, which has strong antitumor properties.
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular events
- Broccoli contains vitamin K that helps reduce the risk of blood clots and several cardiovascular events.
- Broccoli is beneficial to heart health because it includes fiber, fatty acids, and vitamins that aid in blood pressure regulation. This helps reduce harmful cholesterol, resulting in a healthy heart.
- Broccoli also helps protect blood vessels from damage.
- Sulforaphane, one of broccoli’s isothiocyanates, has anti-inflammatory characteristics. Kaempferol has been demonstrated in studies to reduce the influence of allergy-related chemicals on bodies.
- Broccoli contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory.
- Broccoli can assist patients with arthritis because it contains sulforaphane, a substance that inhibits the enzymes that worsen joint degeneration and cause inflammation.
- Improves brain health
- Broccoli is rich in nutrients and natural bioactive compounds that may improve nerve tissue function and protect against age-related cognitive decline.
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Vitamin C and calcium are the essential components of the bone. Vitamin C produces collagen, an essential protein for bone development. Vitamin K in broccoli helps prevent osteoporosis and maintain strong healthy bones.
- Boosts immunity
- Improves skin health
- Improves digestion
- According to research, naturally occurring molecules in broccoli function as detoxifiers, meaning they help deactivate potentially harmful substances or remove them out of the body more rapidly.
What are the possible side effects associated with broccoli?
Broccoli may interfere with medications or worsen certain medical conditions, such as the following:
Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, which plays an important role in the formation of blood clots in the body. Taking vitamin K along with blood thinners may alter the function of the medicine and increase the risk of blood clots. While people may not need to avoid broccoli completely when taking a blood thinner, it is recommended to limit your dietary vitamin K intake.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Broccoli contains high fiber and fermented oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are poorly absorbed. Though broccoli is safe to be eaten raw, it can cause excessive gas, bloating, and upset bowels. So, it is recommended for patients with IBS to avoid broccoli to prevent unnecessary issues.
Broccoli contains phosphorus. Patients with kidney problems cannot eliminate phosphorus from the body, which leads to a buildup in the body. Therefore, those with kidney issues may want to avoid eating broccoli.
Intake of broccoli should be limited in patients with hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormones, which indicate decreased thyroid function) or other thyroid issues. It may lead to several symptoms, such as:
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Medically Reviewed on 10/15/2021
Bligh M. Health Benefits of Broccoli. Dairy Council of California. https://www.healthyeating.org/blog/detail/health-benefits-of-broccoli