Health Benefits of Eating Broccoli
Broccoli is a popular cruciferous vegetable with a wide range of health benefits. Increasingly, poor nutrition is becoming identified as the root of many major health issues. Broccoli is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which means that adding more broccoli consumption into your diet might keep you healthy and feeling great. Here we will look at some of the top health benefits of eating broccoli.
1. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is a cause of concern for many, as it has been linked to a variety of adverse health conditions such as depression (3) and arthritis (4). Several studies have shown the broccoli consumption may be an effective way to combat inflammation One such study, found a significant reduction in the biomarkers associated with inflammation in a group of young healthy adults following broccoli consumption (1). Another study found a compound available in broccoli possesses anti-inflammatory activity (2).
2. Protects Against Cancer
Multiple studies have shown that increasing your broccoli consumption may decrease your risk of cancer. One such study noted that cruciferous vegetable consumption may reduce the risk of breast cancer (5). While other studies suggest that prostate cancer (6) and gastric cancer (7) risk is reduced by adding vegetables like broccoli to your diet.
3. Supports Brain Function
Preliminary studies in animals with cognitive defects has shown sulforaphane, a bioavailable compound in broccoli and broccoli sprouts, is beneficial for those exhibiting cognitive decline (8). Another study suggests a neuroprotective factor of consumption of foods such as broccoli (9), but more studies with humans are needed to draw further conclusions on these cognitive health benefits.
4. May Slow the Aging Process
Common models of the mechanisms behind the aging process show mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress to be the likely culprits (10). Sulforaphane, which is bioavailable in broccoli and broccoli sprouts has been shown to have protective effects against both mitochondrial dysfunction, and oxidative stress, suggesting that it may actually slow the aging process itself (11).
5. Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels
Antioxidants such as those available in both broccoli and broccoli sprouts are gaining recognition as a new way of improving insulin resistance (12). Broccoli is also rich in fiber which has been shown to improve glycemic control in diabetic patients (13).
6. Supports Immune System
Broccoli is a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in the immune system. Deficiency in vitamin C has been linked to impaired immunity, while increased vitamin C has shown correlation with prevention and treating of infections (14).
7. Great Source of Antioxidants
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli contain powerful antioxidants which have been linked to a wide variety of positive health benefits (15). Antioxidants diminish cell damage and have shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-atherosclerosis and anticancer properties (16).
8. Supports Digestive Health
Increasingly cutting-edge research has shown having healthy gut bacteria is vital for well-being. One study looked at broccoli supplementation compared to a control group, and found that broccoli lowered the colonic inflammation as well as altered gut bacteria, suggesting that broccoli may improve colon health in humans (17). Another study looked at fiber intake (which broccoli has plenty of), and found that dietary fibers may play a crucial role in the regulation of the digestive system (18).
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Ways to Get More Broccoli Into Your System
As you can see broccoli is an extremely healthy food, and it improves health through a wide variety of different mechanisms. Which means you should definitely be adding regular broccoli consumption into your diet. Here’s a quick and simple delicious vegan-friendly recipe idea for getting more broccoli into your system (you can add meat to make it a full meal if you desire).
Broccoli Tomato Skewer Recipe
2 cups Large Broccoli Florets
1 cup Grape Tomatoes
1 minced Garlic Clove
1 tbsp chopped Parsley or Basil
1. Soak your skewers in water for at least 20 minutes. This prevents them from burning during the cooking process.
2. Place broccoli and tomatoes into a small bowl, and then add the garlic and parsley. You may also add pepper if you wish.
3. Lightly coat the vegetables with a small amount of olive cooking oil, and mix well so that all the vegetables are evenly coated.
4. Skewer the vegetables, alternating each time with the broccoli and tomatoes.
400 Degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until golden and crispy. We recommend a parchment paper lined baking sheet for easy cleanup.
Use a medium heat for 15 minutes, turning twice. When they are crispy and golden, you will know they are done.
Here are a few other tasty broccoli ideas to add more broccoli to your diet: