Originating in Italy, broccoli comes from the cabbage family and is also closely related to the cauliflower. Its Italian name Broccolo means “cabbage sprout”. There is good reason this nutritional elixir has made its way into the staple diets of scores of athletes across the globe. The benefits of eating broccoli are extensive and highly complementary for health and well-being. Here are a few of them …
Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which has the ability to kill off cancer stem cells. As it has a potent combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pro-detoxification components, it holds a prominent place in reducing the risk of cancer.
Has Cholesterol-lowering Properties
Broccoli can assist with the lowering of cholesterol if it is steamed. The steaming process provides more favourable conditions for the binding of its fibre-related components and bile acids in the digestive tract. Bile acids can be excreted easier, thereby decreasing cholesterol levels. Raw broccoli has a similar effect but it will occur at a slower rate.
Great For Bone Health
A little-known fact is that broccoli is actually great for strong bones because it is an excellent source of calcium. In addition it is loaded with vitamin K, a nutrient that is important for osteocalcin – a special bone-building protein.
Promotes a Healthy Nervous System
As it contains high levels of potassium, broccoli enables a healthier nervous system, also enabling the brain to work at an optimal level.
Beneficial for Eye Care
The combination of its significant amounts of vitamin A (used to form retinal, which is a light-absorbing molecule) and very high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin make it the ultimate food for optimal eye health. These carotenoids are very good for eye care and are a deterrent to ailments such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Good For Detoxification
Broccoli has a unique combination of of three phytonutrients – glucoraphanin, gluconasturtian, and glucobrassicin – these nutrients are very beneficial for your body’s detoxification system. They work together in a bid not only to neutralise but also eradicate harmful contaminants that may accumulate in our bodies.
Beneficial for Respiratory Conditions
Its sulforaphane increases the Phase II enzymes of the upper respiratory tract. These enzymes actually combat any harmful toxins that are in the respiratory system. Sulphoraphane also protects against respiratory inflammation.