As a kid, I used to hate broccoli. Whenever my mother would cook it, I would make up all sorts of elaborate fibs hoping she wouldn't make me eat it (although they never worked). But when I became an adult, I grew to love this green vegetable and enjoy it in a variety of dishes. I've since discovered that broccoli is not just healthy, it's 'super' healthy - and I wanted to share the good news with you today.
Interesting Broccoli Facts:
Broccoli was first cultivated in Italy back in the 6th-century B.C.E., and its name comes from the Italian broccoli meaning “the flowering crest of a cabbage”. The broccoli is a member of the cabbage family, along with the radish, turnip, mustard, and more. It was introduced to the United States by Italian immigrants in the 1920s and wasn’t wildly known until then. 77% of the world's broccoli is produced in China and India. The part of the broccoli we eat is the flower and the stem.
Health Benefits of Broccoli:
1. It protects your skin from aging
Broccoli is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, which reduces and prevents the damages caused by free radicals, such as pigmentation and wrinkling. In addition, the health content of Vitamins B and E aids in giving your skin a healthy glow.
2. It protects you from UV radiation
Using broccoli extract instead of sunscreen has been shown to provide a better level of protection than sunscreen. While sunscreen absorbs UV radiation, preventing it from reaching your skin, broccoli extract gets absorbed into your skin, defending it from the inside-out. It was also shown that its effects can last up to three days while sunscreen is only good for several hours at most.
3. It’s good for pregnant women
During pregnancy, women need to consume large amounts of folate, and broccoli has it in abundance. Folate helps prevent neurological and spinal defects in the fetus.
4. It helps control diabetes
Broccoli contains chromium, which is effective in regulating insulin levels and thus keeping diabetes symptoms at bay.
5. It can prevent anemia
Rich in iron and folic acid, broccoli is one of the best foods for preventing and treating anemia, as well as improving your levels of hemoglobin.
6. It regulates blood pressure
The high levels of calcium, potassium, omega-3 and magnesium help improve blood flow in the circulatory system and even reduce LDL levels (“bad cholesterol”).
7. It boosts your immunity
Your immune system needs nutrients such as trace minerals, zinc, and beta-carotene – all of which are quite common in broccoli.
8. It’s also good for your bones
The zinc, magnesium, and calcium, along with Vitamin K and phosphorus help prevent bone-related ailments and strengthens the bones.
9. It promotes eye health
Broccoli contains antioxidants such as lutein and carotenoid, which help in deterring cataracts and macular degeneration. It also contains Vitamin A, which is known to aid in improving vision in low-light conditions, as well as discerning colors.
10. It’s great for weight-loss
Broccoli is low in calories, making it ideal for dieting.
11. It is also an effective detoxifier
Your body needs to be able to get rid of waste and contaminants and that’s where broccoli comes into play: containing rare nutrients like glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, and gluconasturtiin, all of which are effective in eliminating toxins.
12. It makes your hair shine
The erucic acids in broccoli give your hair a lovely, natural shine.
13. It takes care of your heart
All of the amazing nutrients we’ve discussed help prevent damage to your blood vessels, reducing the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
14. It fights cancer
The glucoraphanin in broccoli can be converted in the body into a cancer-fighting chemical called sulforaphane, and the indole-3 carbinol helps reduce the risk of breast, cervical and prostate cancer.
15. It even helps your hair grow
Vitamins A and C aid in moisturizing your scalp, while the calcium in the broccoli helps in strengthening your hair follicles.