Love them or hate them, there’s no denying the benefits of vegetables. And if you’re looking for a vegetable that packs the most nutritional punch in every bite, broccoli is hard to beat. Whether you’ve already discovered the delights of this edible green plant or are considering incorporating more of it into your diet, here’s everything you need to know about broccoli.
Broccoli Definition: What Exactly Is This All-Round Vegetable?
This superfood is no stranger to plates. Even if you haven’t yet delighted your taste buds with broccoli, you can probably identify its green stalk and green flowering head in a line of other vegetables. It’s a staple in almost every produce aisle. But what’s interesting is that broccoli is a relatively new crop in some parts of the world. Believe it or not, broccoli didn’t become very popular in the United States until the 1920s, and it didn’t arrive in England until the 18th century. This vegetable is native to the Mediterranean, and it was originally grown in Italy. It is a cruciferous vegetable that shares ancestry with other flowering plants, including cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
Broccoli Nutrition Facts: Calories, Fiber and More
Like other vegetables, broccoli is high in water and low in calories. So you can eat as much as you want while controlling your calorie count. For example, a cup of chopped broccoli contains about 30 calories, 68 grams of water, and 1.8 grams of fiber. Broccoli is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. One cup of chopped broccoli contains approximately 69 mg of vitamin C (77% of the daily value), 77 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K (64% of the daily value) and 49 mcg of folic acid (12% of the daily value). daily).
The evidence-based health benefits of broccoli
Now that you know the nutritional benefits of broccoli, let’s see how these nutrients, vitamins and minerals can help your body.
1. Helps Fight Cancer
Cancer occurs when malignant cells grow and spread throughout the body. Although modern medicine helps kill cancer cells, don’t underestimate the cancer-fighting potential of broccoli. This vegetable may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as lung, stomach, and colon cancer. This is due to a compound in broccoli called isothiocyanates, which helps decrease inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to changes in your DNA and increase the risk of cancer.
2. Helps Bone Health
Vitamin K helps your body absorb calcium, and a deficiency increases the risk of bone fractures. As broccoli contains a high amount of vitamin K, there is an association between its consumption and the reduction of fractures. Broccoli also contains calcium, which is another essential nutrient for strong bones and teeth.
3. Lowers Cholesterol
Your doctor may recommend medication if you are having trouble lowering your blood cholesterol levels. But given the number of possible side effects of medications, you might want to look for natural ways to remedy this problem. Broccoli is particularly high in soluble fiber, the type of fiber that research shows is most effective at lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Since healthy cholesterol levels reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, broccoli may also support heart health. (11)
4. Improves Immunity
Have you ever wondered how some people can make it through cold and flu season without sneezing? The secret may lie in a stronger immune system and their ability to fight disease. If you’re looking to boost your immune system, broccoli is the vegetable for you. The vitamin C in this flowering plant can give your body the boost it needs to fight infections. As a bonus, vitamin C helps detoxify the body and scavenge free radicals that can lead to arthritis, wrinkles, and age-related macular degeneration.
5. Aids in weight loss
Broccoli is also an excellent food for weight loss. In addition to being low in calories, this fiber-rich food can help you stay full longer and can curb overeating. It can also improve digestion and help relieve constipation.
How Much Broccoli Should You Eat to Reap Its Health Benefits?
But you may be wondering how much broccoli should I eat to experience its health benefits. If you’re not a big fan of vegetables, the thought of consuming large amounts of broccoli on a daily basis may make you cringe. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to reap its benefits, especially since adults only need about 2.5 cups of cooked vegetables a day (it takes a little more if raw). So if you eat one cup of broccoli a day (either with a meal or a snack), you’ve almost reached half the recommended daily vegetable intake for adults.
According to research, what broccoli can’t do for your health?
Although broccoli has a multitude of health benefits, it is not a miracle vegetable or a panacea. There is no single food that guarantees good health. Other factors also determine your overall health. These include lifestyle and genetics. So, eating broccoli does not mean you will never get sick. Nonetheless, getting as many healthy foods into your diet as possible can play a role in preventing disease.
Does eating broccoli pose any health risks?
If you take blood thinners, talk to your doctor before adding broccoli to your diet. Broccoli contains vitamin K, which helps blood clot. Therefore, consuming large amounts of broccoli may reduce the effectiveness of anti-clot medications. If your doctor allows you to eat broccoli, find out how much broccoli you can safely eat. This amount can vary between individuals, but in general, it’s best to keep an overall vitamin K intake relatively constant from day to day.
Like our content ?
Receive our latest publications free of charge and directly in your mailbox every day