- 11 health benefits of broccoli
- What is broccoli?
- Nutritional benefits of broccoli
- Is broccoli good for heart health?
- Can broccoli help build strong bones?
- Is broccoli good for eye health?
- Can broccoli help prevent cancer?
- Is broccoli best eaten raw or cooked?
- Healthy broccoli recipes
- Enjoyed this? Now try…
- List of Cruciferous Vegetables
- How does sulforaphane kill tiny living creatures, and why should you care?
- Sulforaphane 101
- So, is broccoli good for you?
- Health benefits of broccoli
- Health risks
- Raw, steamed or boiled: Which is more nutritious?
- Broccoli facts
- Additional resources
- Confused About the Serving Sizes of Vegetables?
- How Many Servings of Vegetables Should You Eat To Reduce Your Risk of Cancer?
- What Is A Serving of Vegetables?
- 1. Nutrition
- 2. Good for your eye health
- 3. Broccoli is basically a multivitamin
- 4. May help lower cholesterol
- 5. It’s a cancer-fighting veggie
- Is broccoli good for weight loss?
- Are there risks in eating broccoli?
- Is broccoli better cooked or raw?
- Read more about it
- Benefits of eating broccoli
- The health benefits of broccoli
- Is Eating Broccoli Slowing My Metabolism?
- 6 Big Benefits of Eating Broccoli Every Day
- 1. Broccoli Helps You Eat Less While Feeling Fuller
- 2. Broccoli Can Help Fight Obesity-Related Diseases
- 3. Broccoli Can Help You Recover Quicker
- 4. Broccoli Is a Cancer-Fighting Superhero
- 6. Broccoli Is The Original Detox Diet
11 health benefits of broccoli
Broccoli is known to be a hearty and tasty vegetable which is rich in dozens of nutrients. It is said to pack the most nutritional punch of any vegetable. When we think about green vegetables to include in our diet, broccoli is one of the foremost veggies to come to our mind. Coming from the cabbage family, broccoli can be categorized as an edible green plant.
Here are some of the benefits of broccoli:
1. Cancer prevention: Broccoli shares cancer fighting and immune boosting properties with other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Broccoli contains properties that depletes estrogens which usually cause cancer in the body. Research shows that broccoli is extremely suitable for preventing breast and uterus cancer.
2. Cholesterol reduction: Like many whole foods, broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body. This is because the fiber in broccoli helps bind with bile acids in the digestive tract. This makes excreting cholesterol out of our body easy. According to a research by the Institute of Food Research, a particular variety of broccoli can help reduce the blood LDL-cholesterol levels by 6 per cent.
3. Reducing allergic reaction and inflammation: Research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. Broccoli even has significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which are well known as anti-inflammatory. Along with this, broccoli can also help people suffering from arthritis as broccoli contains sulforaphane, a chemical that blocks the enzymes that can cause joint destruction and hence lead to inflammation.
4. Powerful antioxidant: Broccoli contains antioxidants that can help the body in a variety of ways. Broccoli is deeply concentrated with vitamin C, making it great for immunity. Other than this, broccoli also contains flavonoids which help recycle the vitamin C efficiently. It is also enriched with carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and other power packed antioxidants.
5. Bone health: Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis. Along with calcium, broccoli is also full of other nutrients like magnesium, zinc and phosphorous. Because of these properties, broccoli is extremely suitable for children, elderly and lactating mothers.
6. Heart health: The anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane, one of the isothiocyanates (ITCs) in broccoli, may be able to prevent (or even reverse) some of the damage to blood vessel linings that can be caused by inflammation due to chronic blood sugar problems. Broccoli is great for heart health as it contains fibers, fatty acids and vitamins that help regulating blood pressure in the body. This also helps in reducing bad cholesterol, hence leading to a healthy heart. Broccoli helps protecting blood vessels from damaging as well.
7. Diet aid: Broccoli is a good carb and is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Along with this, broccoli is also great for weight loss because it is rich in fiber. It is an ideal green vegetable to include in your salads and completing your five coloured vegetables everyday. In addition to this, broccoli also contains proteins, making it suitable for vegetarians that are otherwise not able to complete their protein requirement.
8. Great for detoxification: Since broccoli is rich in fiber, it can help get rid of toxins through the digestive tract. Other than this, broccoli is also full of antioxidants that help in overall detoxification of the body. Broccoi includes special phytonutrients that help in the body’s detox process. This means that the body gets rids of unwanted contaminants. Broccoli also contains isothiocyanates, which help in the detox process at the genetic level.
9. Skin care: Skin care not only includes glow, but also its immunity. Since broccoli is a powerhouse of antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin C and minerals such copper and zinc, broccoli helps in maintaining a healthy skin. This means it also protects the skin from getting infections as well as keep the natural glow of your skin. Broccoli is full of vitamin K, amino acids and folates, making it ideal for maintaining healthy skin immunity.
10. Eye care: Broccoli contains beta-carotene, vitamin A, phosphorous and other vitamins such B complex, vitamin C and E. All these rich nutrients are great for eye health as these help in protecting the eyes against mascular degeneration, cataract and even repairs damage done by harmful radiations we go through by being constantly on our phones or being in front of a screen.
11. Anti-ageing: Since broccoli is enriched with vitamin C, which has numerous antioxidant properties, it is great for anti-ageing. This is because antioxidants help fight the free radicals responsible for ageing. These free radicals often damage the skin. Eating broccoli regularly helps in reducing fine lines, wrinkles, skin issues like acne and even pigmentation.
What is broccoli?
Broccoli is a branched, green vegetable with either purple or more commonly green flower buds. It belongs to the cruciferous family, along with cauliflower, cabbage and kale and it can be eaten raw or cooked, with just 80g (about 2 spears) counting as one of your five-a-day.
Take a look at our printable infographic to discover what counts as 5-a-day.
Nutritional benefits of broccoli
There have been many health claims over the years about broccoli and whether it could be labelled a ‘superfood’ or not, but its nutrient-rich profile does offer some real health benefits.
Broccoli is a good source of fibre and protein, and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium as well as the vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid.
Discover more about why we need fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Is broccoli good for heart health?
A study by Nutrition Research found that consuming steamed broccoli regularly lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing the total amount of cholesterol in the body. Another study in the US also found that increasing vegetables in the diet, especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, could reduce the risk of heart disease.
Discover what to eat for a healthy heart.
Can broccoli help build strong bones?
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that is needed for blood clotting, and may play an important role in keeping our bones healthy and strong. Whilst more research is needed, there has been consistent evidence that vitamin K can improve bone health in general as well as increasing bone mineral density and reducing fracture rates in those with osteoporosis.
Adults need 1 mcg of vitamin K per kilogram of body weight, which means a 75kg adult would need 75mcg of vitamin K a day. Just 100g steamed broccoli provides 145mcg of vitamin K, so this nutrient can be easily achieved through diet alone.
Read more about osteoporosis and how diet affects bone density.
Please note, if you are taking blood thinners such as warfarin, you need to be mindful of your vitamin K consumption as it may interact with the medication, so check with your GP before making any dietary changes.
Is broccoli good for eye health?
Broccoli contains certain carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin that, in studies in 2006 and 2003, were linked to a decreased risk of age-related eye disorders, such as cataract and macular degeneration. Night blindness is also associated with a deficiency of vitamin A. Broccoli contains beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A.
Can broccoli help prevent cancer?
While there are no single ‘superfoods’ that can prevent cancer and certain risk factors for cancer are unrelated to diet, there is evidence that eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of cancer. A key component of broccoli is a phytochemical known as sulforaphane, which also gives broccoli a slight bitter taste. Studies have shown that sulforaphane may play a part in enhancing detoxification of airborne toxins, such as cigarette smoke, and could help reduce the risk of certain cancers. Further research has suggested that broccoli may have anti-cancer properties and could reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Broccoli sprouts are, in fact, a more concentrated source of these cancer-fighting compounds. These can easily be sprouted from seed on your windowsill, just like growing cress.
Is broccoli best eaten raw or cooked?
A 2008 report by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that boiling and steaming was best for preserving broccoli’s antioxidant status, but that cooking can destroy vitamin C. Another piece of research, however, demonstrated that raw broccoli was best when it comes to preserving the levels of sulforaphane. In short, whether you eat broccoli raw or cooked, it is a valuable addition to a balanced diet.
Healthy broccoli recipes
Steak & broccoli protein pots
Sesame salmon, purple sprouting broccoli & sweet potato mash
Poached eggs with broccoli, tomatoes & wholemeal flatbread
Wholewheat pasta with broccoli & almonds
Stir-fried chicken with broccoli & brown rice
Enjoyed this? Now try…
How to eat a balanced diet
The health benefits of asparagus
All our health benefits guides
More health & nutrition tips
This article was reviewed on 1st October 2018 by Kerry Torrens.
Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.
Kerry Torrens is a qualified Nutritionist (MBANT) with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food.
All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.
Public health officials and nutrition experts love to sing the praises of the virtuous cruciferous vegetable family. We are told that these pungent plants can fight off cancer, strengthen our immune system, and leap tall buildings in a single bound. But could crucifers have a dark side?
The cruciferous veggies (the Brassica family) dominate the produce aisle; many people may not realize how many familiar vegetables belong to this family.
List of Cruciferous Vegetables
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese Broccoli
- Chinese cabbage
- Choy sum
- Collard greens
- Mustard Greens
- Mustard Seeds
These mustard family members are notorious for giving off a strong odor that sends children ducking for cover underneath the dinner table. That lovely aroma is due to the presence of sulfur-containing chemicals called “thiocyanates.” These are natural plant defense compounds, designed to protect the plant from potential invaders.
Plants are cunning. If they need us to help them disperse their seeds, they will package the seeds in a colorful, appealing fruit and fill it with the sweet sugars we love to eat. However, they do not want us to eat their stalks, roots, stems, and leaves—the vital body parts that keep the plant alive, so they tend to make those parts bitter. Plants do not want to be eaten any more than animals do, but since they can’t run, growl, bite, or claw at creatures that want to feast upon them, they have evolved, over hundreds of millions of years, some very sophistical chemical weapons to ward off hungry passers-by.
Let’s use broccoli as our signature crucifer, as it is the best-studied. Like all cruciferous veggies, broccoli uses isothiocyanates to protect itself. The one it happens to use is called sulforaphane, which is made this way:
Glucosinolate + Myrosinase (enzyme) = SULFORAPHANE
When broccoli is sitting peacefully in a field (cue the flute solo), it does not contain any sulforaphane. This pungent molecule is so toxic to living cells (including broccoli’s own cells) that the two harmless ingredients needed to make it are stored in separate compartments within broccoli cells. However, if the cells’ defenses are breached—if the vegetable is cut or bruised or if an insect or small animal comes along and bites into its flesh (cue the ominous organ music)—the individual compartments break open, the two ingredients mix together, and POOF! Sulforaphane—a chemical weapon with the power to kill things like insects, bacteria, and worms.
How does sulforaphane kill tiny living creatures, and why should you care?
You should care because sulforaphane can do the very same things to your cells that it does to the cells of the little guys:
- Poisons mitochondria (cell energy generators)
- Inhibits microsomal enzymes in the endoplasmic reticulum (cellular manufacturing and detoxifying centers)
- Generates reactive oxygen species (these are damaging “pro-oxidants”)
- Interferes with thyroid iodine absorption
- Disrupts epithelial barriers (can poke holes in sheets of cells)
- Depletes glutathione levels (the most important antioxidant inside our cells)
All of the above mechanisms explain how sulforaphane can kill small living creatures. In research studies it has also been demonstrated that sulforaphane can kill healthy human cells and can cause cancerous changes in human cells.
It may come as a surprise to you to learn that this sulforaphane is the very same broccoli ingredient that we are told is responsible for the health benefits of broccoli. The reason for these health claims lies in the other things that sulforaphane does in research studies:
- Induces cancer cell apoptosis (causes cancer cells to commit suicide)
- Inhibits angiogenesis (slows new blood vessel formation, which is how cancers grow)
- Induces “phase II enzymes” (fires up human immune system antioxidants)
- Kills bacteria (natural antibiotic)
So, as you can see, sulforaphane is a double-edged sword, capable of killing bacteria and cancer cells, as well as killing healthy cells and even causing cancer. Just like any form of chemotherapy, this compound does not do a very good job of distinguishing between cancerous cells and healthy cells, so collateral damage (friendly fire) may occur.
Why do we only hear about broccoli’s superhero side, and not its villainous dark side? As a psychiatrist and someone who has read far too many nutrition articles, I can confidently say this: when it comes to food and health, believing is seeing. If we believe something is good for us, we only see evidence to support that belief and are almost incapable of seeing evidence to the contrary. The belief that vegetables are good for us comes entirely from epidemiological studies, which are only capable of generating untested theories about food and health. Scientific experiments are then conducted to try to support those beliefs, and the truth is that these experiments yield very mixed results about how broccoli affects us.
Scientists who are aware of the dark side of crucifers defend them as superfoods by invoking the concept of hormesis. The hormesis theory essentially says that small amounts of toxic compounds can actually be good for you—this is the “what does not kill you makes you stronger” argument. However, when it comes to crucifers and health, this is just a hypothesis. What’s more, even if it were true, then the best advice about crucifers would be to eat them in small amounts to ensure tiny doses of isothiocyanates. Instead, the prevailing wisdom about crucifers is: the more, the merrier.
- Sprouts contain 20 to 100 times more glucosinolate than mature vegetables (to protect the baby plant).
- Freezing crucifers or boiling them for 10 minutes reduces glucosinolate concentrations by about 50%.
- Steaming reduces glucosinolate concentrations by about 2/3.
- Heat completely destroys myrosinase. However, the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract contain enzymes that mimic myrosinase, so sulforaphane will still be generated in the process of digestion.
- About 75% of all sulforaphane in the digestive tract is absorbed into the bloodstream and taken up by cells throughout the body. Blood levels peak about 2 hours after eating crucifers.
- Once inside cells, our own natural cellular antioxidant, glutathione, rapidly binds to sulforaphane and escorts it out of cells to be eliminated within 3 hours.
Some scientists have postulated that our cells get rid of sulforaphane as quickly as possible precisely because it is an unwanted guest–an irritant, rather than a helpful tool in our cancer-fighting arsenal.
So, is broccoli good for you?
We really don’t know. I was unable to find any convincing clinical evidence to support the health benefits of crucifers, but I did find enough interesting scientific evidence to at least call their health benefits into question. Most humans and their ancestors have been eating vegetables for tens if not hundreds of thousands of years. Therefore, even if broccoli may be potentially harmful to us, we have likely evolved ways to minimize any damage it may cause. Case in point: although we do absorb significant amounts of sulforaphane, our cells rapidly evict it. However, individuals with chemical sensitivities, weakened immune systems, liver disease, and /or gastrointestinal problems may be more likely to experience symptoms related to the natural chemicals in certain vegetables, which are usually not suspected as potential culprits. People with hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) may also want to consider removing cruciferous vegetables due to their potential to interfere with normal thyroid activity.
Are children who hate broccoli onto something? Out of the mouths of babes…
For information about how cruciferous vegetables can aggravate IBS in some people, read my blog post: “Common Constipation Culprits.”
To read more about vegetables in general, visit my Vegetables page or watch my 20-minute presentation entitled Little Shop of Horrors: the Risks and Benefits of Eating Vegetables, given at the 2012 Ancestral Health Symposium.
Tagged with: Broccoli • Crucifers
Assayed M and Abd El-Aty AM. Cruciferous plants: phytochemical toxicity versus cancer chemoprotection. Mini-rev Medic Chem 2009: 1470-1478.
Cavell BE et al. Anti-angiogenic effects of dietary isothiocyanates: Mechanisms of action and implications for human health. Biochemical Pharmacology 81 (2011) 327–336.
Hayes DP. Nutritional hormesis. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007; 61, 147–159.
Herr A et al. Dietary constituents of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables: implications for prevention and therapy of cancer. Cancer Treatment Reviews 2010; 36: 377–383.
Latte KP et al. Health benefits and possible risks of broccoli–an overview. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2011;49: 3287-3309.
Nakamura Y and Miyoshi N. Electrophiles in foods: the current status of isothiocyanates and their chemical biology. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2010; 74(2): 242-255.
Rungapamestry V et al. Effect of cooking brassica vegetables on the subsequent hydrolysis and metabolic fate of glucosinolates. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 2007; 66: 69–81.
Yanaka A et al. Dietary sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprouts reduce colonization and attenuate gastritis in Helicobacter pylori-infected mice and humans. Cancer Prev Res 2009; 2:353-360.
Zhang Y and Callaway EC. High cellular accumulation of sulphoraphane, a dietary anticarcinogen, isfollowed by rapid transporter-mediated export as a glutathione conjugate. Biochem J 2002; 364(Pt 1): 301-7.
796 Shares Tagged with: Broccoli • Crucifers
Your parents knew what was up when they told you to eat your broccoli. This verdant vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s reputed to benefit digestion, the cardiovascular system and the immune system, and to have anti-inflammatory and even cancer-preventing properties. Plus, broccoli is low in sodium and calories, at about 31 calories per serving. It’s also a fat-free vegetable.
Broccoli has an impressive nutritional profile. It is “high in fiber, very high in vitamin C and has potassium, B6 and vitamin A,” raved Victoria Jarzabkowski, a nutritionist with the Fitness Institute of Texas at the University of Texas at Austin. “For a nonstarchy vegetable, it has a good amount of protein.”
Broccoli is also packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants. Phytochemicals are chemicals in plants that are responsible for color, smell and flavor. Research shows that they have numerous healthful benefits, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Phytochemicals in broccoli are good for the immune system. They include glucobrassicin; carotenoids, such as zeaxanthin and beta-carotene; and kaempferol, a flavonoid.
Antioxidants are chemicals produced by the body or found in fruits, vegetables and grains. “Antioxidants can help find and neutralize free radicals that cause cell damage,” Jarzabkowski told Live Science. Free radicals are unstable molecules made during metabolism. The damage they can cause may lead to cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Broccoli is a good source of lutein, a compound antioxidant, and sulforaphane, which is a very potent antioxidant,” Jarzabkowski said.
Broccoli also contains additional nutrients, including some magnesium, phosphorus, a little zinc and iron.
Here are the nutrition facts for broccoli, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food labeling through the National Labeling and Education Act:
|Nutrition Facts Serving size: 1 medium stalk (raw) (5.3 oz / 148 g) Calories 45 Calories from Fat 0 *Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.||Amt per Serving||%DV*||Amt per Serving||%DV*|
|Total Fat 0.5g||1%||Total Carbohydrate 8g||3%|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0%||Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|Sodium 80mg||3%||Sugars 2g|
|Potassium 460mg||13%||Protein 4g|
Health benefits of broccoli
Diabetes and Autism
For obese individuals with type 2 diabetes, broccoli extract may be what the doctor ordered. Scientists reporting in the June 14, 2017 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine, found that a compound called sulforaphane in broccoli (and other cruciferous veggies like cabbage and Brussel sprouts) could turn down the activity, or expression, of 50 genes associated with symptoms related to type 2 diabetes. The scientists gave the compound (in the form of a broccoli sprout extract) to 97 individuals with type 2 diabetes over the course of 12 weeks. Though non-obese participants didn’t see any effect, the obese individuals saw their fasting blood glucose levels go down a significant 10 percent compared with a control group. The dose, however, is 100 times what is found naturally in broccoli, the researchers reported.
The same compound was also found to improve symptoms related to autism; those who took the extract containing sulforaphane showed improvements in verbal communication and social interactions, researchers reported Oct. 13, 2014 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Probably the most publicized health benefit of broccoli is its possible ability to help prevent cancer. “Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, and all vegetables in this group may be protective against some stomach and intestinal cancers,” Jarzabkowski said.
The American Cancer Society notes broccoli’s isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. These chemicals boost detoxifying enzymes and act as antioxidants, reducing oxidative stress. They also may affect estrogen levels, which may help reduce breast cancer risk.
According to Jarzabkowski, broccoli can help lower cholesterol because the soluble fiber in the vegetable binds with the cholesterol in the blood. This binding makes the cholesterol easier to excrete, and consequently lessens cholesterol levels in the body.
Phytocheimcals glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin compose a terrific trio in broccoli. Together, they aid all steps of the body’s detoxification process, from activation to neutralization and elimination of contaminants. A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that the sprouts of broccoli may be especially potent in this regard.
In addition to reducing cholesterol, broccoli can aid in heart health by helping to keep blood vessels strong. The sulforaphane in broccoli is also an anti-inflammatory and may be able to prevent or reverse damage to blood vessel linings caused by chronic blood sugar problems. And the vegetable’s B-complex vitamins can help regulate or reduce excessive homocysteine, according to the Harvard University School of Public Health. Excess homocysteine, an amino acid that builds up after a person eats red meat, increases the risk of coronary artery disease.
“You’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your eyes, and that’s because they contain lutein,” Jarzabkowski said. “It’s a compound antioxidant that’s really good for eye health, and broccoli is also a great way to get it.” Another antioxidant in broccoli called zeaxanthin is similarly beneficial. Both chemicals may help protect against macular degeneration, an incurable condition that blurs central vision, and cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens.
Jarzabkowski emphasized broccoli’s digestive benefits, which she chalked up mostly to the vegetable’s high fiber content. Broccoli has nearly 1 gram of fiber per 10 calories. Fiber helps keep you regular and helps maintain healthy bacteria levels in the intestines.
Broccoli also aids in digestion by helping to keep your stomach lining healthy. The sulforaphane in broccoli helps keep the stomach bacteria Helicobacter pylori from becoming overgrown or clinging too strongly to the stomach wall. A 2009 Johns Hopkins study on mice found that broccoli sprouts are especially good at helping in this way. Mice that were fed broccoli sprouts daily for two months reduced the levels of H. pylori in their stools by more than 40 percent.
Broccoli is a great anti-inflammatory and may slow down the damage to joints associated with osteoarthritis. A 2013 study at the University of East Anglia found that broccoli’s sulforaphane may help people suffering from arthritis because this chemical “blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction by stopping a key molecule known to cause inflammation.”
Broccoli’s isothiocyanates and omega-3 fatty acids also help to regulate inflammation. Furthermore, a 2010 study published in the journal Inflammation Researcher suggested that the flavonoid kaempferol lessens the impact of allergens, especially in the intestinal tract, which can reduce chronic inflammation.
In general, broccoli is safe to eat, and any side effects are not serious. The most common side effect is gas or bowel irritation, caused by broccoli’s high amounts of fiber. “All cruciferous vegetables can make you gassy,” Jarzabkowski said. “But the health benefits outweigh the discomfort.”
According to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, people taking blood-thinning medications should watch their broccoli intake, since the vegetable’s vitamin K content may interfere with the medication’s effectiveness. Those with hypothyroidism should also limit their intake of broccoli.
Raw, steamed or boiled: Which is more nutritious?
The way that you prepare broccoli can affect the amount of nutrients you get, and which ones. People looking to broccoli for its anticancer benefits will want to be sure not to cook the vegetable too long.
A 2007 University of Warwick study found that boiling broccoli can undermine the effects of the food’s good, cancer-fighting enzymes. Researchers studied the effects of boiling, steaming, microwave cooking and stir-fry cooking on fresh broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and green cabbage.
Boiling led to the biggest losses of cancer-fighting nutrients. Steaming for up to 20 minutes, microwaving for up to three minutes and stir-frying for up to five minutes produced no significant loss of cancer-preventive substances. Raw broccoli maintains all of its nutrients, but it is also more likely to irritate your bowels and cause gas.
- Broccoli originated in Italy, where it was developed from wild cabbage and has existed since about sixth century B.C.
- The Italian name for broccoli is “broccolo,” meaning the flowering top of a cabbage. The word comes from the Latin word “brachium,” which means branch or arm, a reflection of the vegetable’s treelike shape.
- The plant came to France in 1560. Until the early 1700s, broccoli was still not widely known in England and was called “sprout colli-flower” or “Italian asparagus.”
- Thomas Jefferson was a fan of broccoli and imported broccoli seeds from Italy, planting them at his home, Monticello, as early as May 1767.
- Another president, George H.W. Bush, was not a fan. He used his distaste for broccoli as a punch line in dozens of speeches. He once said, “I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid, and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” In response, broccoli growers sent 10 tons of the vegetable to the White House.
- In 2013, President Barack Obama announced that broccoli was his favorite food.
- California produces 90 percent of the broccoli grown in the United States.
- Vegetables related to broccoli are broccolini, a mix between broccoli and “gai-lin” (Chinese broccoli), and broccoflower, a cross between broccoli and cauliflower.
- The average American eats over 4 lbs. of broccoli a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- The world record for eating broccoli is held by Tom “Broccoli” Landers. It took him just 92 seconds to eat a full pound of the vegetable. His secret: “Just swallow, don’t bother to chew.”
- The United States is the world’s third largest producer of broccoli. China, the top producer, grows over 8 million tons of the vegetable a year.
(Sources: MindBodyGreen.com, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction)
This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant to offer medical advice.
- Find out about planting, growing and harvesting broccoli from the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
- Read the American Cancer Society’s information about broccoli.
- Learn more about the University of Warwick study on cooking broccoli.
If you read this article, you should be able to score well on our quiz.
Quiz Yourself: Broccoli Nutrition Facts
Confused About the Serving Sizes of Vegetables?
According to the USDA’s new MyPlate guidelines, half of your plate—and your diet for that matter—should be fruits and vegetables. We couldn’t agree more! Vegetables are one of the top anti-cancer foods.
Recent research also suggests that certain vegetables may help increase breast cancer survival rates. This China-based study found that women who regularly ate cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower had lower mortality rates and were less likely to have their cancer return.
This latest study is only one more piece of evidence that vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet—particularly for women who want to reduce their breast cancer risk. When it comes to eating vegetables, though, how many servings should we eat per day, and what exactly is a “serving?”
How Many Servings of Vegetables Should You Eat To Reduce Your Risk of Cancer?
The USDA’s suggestion of three vegetable servings a day should be regarded as a minimum. Three servings a day is sufficient for older women and young children, but active women and teens should eat at least four daily servings of vegetables. Men and teenage boys need five vegetable servings each day. To reduce your risk of cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, or two and a half cups.
What Is A Serving of Vegetables?
Do two baby carrots count as a serving? A whole tomato? One cup of fresh spinach is a serving, but what if it’s steamed? Serving sizes can get a little confusing. The general rule of thumb is that a one-half cup of vegetables or one cup of green leafy vegetables equals a serving. So a serving of vegetables might consist of:
- Ten baby carrots
- Five broccoli florets
- One Roma Tomato
- One ear of corn
- Half of a sweet potato
- A cereal bowl full of fresh spinach, kale, or other salad greens
- 3/4 cup of vegetable juice
- Half an avocado
- 5 spears of fresh asparagus (or 7 spears canned)
- A handful of snow peas or sugar snap peas
- 2 heaping tablespoons of cooked spinach
- 1/3 a large eggplant
- Half a large zucchini
- 7 Cherry tomatoes
Choose fresh vegetables whenever possible and try to minimize the amount of butter or other fats you add. Our recipes can give you some creative ideas for incorporating vegetables into your diet.
Remember that different colors of vegetables have different nutrients. For example, dark green vegetables are rich in Vitamin K. Yellow vegetables are high in beta-carotene, and red vegetables are high in heart-healthy lycopene. For the most dietary benefits, eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Try to include a variety of different colored vegetables in your diet and be sure to choose dark green leafy vegetables several times a week.
What are your favorite ways to incorporate more vegetables in your diet? We’d love to hear your favorite tips, tricks and recipes in the comments below.
I’m sure it’s no surprise that broccoli is healthy. After all, there’s a reason we want our kids to love it.
While we know broccoli is good for us, what exactly are the health benefits of those mean, green florets in the produce section? For starters, broccoli is good for heart health. It may help with cancer prevention, help with cholesterol levels, and it has several vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall wellness.
Now, let’s unpack those health benefits. First, the basics. According to the USDA food database, 1 cup of chopped, cooked broccoli contains:
- 3.71 grams protein
- .64 grams fat
- 11 grams carbohydrates
- 5.1 grams fiber
- 2.17 grams sugar
- 457 milligrams potassium
- 64 milligrams sodium
- 62 milligrams calcium
- 101 milligrams vitamin C
- 2415 international units of vitamin A
2. Good for your eye health
Hate carrots? Eat broccoli instead. While carrots are constantly touted as good for your eye health because of their vitamin A content, delivering carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, cooked broccoli actually contains more.
3. Broccoli is basically a multivitamin
In addition to all that vitamin A, broccoli packs a healthy punch of vitamin C which can boost immunity and fight free radicals. It’s full of other vitamins and minerals as well, such as vitamin K (which promotes healthy bones and blood flow) and folate (which is linked to decreased rates of cancer, heart disease, and other health issues).
4. May help lower cholesterol
It doesn’t sound glamorous, but certain compounds of broccoli bind to bile acids in your stomach. The process is thought to help lower cholesterol levels by helping you better digest fat and preventing the acids from being released back into your bloodstream.
5. It’s a cancer-fighting veggie
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, that’s a fancy way of saying it’s part of a specific family of plants that are loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as phytonutrients that are anti-inflammatory (Brussels sprouts are also a cruciferous vegetable). And according to the National Cancer Institute, cruciferous vegetables might be cancer-fighting — specifically for prostate, colorectal, lung, and breast cancer.
Is broccoli good for weight loss?
Because broccoli is high in fiber and low in calories, it may help with weight loss. Now, that doesn’t mean you can just start mowing down on broccoli and watch the number on the scale decrease. But generally speaking, eating more fruits in vegetables overall can help you lose weight (especially when they have healthy amounts of fiber).
Are there risks in eating broccoli?
The vitamin K content may interfere with blood thinners. Additionally, those with thyroid issues may want to consult with a doctor before stocking up on broccoli. Eating too much increases fiber intake; take it too far and it could cause indigestion. IBS folks, beware.
Is broccoli better cooked or raw?
While the research is conflicting, most of it concludes that steaming broccoli is the best cooking method for retaining the nutrients. As long as you cook it properly and don’t cook it for too long, experts say it’s just as healthy to eat cooked broccoli as it is raw broccoli.
When steaming, you only need to cook it for a few minutes. When microwaving, a minute or two should do the trick. Some research suggests you should avoid boiling broccoli, saying it reduces its cancer-fighting properties.
Read more about it
- How to cook broccoli
- Types of broccoli
- Recipes with broccoli
As a nutritional therapist I try to practice what I preach, and aim to eat a wide variety of vegetables in my diet. There is one vegetable I eat every day, and that is broccoli. Love it or hate it, its just too good for you to ignore!
Broccoli is rich in vitamins A, B, C, E and K and also high in calcium. It’s nutrients are anti-inflammatory and support the detoxification process in the liver. But it’s magical ingredient is sulforaphane a compound involved in gene expression, the process where our genes are either turned on or switched off. Scientists are currently studying sulforaphane and it’s role in turning ‘on’ or ‘off’ the genes responsible for diseases like cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.
Sulforaphane helps protect our cells from inflammation and damage caused by environmental pollution and allergens and is supportive for those with allergies and asthma. It protects our blood vessels and is a particularly important food for diabetics, who can suffer from vascular degeneration. In osteoporosis it slows down the destruction of cartilage in joints. Research has also shown it to be effective in reducing cancerous tumours and even causing cancer cell death.
However, the biological factors in broccoli only last for 24 hours in the body, so we need to consume some every day to reap the benefits of its protection. Try broccoli sprouts for an even mighter punch of sulforaphane (they contain 20 to 50 times the concentration of sulforaphane than regular broccoli). You can buy these in health shops, or even better, grow your own. Buy your own broccoli sprout seeds and get sprouting!
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Benefits of eating broccoli
CLEVELAND CLINIC – Most kids turn up their noses at broccoli, and maybe even some adults.
But it turns out that your parents have been right all along; it is a good idea to finish your broccoli.
According to Kristin Kirkpatrick of Cleveland Clinic, both broccoli and Brussels sprouts are great “cool weather crops” to work into your fall dinner plate.
“Those are great things to add to your diet, they’re cruciferous vegetables, and of all of the vegetables that we know and that we study, the cruciferous vegetables have the greatest impact on our prevention of cancer,” says Kirkpatrick.
In addition to cancer prevention, broccoli can benefit anyone who is watching their waistline.
Broccoli is high in fiber and provides the body with protein, fat and other nutrients that help the body absorb calories slower, while also allowing blood sugar and insulin levels to remain stable.
And broccoli can help you feel full without overeating.
One half-cup serving of broccoli is just fifteen calories, but can provide more than sixty-percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin c, an antioxidant vitamin which is needed for healthy bones, muscles, and blood vessels.
Kirkpatrick says Brussels sprouts are also a good source of fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
Experts say that eating cruciferous vegetables each day can also help folks who have problems with inflammation as well as chronic pain.
“I always tell my patients, of all the vegetables, have at least one cruciferous vegetable every single day. And broccoli tends to be really tasty and very versatile in a lot of different recipes,” recommends Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick also noted that both broccoli and Brussels sprouts are easy to find at most local farmer’s markets during cool-weather.
The health benefits of broccoli
Share on PinterestAntioxidants in broccoli may help reduce the risk of cancer.
Broccoli is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants can help prevent the development of various conditions.
The body produces molecules called free radicals during natural processes such as metabolism, and environmental stresses add to these. Free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, are toxic in large amounts. They can cause cell damage that can lead to cancer and other conditions.
The body can eliminate many of them, but dietary antioxidants can help. Learn more about antioxidants here.
The sections below discuss the specific health benefits of broccoli in more detail.
Reducing the risk of cancer
Cruciferous vegetables contain a range of antioxidants, which may help prevent the type of cell damage that leads to cancer.
One of these is sulforaphane, which is a sulfur-containing compound that gives cruciferous vegetables their bitter bite.
Some scientists have suggested that cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli may play a role in “green chemoprevention,” in which people use either the whole plant or extracts from it to help prevent cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables also contain indole-3-carbinol. Research from 2019 suggests that this compound may have powerful antitumor properties.
Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, turnips, cabbage, arugula, broccolini, daikon, kohlrabi, and watercress may all have similar properties.
Does diet affect cancer risk? Find out here.
Improving bone health
Calcium and collagen work together to make strong bones. Over 99% of the body’s calcium is present in the bones and teeth. The body also needs vitamin C to produce collagen. Both are present in broccoli.
Vitamin K has a role in blood coagulation, but some experts have also suggested that it may help prevent or treat osteoporosis. People with low vitamin K levels may be more likely to experience problems with bone formation. Getting enough vitamin K from the diet may help keep the bones healthy.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a cup of broccoli weighing around 76 grams (g) contains 3% to 3.5% of a person’s daily need for calcium, 45–54% of their daily need for vitamin C, and 64–86% of their daily need for vitamin K, depending on their age and sex.
Learn about some natural ways to increase bone strength here.
Boosting immune health
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that provides a range of benefits.
It supports the immune system and may help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cataracts, and anemia. In supplement form, it may also help reduce the symptoms of the common cold and shorten the time a cold lasts.
Improving skin health
Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen, which is the main support system for body cells and organs, including the skin. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can also help prevent skin damage, including wrinkling due to aging.
Studies have shown that vitamin C may play a role in preventing or treating skin conditions such as shingles and skin cancer.
Get some tips on other skin-friendly foods in this article.
Dietary fiber can help promote regularity, prevent constipation, maintain a healthy digestive tract, and lower the risk of colon cancer.
In 2015, a screening trial found that people who consumed the highest levels of fiber were less likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who ate little fiber.
A 76 g cup of broccoli provides 5.4% to 7.1% of an individual’s daily requirement for fiber.
Which other foods support healthy digestion? Find out here.
When the immune system is under attack, inflammation can occur.
Inflammation can be a sign of a passing infection, but it can also occur with chronic autoimmune conditions such as arthritis and type 1 diabetes. People with metabolic syndrome may also have high levels of inflammation.
Broccoli may have anti-inflammatory effects, according to a 2014 study. Scientists found that the antioxidant effect of sulforaphane in broccoli helped reduce inflammation markers in laboratory tests. They therefore concluded that the nutrients in broccoli could help fight inflammation.
In a 2018 study, 40 otherwise healthy people with overweight consumed 30 g of broccoli sprouts per day for 10 weeks. At the end of the study period, the participants had significantly lower levels of inflammation.
What is the anti-inflammatory diet? This article provides tips on foods to eat and avoid.
Reducing the risk of diabetes
Research from 2017 suggested that eating broccoli may help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. This is due to its sulforaphane content.
Also, one 2018 review found that people who consume a high fiber diet are less likely to have type 2 diabetes than those who eat little fiber. Fiber may also help reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Which foods are good for people with diabetes? Get some tips here.
Protecting cardiovascular health
The fiber, potassium, and antioxidants in broccoli may help prevent CVD.
A 2018 population study demonstrated that older women whose diets were rich in cruciferous vegetables had a lower risk of atherosclerosis. This is a condition affecting the arteries that can result in a heart attack or stroke. This benefit may be due to the antioxidant content of cruciferous vegetables, and particularly sulforaphane.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend increasing the intake of potassium while adding less sodium to food. This relaxes the blood vessels and lowers the risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular problems.
A cup of broccoli provides almost 5% of a person’s daily need for potassium.
One 2017 review found that people who eat the most fiber have a lower risk of CVD and lower levels of blood lipids (fat) than those who consume little fiber.
Which foods can help prevent high blood pressure? Find out here.
Is Eating Broccoli Slowing My Metabolism?
Good for you but: In some people, certain veggies and legumes can slow metabolism. Q: I’ve read that goitrogens in broccoli can interfere with my thyroid. What’s your opinion? — Robbin Laffoon, Independence, Missouri
A: A goitrogen is a substance that slows production of thyroid hormones, and chronically low levels of those hormones can rob you of energy and cause weight gain. When the gland tries to compensate by producing more hormones, it can enlarge, forming a goiter. A number of foods contain goitrogens: broccoli, soybeans, spinach, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, peanuts, strawberries, and cabbage, to name a few. But don’t toss out your produce. If your thyroid is healthy and you get adequate iodine in your diet—which most of us do courtesy of iodized salt—then goitrogens will have no noticeable effect.
That’s not true if you have thyroid disease, however. An impaired thyroid will be more vulnerable to the subtle effects of goitrogens, and they could tip you into hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). There is also an increasingly accepted view that subtle degrees of hypothyroidism may be quite common and contribute to everything from fatigue to depression.
Still, I don’t think the solution is to avoid strawberries or broccoli. If you have symptoms (fatigue, weight gain, depression, hair loss) or a family history of thyroid disease, your doctor can administer a simple blood test to see if you require treatment. Should you need thyroid hormone pills to restore the gland’s function, you may want to avoid goitrogens for a while. But once your hormone levels reach normal and are stable, you can go back to eating broccoli.
6 Big Benefits of Eating Broccoli Every Day
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Broccoli has long been one of the more reviled vegetables.
When you were a kid, the broccoli on your plate probably went untouched until your mom said you couldn’t leave the table until you choked it down. To make the whole experience less awful (or was that just me?), perhaps you had to imagine the pieces of broccoli as tiny trees and you were a hungry giant.
But I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t need any convincing to eat broccoli. Why? Because the health benefits it offers are borderline miraculous. Plus, the older you get, the more likely you are to enjoy the taste. Here are six benefits you can reap from eating broccoli on a regular basis.
1. Broccoli Helps You Eat Less While Feeling Fuller
Broccoli is bursting with fiber. A single serving contains 3.8 grams (roughly 15 percent of the recommended daily value).
Fiber is one of the most valuable and versatile nutrients around. According to the Mayo Clinic, it helps to normalize bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar, maintain bowel health and aid in achieving a healthy weight. The Harvard School of Public Health states that fiber appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. One of the most interesting effects of fiber is that it slows down digestion, which helps you feel full long after you eat. This can be a great benefit for people who want to cut calories and lose weight—or for anyone looking for an afternoon snack to hold them over until dinner.
RELATED: 6 Amazing Benefits of Eating Bananas Every Day
2. Broccoli Can Help Fight Obesity-Related Diseases
When you think of foods high in vitamin C, you probably think of oranges and bananas. But though both are indeed high in vitamin C, they don’t hold a candle to the amount found in broccoli. A single serving of broccoli contains a remarkable 220 percent of the recommended daily value!
Vitamin C is essential to maintaining healthy skin and eyes, but it’s also been found to have an impact on the vascular system. A new study conducted at the University of Colorado, Boulder discovered that taking a vitamin C supplement daily could have big benefits in preventing vascular disease. The researchers monitored the activity levels of ET-1 in obese participants. ET-1 is a vessel-constricting protein, and overweight and obese adults have elevated activity of ET-1, which makes their vessels more likely to constrict and increases their risk of vascular disease.
RELATED: Eat the Peel of these 12 Fruits and Veggies
Exercise has long been known as one way to reduce ET-1 activity. However, researchers found that participants who took a daily vitamin C supplement (500mg/day) reduced their vessel constriction as much as participants who began walking for exercise. Although the study was small, and exercise is certainly still the better overall option, the results bode well for vitamin C’s ability to promote optimal blood vessel health.
3. Broccoli Can Help You Recover Quicker
Consuming vitamin C on a regular basis might have a beneficial effect on recovery from demanding exercise. A two-week study found that participants who consumed 400mg of vitamin C daily (a single serving of broccoli contains about 132mg) experienced improved muscle function and decreased muscle soreness following exercise.
The vitamin C in broccoli is important for growing and repairing tissue all over the body. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, vitamin C helps heal wounds and maintain healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin C also supports the production of collagen, which is needed to make cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and skin.
RELATED: 8 Recovery Foods Recommended By Sports Dietitians
4. Broccoli Is a Cancer-Fighting Superhero
Broccoli is one of the most potent cancer-fighting foods you can find in a grocery store.
Broccoli belongs to a genus of plants known as brassica, a category that also includes kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. A 1996 study found an inverse association between brassica consumption and the occurrence of stomach and lung cancer. The authors wrote: “It is concluded that a high consumption of brassica vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of cancer. This association appears to be most consistent for lung, stomach, colon and rectal cancer and least consistent for prostatic, endometrial and ovarian cancer.”
In addition to being a brassica vegetable, broccoli’s high fiber and vitamin C content give it additional cancer-fighting capabilities. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, dietary fiber “convincingly” lowers the risk of colorectal cancer, and vitamin C “probably” lowers the risk of esophageal cancer.
5. Broccoli Destroys Inflammation
Inflammation is the enemy of the human body.
Inflammation occurs when blood and fluid pool in an area as a natural defense mechanism of the body. Left unchecked, inflammation can lengthen the recovery process. Chronic inflammation can sap your energy and lead to chronic diseases such as arthritis. Practically all vegetables help fight inflammation to some extent, but sulforaphane and kaempferol—a phytonutrient and a flavonoid found in broccoli—are especially potent.
“Sulforaphane appears to act on the prototypical anti-inflammatory mechanism of inhibiting NF-kB translocation, a mechanism which disrupts inflammatory signals to the nucleus,” writes Examine.com, an independent site that collates scientific research and disseminates information on supplementation and nutrition. A 2011 review on kaempferol found that “numerous preclinical studies have shown that kaempferol and some glycosides of kaempferol have a wide range of pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, antidiabetic, anti-osteoporotic, estrogenic/antiestrogenic, anxiolytic, analgesic and antiallergic activities.”
RELATED: 6 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Relieve Muscle Soreness
6. Broccoli Is The Original Detox Diet
“Detox” diets have become all the rage in recent years. But if you’re looking for a whole food that naturally helps eliminate unwanted contaminants from your body, broccoli is the food for you. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin are among the many phytonutrients found in broccoli that help detoxify pollutants and increase overall health. A 2014 study found that “intervention with broccoli sprouts enhances the detoxication of some airborne pollutants and may provide a frugal means to attenuate their associated long-term health risks.”
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock
Broccoli: it’s the original superfood. How did we come to that determination, you may ask? Well, if your granny wouldn’t let you excuse yourself from the dinner table until all of your broccoli was consumed, you know that it had to have been really, REALLY good for you!
That’s right, your grandmother wasn’t using the green stuff as a method of torture, her insistence had everything to do with keeping you as healthy as possible. She may not have been privy to the dietary breakdown of this superfood, but she knew that the strongest kiddos never skipped out on their broccoli!
Now that you’re an adult, we’re hoping that you don’t hold your nose and make that same scrunched-up face that you did when you were a kid when eating the green. Our hope is that you love its flavor so much that you eat the stuff every single day.
Fat chance, right? While broccoli might not be everyone’s go-to veggie, it is absolutely one that should never be ignored. Here are some of the miraculous health benefits that you, too, may experience if you take the pledge to incorporate as much broccoli into your diet as possible. It might not be your favorite food, but just think of it as a push in the right direction…
You’ll notice less gray hairs
Are you starting to see more and more silvery locks in the bathroom mirror as the days go on? If so, you can either rock the look OR introduce more broccoli into your diet. The vegetable is chock-full of copper, vitamins C, B-12, and B-9, nutrients that have been proven to increase circulation in your scalp, which can stop gray hairs in their tracks!
You’ll notice healthier gums
Oral hygiene can be tricky as you get older—so, to stop, or even reverse the effects of gum disease, be sure to eat your broccoli. This vitamin C-rich food encourages healing in damaged tissues, like the gums. This means that your brushing and flossing routine could be a whole lot more comfortable, and a whole lot LESS bloody!
You’ll notice that your trips to the bathroom are getting easier
Everyone knows that consuming plenty of dietary fiber is the key to staying healthy and fit, but did you know that broccoli has a whopping 5.1 grams of insoluble and soluble fiber per serving? It’s an impressive fact and one that should get your attention. Focusing on your fiber can aid in constipation, keep your weight down, and even bring down your cholesterol. Definitely, something to keep in mind!
You’ll notice that you are really loving the taste of the vegetable!
Even if broccoli isn’t your side of choice at this very moment, once you play around with some recipes, we know that you’ll start loving this ultra-versatile veggie. For some inspiration, try this one or this one, and this one—oh, and definitely this one, too!
We’d love to hear your take on all things broccoli! Are you a fan of the veggie? How do you get your kids to eat it? What is your all-time favorite broccoli recipe?