Broccoli, surely ugly-looking, is notorious for being pushed off by the kids from their plates. Don’t let yourself fool by its appearance, a plethora of health benefits reside in it. Broccoli is the powerhouse of many vital nutrients that are essential for your body. In this article, we have listed down the nutrition facts and health benefits of broccoli that you simply can’t ignore.

What is Broccoli?

Coming from the cabbage family, broccoli is an edible green plant whose large flowering head is eaten as a vegetable. It is mostly eaten boiled or steamed but can also be consumed raw. Broccoli belongs to Brassicaceae family and are mostly found in European and Mediterranean countries. There are many varieties of broccoli: Calabrese broccoli, Sprout broccoli, Purple cauliflower, Broccoli rabe, Broccoflower and Chinese broccoli. Calabrese broccoli is the most popular one and it is often shortened as broccoli. This cruciferous green plant is hard to grow in the hot summer weather and prefer cool climate. Broccoli is largely cultivated in China, followed by India. Packed with essential nutrients, broccoli provides numerous benefits to your body.

Interesting Broccoli Facts

  1. The word ‘broccoli’ comes from Italian word ‘broccolo‘ meaning the flowering crest of a cabbage.
  2. The most popular broccoli, Calabrese broccoli is named after Calabria, Italy.
  3. One way of eliminating the smell of broccoli is to add a slice of bread in the pot.
  4. In US, California is the highest producer of broccoli, it produces 90% of the nation’s broccoli.
  5. Broccoli is considered to be most nutritious in the months from October to May.
  6. There is no sign language for broccoli, the only way is to spell it out.
  7. The color of broccoli ranges from deep sage to dark green and purplish-green.
  8. Although you can grow by sowing, the most common method is growing it from seedlings.

Nutritional Value of Broccoli

The nutritional value per 100 grams of broccoli is given below:

  • Energy: 34 Kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 6.64 g
    • Sugars: 1.7 g
    • Dietary fiber: 2.6 g
  • Fat: 0.37 g
  • Protein: 2.82 g
  • Vitamins
    • Vitamin A: 31 μg
    • Thiamine (B-1): 0.071 mg
    • Riboflavin (B-2): 0.117 mg
    • Niacin (B-3): 0.639 mg
    • Pantothenic acid (B-5): 0.573 mg
    • Vitamin B-6: 0.175 mg
    • Folate (B-9): 63 μg
    • Vitamin C: 89.2 mg
    • Vitamin E: 0.78 mg
    • Vitamin K: 101.6 μg
  • Minerals
    • Calcium: 47 mg
    • Iron: 0.73 mg
    • Magnesium: 21 mg
    • Manganese: 0.21 mg
    • Phosphorus: 66 mg
    • Potassium: 316 mg
    • Sodium: 33 mg
    • Zinc: 0.41 mg

10 Amazing Health Benefits of Broccoli

The impressive nutritional values surely promise to provide desirable nutrients and several health benefits. Keep reading to find out.

Broccoli Benefits for Cancer

Before grimacing over the bitter bite of broccoli, know the benefits of its bitterness. It is due to sulforaphane, the sulfur-containing compound that helps in fighting cancer. This compound inhibits enzymes that are responsible for the growth of cancerous cells. Broccoli lowers the risks of different forms of cancer, notably lung, colon, and prostrate cancers. The folate content of broccoli is also known to prevent the formation of breast cancer in women. Additionally, adequate amount of fiber in broccoli boosts immunity and combats inflammatory diseases, including cancer.

Promotes Detoxification

Broccoli contains three important substances for neutralizing and removing toxins from your body, namely glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, and glucobrassicin. Other constituents of broccoli, such as vitamin C and sulfur help to remove free radicals and toxins like uric acid from our body. The removal of toxins purifies the blood and prevents from toxin-accumulated problems, such as boils, itches, rashes and skin diseases.

Improves Bone Health

A rich source of calcium and vitamin K keep the bones healthy and prevents disease like osteoporosis. Broccoli also contains magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and iron that help in maintaining the bone mineral density. The combination of vitamin K and calcium not only improves bone health, but also keeps your teeth in perfect health. Consumption of broccoli is therefore beneficial for children, old people, pregnant women and lactating mother.

Health Benefits of Broccoli During Pregnancy

Broccoli is the powerhouse of all the nutrients necessary for pregnant women. Presence of proteins, calcium, vitamins, antioxidants, detoxifiers, iron, phosphorus and others make broccoli, an essential component of their diet. The rich fiber content also relieves constipation in pregnant women. Furthermore, broccoli contains folate that copes up with the deficiency of folic acid, and thereby prevents birth defects, particularly neural tube defects.

Keeps Your Heart Healthy

Abundance amount of antioxidants and fiber, help in removing the bad cholesterol from our blood stream. Significant levels of beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and other vitamins also aid in the excretion of LDL cholesterol, and thereby promote proper functioning of heart. Broccoli, further, regulates the blood pressure, and improves the flow of blood and oxygenation of essential organs.

Broccoli Benefits for Weight Loss

Broccoli is rich in fiber which helps in digestion and prevents overeating. Therefore, it is one of the best weight loss friendly vegetables. It is low in calories and high in protein, which makes it an ideal food for people trying hard to lose those extra pounds in the belly.

Beneficial for Asthma

The vitamin C in broccoli is a powerful antioxidants which helps in preventing the symptoms of asthma. The sulforaphane content fights against the inflammation of respiratory tract, blockage in airways, and even the harmful effects of air pollution. Thus, it prevents you from lung damage and serious respiratory problems, like asthma.

Broccoli Benefits for Sugar Patients

Broccoli is also known to have anti-diabetic properties. The sulforaphane in broccoli reduces glucose levels and harmful effects of sugars in the blood. Furthermore, it protects the blood vessels from damage due to diabetes.

Improves Eye Health

Broccoli is loaded with zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, vitamin A, phosphorus and other vitamins such as B complex, C, and E that are great for your eyes. They defense against cataract formation and macular degeneration. In addition to this, broccoli protects the eye from harmful radiations of our phones and computer screens.

Beauty Benefits of Broccoli

For Skin

Broccoli is an effective anti-aging agent that keeps your skin glowing and young, owing to its antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin-C content. Sulforaphane in broccoli helps in skin repair, while a compound called nicotinamide mononucleotide slows down the sign of aging.

For Hair

The credit of promoting hair health goes to the vitamins in broccoli. They fight against free radicals that cause hair loss, condition the scalp, and make your hair thicker. Additionally, broccoli contains fatty acid that makes your hair smooth and shiny.

From controlling the blood pressure to giving your hair a natural shine, broccoli is beneficial for your whole body. Now, don’t go by its appearance or grimace by its taste, and make sure sure to add it in your healthy diet plan. Run to grocery, get this green beauty, steam, boil, cook or grab it raw, and reap all its benefits.