Broccoli is a crunchy green vegetable that looks like a small tree. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Broccoli comes in three main varieties – Calabrese broccoli, sprouting broccoli, and purple cauliflower.
Broccoli is an excellent source of fiber and various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This article will help you understand the health benefits of broccoli.
Antioxidants protect health
Broccoli is rich in antioxidants, which are molecules that reduce the damage that free radicals do to your cells.
Broccoli provides three antioxidants: sulforaphane, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Studies conducted with test tubes and animals suggest that sulforaphane lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, oxidative stress, and the development of chronic diseases. However, it is not clear how many of these benefits apply to humans.
Lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce oxidative stress and cellular damage in your eyes.
Bioactive compounds reduce inflammation
Some bioactive compounds in broccoli work together to reduce inflammation, but others work individually.
In test-tube and animal experiments, the flavonoid kaempferol showed strong anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Additionally, broccoli has been shown to greatly reduce symptoms of inflammation in people who smoke tobacco.
In addition to reducing inflammation, the bioactive compounds in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale) can reduce cell damage resulting from certain chronic diseases, including some types of cancer.
However, more research is needed to solidify the link between cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention and treatment.
Controls blood sugar
Broccoli may improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.
A human study in which the participants ate broccoli sprouts every day for a month showed greatly reduced insulin resistance in participants who had type 2 diabetes.
The fiber in broccoli can reduce blood sugar and improve the control of diabetic symptoms.
Broccoli provides several other health benefits. It may help heart health in a number of ways. It can aid healthy digestion and reduce constipation. Broccoli can slow cognitive decline and other signs of aging. The vitamin C in broccoli offers a boost for your immune system. Broccoli also promotes joint and bone health and dental and oral health. The vast number of nutrients in broccoli support the health of both mother and baby during pregnancy. Finally, broccoli can reduce skin damage from sun exposure.
You have a number of varieties of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables to choose from and a wealth of benefits to enjoy by eating them.