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Broccoli is known as a powerful, nutrient-filled vegetable, considered the king of all vegetables because of its nutritious value. Although it may not be one of the more popular vegetables, it is still eaten and prepared by many families. The numerous benefits of broccoli are outstanding which is why most people will tolerate the taste even if they don't like it.
Broccoli is an important cancer-fighting vegetable. Its impressive cancer-fighting power is due to two separate compounds, indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and sulforaphane. Both of these compounds get rid of cancer-causing substances. I3C works against hormone-induced cancers while sulforaphane boosts the production of cancer-blocking enzymes.
Aside from broccoli, I3C can be found in cabbage and brussels sprouts. I3C lowers the levels of harmful estrogen that promote tumor growth in hormone-sensitive cells, particularly breast cells. Powerful vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage fight against colon, breast and prostate gland cancer.
Being loaded with beta-carotene is another of the many health benefits of broccoli. Beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A once inside the body, becoming an antioxidant. Beta-carotene prevents disease by eliminating cell-damaging oxygen molecules. It also lowers the risk of cataracts, other cancers and heart attacks.
One of the nutritious benefits of broccoli is Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and fights off cancers and heart disease. It is loaded with calcium and promotes strong bones and prevents osteoporosis. Broccoli contains tons of fiber to help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity and colon cancer.
Women experience added benefits of broccoli because it is rich in folate. Folate promotes normal tissue growth and protects against birth defects. Women who take birth control pills are usually low in this nutrient and are often recommended to take extra doses of folate before trying to conceive.
The benefits of broccoli are extremely valuable for anyone who eats it. Broccoli can be eaten raw, either by itself or in a salad. It can also be eaten as a side dish with dinner.
When purchasing broccoli, you should look for pieces that are darker in color, an indication that there is a higher level of beta-carotene present. Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid any broccoli that is beginning to yellow. A yellow color is a sign of the broccoli losing its nutritional value. As with any vegetable, proper preparation is necessary in order to limit the loss of any nutrients.
Do not overcook broccoli, briefly steam them so that most of the nutrients are retained.
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