If you want good skin and better health, then you should head to your local vegetable market and buy some broccoli. This green leafy vegetable of the cruciferous family is rich in vitamin A, K, C, B6 and E, dietary fiber, potassium, selenium, folate, manganese, tryptophan, and phosphorus. It also has several organic compounds like phytonutrient, glucosinolates, flavonoids, and various other antioxidant compounds which help you stay fit. Mainly three types of broccoli are found, and the most commonly found is Calabrese broccoli. The other two are – purple cauliflower and sprouting broccoli usually found in Europe and Mediterranean countries. The main part that is eaten is the flower head of the broccoli. You can have shallow fried broccoli or eat it raw or cooked. The best way is to consume the broccoli in the steamed form so that all the nutrients of the vegetable stay intact.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
1. Prevents Cancer
It has been proved by the researchers that by consuming 2 servings of broccoli every day, you can reduce the risk of several types of cancer (colon cancer, stomach cancer, rectal cancer, lung cancer) by 50%. Broccoli has indoles and sulforaphane, which have carcinogenic properties and help prevent breast, uterus, and skin cancer.
2. Good for Heart’s Health
Broccoli has fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin C and K, which keeps the blood flow regular. It even helps remove the bad cholesterol and protects the blood vessels from being damaged. A diet comprising of broccoli lessens the chances of heart stroke and heart attack.
3. Helps in Digestion
Since broccoli is packed with fiber, it smoothens the digestion process. It contains sulforaphane, which prevents Helicobacter pylori (bacteria found in the stomach) from clinging to the walls of the abdomen. Broccoli keeps bloating and constipation at bay.
4. Healthy Vision
Broccoli has a very good amount of vitamin A and beta-carotene present in it, which help the retina to absorb the light easily. A cup of broccoli every day reduces the risk of cataract and improves your eyesight.
5. Detoxifying Agent
Broccoli, being fibrous in nature, encourages the process of elimination of the toxicities from the body. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, and glucobrassicin in broccoli detoxify the body and keep it in the pink.
6. Keeps the Bones Strong
Broccoli is packed with many beneficial compounds; calcium is one of them. Broccoli provides you with more calcium than other dairy products, which, in turn, prevents osteoporosis and keeps the bones healthy. It is equally beneficial in preventing the osteoarthritis.
7. Prevents Anemia
Broccoli is well-off in iron, so helps treat anemia. It boosts the production of red blood cells and facilitates the smooth flow of oxygen throughout the body.
8. Boosts up the Immune System
To fight off any disease, one needs a good immune system. Regular consumption of broccoli provides you vitamin C, beta-carotene, and various kinds of vitamins and minerals like selenium, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. All these strengthen the resistance power of the body.
9. Reduces Allergies and Inflammation
Kaempferol and isothiocyanates in broccoli lessen up the allergies to a very great extent. Due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, broccoli also reduces the inflammation.
10. Alkalizes the Body
Because of its alkaline nature, broccoli reduces the acidity of your body, when consumed regularly. The fiber in broccoli binds up the acid in the esophagus, thus giving relief from heartburn.
11. Aids in Weight Loss
Broccoli has low calories, and it helps you fill up quickly. The high water content and fiber levels of this green vegetable keep a check on your weight.
Beauty Benefits of Broccoli
12. Regenerates and Repairs the Damaged Skin
Eating broccoli on the daily basis renews the damaged skin cells, thereby resulting in the radiant skin, you’ve always wished for. It has glucoraphanin, which is later converted into sulforaphane, which lightens the complexion.
13. A Powerful Anti-aging Agent
Broccoli is well-known for its anti-aging properties. It wards off the free radicals. Vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B and E in this veggie help reduce the wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation, and retain the long-lasting shine of the skin.
14. Best Sunscreen
Broccoli protects the skin from the UV radiations. Sulforaphane in broccoli reduces the inflammation and redness of the skin, resulted due to exposure to the sun. Broccoli extracts, if applied topically, proves to be the better natural sunscreen than those chemical-laden sunscreens.
15. Promotes Hair Growth
Broccoli acts as a natural booster for hair growth. It contains vitamin A and C, which are responsible for the production of sebum oil. This oil moisturizes and conditions the hair scalp. On the other hand, calcium strengthens the hair follicles and prevents hair fall.
16. Brings Back the Luster
If you want the lustrous shine back in your hair, you need not spend money on the chemicals anymore. Broccoli seed oil has fatty acid in it, which brings back the natural sheen to your hair. All you have to do is apply the broccoli seed oil regularly.