Broccoli – A superfood full of vitamins
Broccoli has numerous health benefits and is often named as one of the superfoods. This “superfood” should form part of the staple diet for many of us. Broccoli is full of nutritious vitamins, fibre and has powerful antioxidant properties. It is widely available throughout the year, and is very often grown locally.
Broccoli is very versatile, as it can be steamed, fried, baked or boiled. To get most of the health benefits, it should not be over cooked as most of the nutrients are destroyed.
The following health benefits highlight how this simple green vegetable can help you maintain good general health and vitality.
Like many green leafy vegetables, Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is of course essential for a healthy immune system and cardiovascular system. Vitamin C also helps the body to absorb iron from the diet.
Broccoli has strong antioxidant properties. This vegetable contains selenium, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin (which help’s to keep our eyes healthy). Antioxidants play an important role in neutralising the effect of harmful free radicals which have been linked with numerous illnesses and diseases.
This leafy green vegetable is a very good source of dietary fibre, which can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Broccoli has a strong anti-inflammatory action, which can help to reduce the intensity of allergies. This vegetable also contains quercetin, which has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Quercetin supplements are often given for the treatment of hay fever.
It can help to regulate and balance blood sugar levels. Broccoli is a natural source of chromium, which helps to regulate insulin and blood sugar.
This amazing green vegetable is an excellent source of calcium. It has been reported that broccoli contains as much calcium as whole milk. Calcium is important for bone health and can help to prevent osteoporosis. Broccoli, like other green leafy vegetables, is a rich source of vitamin K. Recent studies have found that vitamin K can help to strengthen bones.
Broccoli can help to support the immune system, through its antiviral and antibacterial properties. This vegetable is also a dietary source of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates. These nutrients can help to stimulate to detoxification process and remove toxins from the body. Broccoli is also a rich source of Vitamin A, which also has an immune boosting action.