13 Health Benefits of Broccoli
Use Raw Broccoli to Supercharge Your Body
While the specific health benefits of broccoli aren’t well-known, most people know that broccoli is fantastic for the human body. It goes great with fruit and vegetables too, so it’s great for juicing for health.
I remember when I was a kid; my parents wouldn’t stop telling to eat my broccoli.
“It’ll make you grow big and strong.”
“It’ll put hair on your chest.”
Did your parents force you to eat broccoli?
Once upon a time, I didn’t like it. But now, I LOVE broccoli, whether it’s in a great-tasting stir-fry or fresh vegetable juicing. It tastes great, it adds a nice texture to food and there are numerous health benefits of broccoli.
It might surprise you to know that broccoli as a plant is in the cabbage family. As you know, the large “flower head” is used as a vegetable.
20 years ago, we were eating 900% more broccoli more than we are today! After reading this article, I hope you’ll think about including more broccoli in your diet, whether by cooking it or juicing it.
Traditionally, Chinese health practitioners were aware of the health benefits of broccoli and used it to treat a variety of eye problems. To get maximum benefit, use broccoli when vegetable juicing.
13 Health Benefits of Broccoli – Cooked and Raw Broccoli Benefits
- Prevents Cancer. When it comes to anti-cancer vegetables, broccoli probably ranks somewhere near the top. This health benefit of broccoli is due to the fact that it has been subject to a huge amount of scientific studies. Scientists believe broccoli to be a major factor in preventing stomach, mouth, breast, cervix, colon, lung and prostate cancer. Its cancer-fighting ability is because it contains a number of powerful substances, including vitamin C and phytonutrients that have been observed to destroy cancer-causing substances in a scientific laboratory. Many scientists believe that these substances likely produce similar results inside the human body. If that isn’t clear, I’ll sum it up – eat and drink broccoli juice and you lower your risk of cancer.
- Prevents Anemia. One of the great health benefits of broccoli is that it has one of the highest amounts of iron out of any vegetable, making it fantastic for the blood. It may help to prevent anemia, especially in people who follow vegetarian or vegan diets.
- Prevents infections. Vitamin A is often responsible for a variety of infections, including respiratory infections and the measles. Broccoli helps to prevent these infections by supplying a large dose of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.
- Reduces negative smoking effects. As we all know, smoking is bad for you. Why? Cigarette smoke is carcinogenic, meaning it can cause cancer within human lungs. The phytonutrients in broccoli help to reduce this carcinogenic effect. But does this mean a smoker should just eat more broccoli? Of course not; they should just stop smoking. Vitamin C is another nutrient that is needed by smokers to prevent lung disease and it comes in a high quantity in broccoli.
- Cooling effect. Different fruits and vegetables have different effects on the body’s temperature and broccoli has a natural cooling effect. While this isn’t necessarily a health benefit of broccoli, it makes broccoli great for hot climates.
- Regulates blood pressure. Since it’s high in potassium, magnesium and calcium, one of the health benefits of broccoli is that it helps to regulate blood pressure.
- Improves immune function. Ever feel like your immune system isn’t performing properly? It could be that your not getting enough of the nutrients found in broccoli. With healthy amounts of vitamin A, as well as trace minerals like zinc and selenium, one of the health benefits of broccoli is that it tends to strengthen the immune response. This improves your ability to defend your body from the flu and other common sicknesses.
- Heals sun damage. One of the interesting health benefits of broccoli is that it speeds up the healing process of sunburn, due to a nutrient called glucoraphanin.
- Enhances the nervous system. Another one of the great health benefits of broccoli is its effect in promoting a healthy nervous system, due to the high amount of potassium.
- Enhances vision. Lutein, a carotenoid in broccoli, has been found to prevent age-related eyesight degeneration, such as cataracts. Various parts of the human eye also require lots of vitamin A, and broccoli has plenty of that.
- Prevents heart disease. Lutein comes to the rescue again! It prevents arteries thickening and therefore prevents heart disease and stroke. Risk of heart attacks and stroke are also minimized due to the B6 and folate in broccoli. Try broccoli when juicing for heart health – it works!
- Promotes weight loss. Fiber is essential to good digestive health and broccoli is very high in fiber. When the digestive tract functions optimally, the body digests food more effectively, enhancing the metabolism and encouraging weight loss.
- Lowers cholesterol. A popular health benefit of broccoli is it’s cholesterol-lowering power. Typically, this benefit is best achieved by steaming broccoli. Raw broccoli still has this benefit, though it is not as much.
Broccoli Nutritional Information
Half a cup of cooked broccoli, with no added salt contains 1.86 grams protein, 27 calories and 2.6 grams dietary fiber.
- Vitamin A – 1207 IU
- Vitamin C – 50.6 mg
- Niacin – 0.431 mg
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.049 mg
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.096 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.156 mg
- Pantothenic Acid – 0.48 mg
- Folate – 84 mcg
- Vitamin K – 110 mcg
- Vitamin E – 1.13 mg
*Also contains small amounts of other vitamins.
- Potassium – 229 mg
- Phosphorus – 52 mg
- Calcium – 31 mg
- Sodium – 32 mg
- Magnesium – 16 mg
- Iron – 0.52 mg
- Zinc – 0.35 mg
- Copper – 0.048 mg
- Manganese – 0.151 mg
- Selenium – 1.2 mcg
*Also contains small amounts of other minerals.
Anyone with thyroid problems should avoid broccoli. This is because broccoli contains substances called goitrogens that inhibit the proper functioning of the thyroid glands.
Broccoli also reduces iodine absorption, so if you’re consuming broccoli more than 3 times a week (solid or juiced), raise your iodine intake.