This crispy delicious vegetable, a
member of the cruciferous family has been shown to be able to fend off
a host of serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
Broccoli contains two separate
compounds, indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and sulforaphane that help to clear
up cancer causing substances before they have a chance to do damage.
Researches have found that the I3C compound is able to lower the
levels of harmful estrogens that can promote tumor growth in hormone
sensitive cells like the breasts cells. On the other hand sulforaphane
helps by giving protection on another front, it boost the production
of cancer-blocking enzymes. So eating broccoli can help prevent cancer
especially that of the breast, colon, and prostate gland.
Broccoli is also an excellent source of
beta-carotene. This nutrient which the body converts to Vitamin A, is
one of the antioxidants that helps prevent disease by clearing up
harmful and cell damaging oxygen molecules that accumulate in the
body. High levels of beta-carotene have been linked to lower rates of
heart attack, certain types of cancer and cataracts.
The wonders of broccoli does not end
here as it also contains other varieties of important nutrients.
Compared with other vegetables, it is one of the best source of
calcium. One cup of cooked broccoli contains 72 mg calcium, that is
about a quarter of the amount in an 8 ounce glass of skim milk. And we
all know that calcium is an important nutrient to keep osteoporosis at
bay. Broccoli also provides us with a nutrient that is essential for
normal tissue growth, folate. And folate may also protect against
cancer, heart disease and birth defects.
To keep our digestive system running
smoothly, a half cup of broccoli gives 2 g of fiber. Fiber is a proven
guard against constipation, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, diabetes and
Do not overcook broccoli as it will
destroy some of its protective compounds. Gentle cooking like steaming
is a good way.