Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables from the family of cruciferous vegetables. It is recommended that you eat it regularly, or about one and a half cups daily, and at least five cups per week. Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, have so many health benefits to offer.
Broccoli has many vitamins and minerals including more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K and vitamin C. Other than Vitamins C and K, broccoli also contains:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6
- May be able to fight cancer
Several studies connect lower inflammation with eating broccoli regularly. Inflammation, particularly when chronic, can lead to cancer. Broccoli may also help in preventing oxidative stress, which can also lead to cancer.
Good for digestion
Broccoli contains 21% of fiber RDA or one gram of fiber for every ten calories in this green. This means you don’t have to eat a lot of broccoli to meet the daily requirement for dietary fiber. Fiber is useful in helping food move through the body. Because of the regular movement, this can help improve intestinal health. Glucosinolates that are converted into isothiocyanates are also present in broccoli, which can help protect the lining of the stomach from bacterial overgrowth. Broccoli can help reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body
Good for A Healthy Heart
Studies have shown how broccoli can help reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body or LDL. High LDL levels can lead to heart disease. The B vitamins in the vegetable, as well as the phytonutrients, work together to improve cardiovascular health.Related: 11 Foods That Help Unclog Arteries and Prevent Heart Attack
Good for Healthy Eyesight
Yellow and orange foods aren’t the only ones that are rich in carotenoids. Greens, such as broccoli, also have them. Specifically, lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are helpful in preventing macular degeneration or weakening of the eyes as a result of getting older.
With the benefits listed above, you want to make sure you preserve the broccoli’s rich nutrients. There are certain cooking methods that could reduce or even eliminate the health benefits. Here are some tips for preparing broccoli:
- When rinsing, use cold running water.
- Cooking should be quick and even, so cut the florets into four parts.
- Include the stems and leaves for a balanced flavor.
- Don’t cook the broccoli right away after preparing it to enhance its nutrients.
- Boiling broccoli for five minutes can help preserve quercetin and kaempferol, which are flavonoids. This can also help in retain beta-carotene and lutein.
- Steaming can help retain chlorophyll and vitamin C, but microwaving is better. Pressure cooking though retains the most of the vegetable’s vitamin C.
Between all of the various methods, it is best to quickly steam broccoli to maintain its antioxidant capacity, along with its nutrient content.