When you say the word Broccoli most people will reply with Blah!!
What if there was a way to make Broccoli taste delicious? (I have a delicious recipe for you at the end of this article)
You would get all the amazing health benefits of Broccoli (there are numerous benefits I explain below) and enjoy a delicious meal every time.
So Why Is Broccoli Considered One Of The Healthiest Foods In The World?
Well, I am going to list off a few here and save the really BIG reason to the end. There are over 300 research studies on Broccoli surround the #4 reason why you should be eating Broccoli. Everyone will want to make sure they read the last reason. It affects all of us!
1. Lower your cholesterol levels
If you steam broccoli the the fiber in broccoli does a good job of binding to the bile acids in your digestive tract. It is then easier for the bile acids to be excreted thus lowering your cholesterol levels. Raw broccoli may still help with this, but it doesn’t appear to be as good at doing this as steamed broccoli.
2. Great Detoxifier
Broccoli is an amazing food when it comes to detoxifying your body. Researchers have discovered 3 key nutrients in broccoli that are responsible for this. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients that can contribute to a healthy detoxifying process including the neutralization and elimination of unwanted contaminants.
3. Increase Vitamin D levels
Now some may say that Broccoli is not a good source of Vitamin D. You would be correct, but it is a great source of Vitamin A and K, which are important to maintaining adequate levels of Vitamin D in your body. So if you need to increase your Vitamin D levels like many people do adding Broccoli to your diet will help maintain the Vitamin D you have as well as what you add through other food sources or supplementation.
4. Cancer and Inflammation/Detoxification Connection
The 300 studies I mentioned earlier on Broccoli have focused on one thing.
There are 3 metabolic problems in the body that are related to cancer. They are chronic inflammation, impaired detoxification and oxidative stress.
Over the last few years research has made it clear that many of the cancers we see are related to a combination of these 3 metabolic problems.
Our exposure to the air we breathe, substances in our food or water, our own dietary weaknesses and other lifestyle practices create an unhealthy accumulation of substances in our body. This causes our inflammatory system to work non-stop to detoxify our system/body.
This is called Chronic Inflammation.
If our body can not keep up with the detoxification we accumulate too many dangerous toxins and chemicals. This can lead to other issues such as oxidative stress, which is the stress on our healthy cells and DNA. Too much unhealthy stress and damage to our healthy cells can lead to unhealthy cell creation AKA: cancer.
What Does Broccoli Have To Do With This?
Broccoli has the ability to reduce the oxidative stress, improve your system’s detoxification process and lower your chronic inflammation. Essentially reducing your risk level for horrible diseases such as cancer.
Broccoli contains these key powerhouses:
This compound is made from the glucosinolates found in broccoli and in other cruciferous vegetables. They are helpful in suppressing one of our inflammatory signaling devices that increases our inflammatory response related to chronic inflammation.
These types of anti-inflammatory benefits lower your chronic inflammation, which helps with your body running in a healthy state and lower risk of health problems.
Isothiocyanates are significant helps in your bodies detoxification process as well. They play a powerful role in phase 1 and phase 2 of detoxification.
Glucosinolates like glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin, which Isothiocyanates are made from are not found in other foods in the same combination and concentration as they are in broccoli. Helping to promote and regulate detoxification activities in our cells, the Isothiocyanates can help prevent insufficient detoxification of dangerous toxins, substances and chemicals that threaten our cells.
2. Vitamin C (not just plain vitamin C though)
Broccoli is at the top of the leader board for levels of Vitamin C, but what makes it really stand out as one of the best sources of Vitamin C is what accompanies that Vit. C.
Vitamin C can be even more beneficial when it also has these flavanoids along side of it. Kaempferol and quercitin allow vitamin c to recycle and that increases the power of vitamin C.
3. Specific Carotenoids
Broccoli also contains high levels of these carotenoids: lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, which are key anti-oxidants.
When these flavanoids and carotenoids along with the vitamin and minerals are combined in broccoli it provides a great food source that can lower the oxidative stress in your body.
By supporting healthy oxygen metabolism and fighting off harmful molecules they make a great team in lowering your risk of chronic inflammation and risk of cancer.
How Much Broccoli Do I Have To Eat To Lower My Risk Of Cancer?
At the lower end of estimations eating 1/2 a cup of broccoli a day can lower your risk of cancer. Though some research studies have shown more benefits in reducing cancer risk when consuming larger amounts of broccoli.
On average 2-3 cups of broccoli a day would meet those additional benefits of optimizing its cancer prevention potential.
Other Health Benefits Of Broccoli
Digestive Support: Fiber and phytonutrients helps to protect the lining of our digestive system and clear out harmful bacteria that ends to grow in our digestive tract.
Cardiovascular Support: The research is still fairly new, but remember all those anti-inflammatory benefits I talked about earlier? Well, those same powerful benefits may help with the health of your heart.
Eye Health: Broccoli contains two carotenoids found in significant concentrations. They are lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids play a very important role in the health of your eyes.
Tips For Buying And Storing Broccoli
The broccoli floret clusters should be compact and tight together. It should be uniformly colored without any yellowing. Also, if you see yellow flowers on it that means it is over maturity so avoid those.
The stalks and stems should not be slimy or flimsy.
Try not to cut Broccoli until you are ready to use it as the Vitamin C levels become reduced within a day or two after cutting.
Store in a tight sealed bag ideally without water on it as that starts to degrade the broccoli sooner.
Healthiest Way To Cook Broccoli
The healthiest way to cook Broccoli is by steaming it. The stems take a little longer to cook so you can cut those and slice them in the middle. Then put those into the steamer for 2-3 minutes before adding the florets. Steam for another 5 minutes and both the florets and stems should be cooked while preserving all the beneficial nutrients.
Delicious Recipe For You To Enjoy!
Tangy Broccoli Salad
3/4 cup MIRACLE WHIP Light Dressing
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets (you can use stems also if you want)
6 slices Turkey Bacon, crisply cooked, drained and crumbled
1 small red onion, chopped
Steam broccoli. Mix dressing, sugar and vinegar in large bowl. Add turkey bacon, red onion and broccoli; mix lightly.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
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