Broccoli Nutritional Facts and Tips
Broccoli is one of the most nutritions and studied vegetables. It has an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and other powerful disease-fighting substances that give it the ability to protect against many common cancers among other diseases. Nobody is sure why, but broccoli seems to be even more protective than other cruciferous vegetables (members of the cabbage family).
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which may help to stop the spread of cancer. In some laboratory tests, it has been shown to reduce the spread of tumors, and reduce the number of carcinogens and free radicals in the body.
- Prevents bladder cancer – One study found that men who ate 5 servings or more per week of cruciferous veggies were half as likely to develop bladder cancer, one of the most common cancers, over a 10-year period as men who rarely ate them. Broccoli and cabbage were singled out as the most protective foods.
- Reduces risk of colorectal cancer – This veggie is packed with folate, fiber, and anti-oxidants that may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Increases breast cancer survival – eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may improve your odds for breast cancer survival, a new study suggests. Of women in China diagnosed with breast cancer, those who consumed the most cruciferous vegetables were 62% less likely to die of breast cancer and 35% less likely to have a recurrence of the disease, compared with those who consumed the least.
- Helps fight lung and heart disease – The sulforaphane may help your body fight off the infections that cause inflammation in the lungs and arteries.
- Keeps bones strong – The vitamin K in broccoli helps boost bone health.
- Helps fight colds with the high levels of vitamin C – the vitamin that can help stave off colds.
- Gives skin a healthy glow – Broccoli’s vitamin C helps create collagen, which plays a role in healthy skin.
- Helps with weight loss – Most Americans consume too little vitamin C, and one study showed that adults deficient in vitamin C may be more resistant to losing fat. Conversely, people who had adequate vitamin C levels burned 30% more fat during a bout of exercise than those low in C.
- Bloating and gas – Although filled with fiber and vitamins, broccoli can also cause gas and bloating
- Choose bunches that are dark green. Good color indicates high nutrient value.
- Florets that are dark green, purplish, or bluish green contain more beta-carotene and vitamin C than paler or yellowing ones.
- Choose bunches with stalks that are very firm. Stalks that bend or seem rubbery are of poor quality.
- Avoid broccoli with open, flowering, discolored, or water-soaked bud clusters and tough, woody stems.
- Store fresh broccoli unwashed in an open plastic bag and place in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
- Broccoli is best if used within a day or two after purchasing.
The above information is an exerpt from Reader’s Digest “Foods that Harm, Foods That Heal”
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