Broccoli: Health benefits, Nutrition, and Tips
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that, like cabbage and cauliflower, belongs to the Italica variety group of Brassicaceae oleracea. Commonly eaten parts are the green or purple flowered heads, shaped like a tree and detaching from a thick and edible stem. Broccoli nutrition has many many health benefits. Read this blog for Broccoli health benefits, nutrition and complete tips for healthy life.
Broccoli is full of vitamins and nutrients, but there are some worth mentioning. One serving contains more than the daily recommended amount of vitamins C and K, which helps keep your immune system healthy and blood pressure balanced.
It’s also a good source of folic acid and vitamin A, which are important nutrients for pregnant women. The diet for 1 cup of raw broccoli is as follows:
- Calories: 30 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 6 g
- Sugar: 2 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Sodium: 29 mg
Broccoli also contains various B vitamins, Zinc, Copper, Selenium and a number of antioxidants.
Broccoli Nutrition tips
- Choose best Broccoli
When buying broccoli, people should try to choose pieces that are firm and firm to the touch and are dark green in color. Avoid sagging, yellowing, or withering parts.
- Broccoli should not be stored for long
Fresh, young broccoli shouldn’t taste fibrous, woody, or sulphurous. Broccoli can become woody or fibrous if a person stores it at room temperature or for long periods of time.
- Storage conditions
Store unwashed broccoli in loose or perforated bags in the refrigerator’s sharper drawer. People should only wash broccoli shortly before consuming them, as damp broccoli can develop mold and become limp.
- Check before usage
Broccoli is a good source of vitamin K, but this can interfere with the use of blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin). People taking these drugs shouldn’t suddenly start consuming more vitamin K-rich foods like Broccoli.
Some people may also be allergic to the substances in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. If a person has hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing after consuming broccoli, they should see a doctor. If anaphylaxis develops it can be life threatening.
Many vegetables also contain traces of pesticides, but broccoli is on the environmental working group’s 2019 list of 15 “clean” vegetables. This means that the risk of contamination is low.
Best 5 ways of Cooking Broccoli
1 or more heads of broccoli
- Equipment for cooking
- Cut the florets: cut through the broccoli stem as close to the crown as possible.
- The crown should break into several large florets.
- Cut the “stem” of each floret to make bite-sized pieces. Put these in a small bowl and run them under water to wash off any dirt.
- Cut and slice the stem: the main stem of broccoli is completely edible.
- Cut off any leaves or stains. You can remove the harder top layer of skin with a peeler if you wish, but it is not required.
- Cut off the bottom inch of the stem and throw it away (usually it’s too dry to be very tasty). Cut the remaining stem into slices. The stems take longer to cook than the florets.
- So put all of these slices in a separate bowl from the florets. Rinse under water to wash off any dirt.
Cooking method # 1: Blanching
- Prepare a bowl of ice water and place it next to the stove.
- Quickly bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a heaping tablespoon of salt. Add the broccoli florets and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until crispy and tender.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately immerse in the ice water.
- Let the water come back to the boil and cook the stems for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until they are also crispy and tender.
- If you want softer vegetables, cook them for another 30 seconds.
Use for blanched broccoli: Vegetable platters, cold salads and other casseroles.
Cooking method # 2: Steaming on the stove
- Fill a saucepan with a few centimetres of water and place a steam basket over it.
- Make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the steam basket.
- Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Add the broccoli florets and stems and cover.
- Steam for 4 to 5 minutes until tender.
Use for steamed Broccoli: Side dish with olive oil and spices, warm salads and casseroles, soups.
Cooking method # 3: Steam in the microwave
- Place the broccoli florets and stems in a microwave-safe bowl and pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of water over them.
- Cover with a plate and microwave on high mode for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Carefully remove the lid and see if the broccoli is tender.
- Microwave in additional 1 minute bursts if necessary.
Use for steamed broccoli: side dish with olive oil and spices, warm salads, frittatas and casseroles, soups.
Cooking method # 4: Frying
- Make sure the broccoli is as dry as possible (you can skip the underwater rinse if your broccoli appears clean).
- Film a pan with oil and let it harden over high to medium heat. Add the florets and a large pinch of salt. Brush with oil.
- Add the stems 1 minute later. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is light green and tender.
Use for frying broccoli: Vegetable sauces, garnish with spices.
Cooking method # 5: Frying
- Preheat the oven to 425 ° F.
- Make sure the broccoli is as dry as possible (you can skip the underwater rinse if your broccoli appears clean).
- Toss the broccoli florets and stems with a couple of teaspoons of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread the broccoli in one layer on a baking sheet lined with foil.
- Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the broccoli is crispy and you see deeply caramelized brown spots.
- Serve immediately.
Use for roasted Broccoli: Side dish, cold or warm salads, pizza topping (stir-fry lightly so that the broccoli doesn’t burn on the pizza).
Types of Broccoli
- Calabrian broccoli: it is the most common type, named after Calabria (Italy) and simply called broccoli.
- Sprouting Broccoli: This variety has many heads and thin stems.
- Purple cauliflower: It is shaped like a cauliflower and consists of tiny flower buds.
- The other types are broccoli raven, Chinese broccoli, and broccoflower.
How does broccoli taste?
Raw broccoli generally has a slightly bitter taste like cabbage. People with a certain receptor gene are sensitive to some flavors and find them extremely bitter and unpleasant. This taste is due to the presence of natural compounds called glucosinolates.
Incredible Broccoli Health Benefits
Broccoli has a variety of health benefits, including its ability to improve digestion, lower cholesterol, and maximize vitamin and mineral absorption. It can also help prevent allergic reactions, boost the immune system, protect the skin, prevent birth defects, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve eyesight and eye health.
Also Read Best Tips for Healthy Eyes
Prevents chronic diseases
Broccoli contains certain phenolic compounds that help keep chronic diseases at bay. This lowers your chances of developing diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and many other deadly diseases, thereby lowering mortality.
Broccoli is most effective when consumed with other healthy, disease preventive foods that are not processed.
A 2016 report published in the Journal of Nutrition found that broccoli may help your liver function optimally by reducing the development of fatty liver and liver cancer.
Boosts brain health
Broccoli promotes cognition and memory because it is rich in vitamin K and choline. In addition, sulforaphane can also help prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer’s and many neuro degenerative diseases.
Nutrients found in broccoli, such as vitamins A and C, are great for keeping your hair shiny, thick, and healthy. These vitamins also work against dry hair by regulating the production of sebum on the scalp to naturally moisturize the hair.
This leads to less brittle and fragile hair and reduces hair loss.
broccoli florets have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It contains antioxidants like vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, sulforaphane, kaempferol, and many others, which makes this vegetable good for relieving inflammation.
Anti Aging properties
Broccoli fights the aging process with the help of a compound in it called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). NMN promotes the production of a compound that triggers metabolism, thus preventing genetic changes that lead to premature aging.
Antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, and collagen also play key roles in delaying aging.
A study published in 2012 in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition suggests that broccoli sprouts can improve insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics. To elaborate, it suggests that sulforaphane and kaempferol in this cruciferous vegetable may have the ability to lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus diabetics, thereby helping to control them.
Broccoli is always recommended in addition to a heart-healthy, carbohydrate controlled diet for the best results in blood sugar control.
Nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, folic acid and vitamin A in broccoli support the body’s metabolism. Dietary fiber in particular exhibits a TEF (thermal effect of food) and can increase your metabolism after eating. It also promotes satiety by having a good amount of fiber.
Also Read Best High Fibre Diet, Tips and Benefits
Enhances sexual libido
Broccoli can promote blood flow to the organs of the body and help improve libido. It contains folic acid and vitamin C, which can improve fertility.
Broccoli has anti-cancer potential and is particularly beneficial in breast cancer and uterine cancer. “A nutritional strategy to reduce the risk of breast cancer” that this can lead to a positive shift in the estrogen metabolite called 2-hydroxyestrone in postmenopausal women.
Consuming 500 grams daily, or just over a pound of broccoli twice a day, helped lower the levels of estrogen in the body. It has also been shown to be an important part of a strategy to reduce breast cancer risk.
However, it is not realistic to expect people to eat this amount each day, and more studies are needed to investigate an extract’s potential.
Detoxifies the body
The presence of vitamin C, sulfur, and amino acids make broccoli a good detoxifier. It helps remove free radicals and toxins like uric acid from the body, which helps clear the blood and keep toxin-related problems like boils, itching, rashes, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, kidney stones, skin diseases like eczema, and hardenings away from the skin.
It’s also an alkaline vegetable and can help balance the body’s pH.
Broccoli helps with skin care and gives you a glowing, healthy and glowing appearance. The antioxidants it contains, such as beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, amino acids and folic acid, do this magic.
Other Broccoli Best Health Benefits
Protects against UV rays
Glucoraphanin, a phytonutrient found in significant amounts in broccoli, has been linked to reversing the negative effects of sun exposure.
Relief from stomach ailments
Broccoli is very high in fiber which helps relieve constipation as it is the main cause of almost all stomach ailments. Fiber adds bulk to food, retains water, and stimulates healthy bowel movements.
The magnesium and vitamins it contains reduce the acidity, facilitate digestion and support the absorption of nutrients from other foods.
Prevents Heart disease
Along with the antioxidant glucoraphanin, the high fiber content in broccoli helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels and keep the heart in good working order. Also, reducing bile levels has a powerful impact on cholesterol, helping your heart health. Studies have shown that the fiber bonds better with bile, making it much easier and more efficient to eliminate.
Kaempferol is a flavonoid that also helps keep the heart healthy due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Carotenoids like zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and phosphorus, as well as other vitamins like vitamins A, B complex, C, and E in broccoli are very good for eye health.
These substances protect the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts while also repairing the damage caused by radiation.
Also Read Best Tips for Eye health
It (Broccoli) gets its purple and green color from antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium, copper, choline-zinc, and phosphorus. These compounds present are really great immune system boosters and can protect you from numerous infections.
In addition to a balanced diet, it is recommended that you get adequate sleep and manage stress for the best results.
Improves bone and tooth health
This vegetable keeps bones and teeth strong because it is high in vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. Eating the vegetables can be very beneficial, especially for children, the elderly, and / or pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Children and older adults are very susceptible to osteoporosis, weak bones and teeth, and calcium deficiency. In addition, vitamin K is essential for the formation of osteocalcin, a protein that is only found in bones.
Helps the fetus develop during pregnancy
Broccoli is full of nutrients that are important for pregnant women. It contains proteins, calcium, vitamins, antioxidants, iron and phosphorus. Since it is high in fiber, it also eliminates constipation, which is very common during pregnancy.
The folate content in this vegetable helps prevent birth defects such as neural tube defects.
This is a major problem for pregnant women who have a folic acid deficiency in their diet. It is further recommended that women take prenatal vitamins or follow the directions of their gynecologist / gynecologist.
Chromium, which is found in abundance in broccoli, helps regulate blood pressure. The nutritious amount of potassium in broccoli can also act as a vasodilator.
In particular, potassium helps improve blood flow and oxygen supply to essential organs by relieving tension and stress in veins and blood vessels.
Magnesium and Calcium also help regulate blood pressure and can protect the heart from cardiovascular diseases such as strokes or heart attacks.
The vegetable is rich in iron and protein, making it an excellent remedy for anemia. In addition to iron, copper is another essential mineral in the production of red blood cells. So include these green vegetables in your diet and help prevent iron deficiency anemia.
Whether you like it chopped up in our Mediterranean broccoli pasta salad or roasted with plenty of parmesan cheese, broccoli is a food that you can feel comfortable about if you eat regularly.
It has numerous health benefits from protecting against cancer to fighting inflammation, and is packed with vitamins and nutrients.
As an added bonus, broccoli is very versatile and can be enjoyed in a number of different ways.
Broccoli is found almost everywhere either it is grown or transported from other parts of world. Doctors have started recommending to include this nutrient food into diet.