Want to start eating more healthy foods but don’t know quite know where to begin? Why not start by making one small change to your diet. Read all about the wonders of broccoli!
Even though we know something is good for us, it can often be hard to do it, eat it or drink it. Often having a greater understanding of the actual benefits of something can make all the difference and give us that extra push (something those of us trying to lose weight know only too well).
Broccoli is a vegetable that people tend to either love or hate but either way it has lots of wonderful qualities that make it a vegetable that shouldn’t be overlooked. Including it in your diet a few times a week will reap health rewards for you, not to mention it’s great for keeping hunger at bay. Below are some examples of just how broccoli can support and sustain your well-being. They’re worth taking into consideration and will hopefully motivate you to reach for the broccoli next time you’re in the supermarket.
1. Help Fight Cancerous Cells
Broccoli contains a number of sulphur-based compounds which have been proven to help prevent cancerous tumours. These compounds can actually stop the growth of breast, prostate, thyroid and other cancer cells. In addition, this sulphur-containing compound, Sulforaphane, can eliminate and prevent the presence of the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers, some of which are immune to antibiotics.
2. Good For Your Heart
Diabetes, a far too common ailment these days, can increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes by a shocking five times. The Sulforaphane in broccoli encourages the production of enzymes which protect the blood vessels of the heart. This is crucial in the prevention of heart related illnesses.
3. Reduces Cholesterol
High cholesterol is a common health issue for a large portion of the population, in particular for those carrying extra weight. In brief, there are two types of cholesterol, Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad’ cholesterol and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or ‘good’ cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat like substance which is actually vital to good cell function throughout the body. However, too much HDL can stick to the walls of veins, causing them to become thin, which often leads to heart problems. HDL returns excess cholesterol to the liver to be excreted from the body, unless over-whelmed by excess LDL. Importantly, broccoli can decrease these elevated levels of LDL, thus curbing the risks to your health.
4. Helps Improve and Maintain Healthy Eyesight
As we get older, our eye sight weakens naturally. Lutein, which gives broccoli its characteristic colour, protects the eye by filtering out harmful light. Thus, preserving the eye function and keeping this age-related deterioration at bay.
5. Contains Antioxidants
Broccoli contains a multitude of antioxidants! These help cleanse the body of harmful substances which can cause colds, flu and other illnesses, including high blood pressure. It is also a great source of vitamins, A, C and K, to name a few, as well as a number of essential minerals such as potassium which is necessary for good heart function.
6. Full Of Calcium
The rich supply of calcium in broccoli, coupled with the presence of vitamin K, keep bones strong and resistant to fractures. Incredibly, broccoli contains more calcium than most dairy products.
Essentially, broccoli is a hugely beneficial vegetable which not just fills you up but also contributes to your health and well-being. Try to eat it as often as possible per week; keeping in mind all the good that it’s doing for you.
Try this simple recipe below to add some flavour and appeal to your helpings.
Lemon and Garlic Broccoli
- 2 heads of fresh broccoli, cleaned and chopped into florets
- 60ml of water
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Place the broccoli in a bowl and cover. Microwave for 6 minutes on high.
- Mix the oil, lemon and garlic together.
- Pour the mixture over the cooked broccoli
- Leave for a couple of minutes to settle
Eat and enjoy all the benefits of this green vegetable!
The wonders of broccoli – don’t forget to check out some of our other brocolli recipes:
- Super Speedy Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli
- Shepherd’s Pie with Broccoli & Cauliflower
- Broccoli Stuffed Chicken
- Salmon and Broccoli Pasta
Download this blog post on the wonders of broccoli as a PDF here.