Broccoli is one of the most common vegetables in the Mediterranean diet. Broccoli provides a large number of beneficial properties for the body: fiber, minerals and vitamins. Its properties and the possibility of preparing it in a simple way means that many families include it in their daily diet. Broccoli belongs to the family of the Cruciferae. Its collection begins with the arrival of the cold, in the month of October, and ends in June. It is a superfood!
It is an especially powerful food when it comes to preventing serious diseases. It regulates blood cholesterol levels and lowers blood pressure, protecting the heart and preventing the onset of cardiovascular diseases. Similarly, it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that help prevent cancer. Its high fiber content promotes the proper functioning of the digestive system. Broccoli also contains Vitamins and beta-carotene, which protect the body from infections. More superficially, its carotenoid content protects eye health, improves cell regeneration and skin healing, super food , nourishes the body in a very positive way, and in combination with other vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat and fish, gives rise to a healthy and balanced diet for day to day.
There are many ways to consume broccoli, the most common is to present it as a first course or as an accompaniment in a second dish, along with a piece of meat or fish. Broccoli is a vegetable that can be eaten raw, boiled, baked, cooked … It can also be included in broths or stews, or prepared gratin, fried or sautéed. The healthiest thing is to take it raw, boiled or baked. In this way the vegetable loses fewer properties.
A simple idea to prepare it is to bake it with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and ground pepper, the vegetable will be tastier and will be a perfect accompaniment. You can also serve boiled with a sauce to taste, it is very common to accompany it with a cheese sauce or bechamel, which can be bought directly prepared or cooked to taste in a homemade way. If the goal is to make a main dish, more consistent, you can accompany the pieces of broccoli with chicken or pasta, again accompanying the mixture with a sauce to taste.
11 main reasons to consume Broccoli in our daily diet:
1. Prevents cancer
Thanks to its anti-cancer properties, which are enhanced with its high content of vitamin A, C and E, amino acids, zinc and potassium, it has the ability to prevent cancer of the breast, uterus, prostate and internal organs such as liver, colon, kidneys and intestines.
Probably the most publicized health benefit of broccoli is its potential ability to help prevent cancer. “Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, and all the vegetables in this group can protect against some stomach and intestinal cancers,” Jarzabkowski said.
The American Cancer Society looks at broccoli isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. These chemicals stimulate detoxifying enzymes and act as antioxidants, reducing oxidative stress. They can also affect estrogen levels, which can help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
2. Protect the heart
It helps to decrease the bad cholesterol of the organism. Its fiber-rich content prevents cardiovascular diseases, thus protecting the health of the heart. The presence of chromium in broccoli allows to regulate blood glucose in a natural way for the body, this effect allows it to be a good ally to prevent high blood pressure.
3. Detoxifies the organism
Due to its antioxidant properties the intake of broccoli allows our body to release toxins, free radicals and uric acid, making it purify the blood and skin. Broccoli contains selenium mineral that helps improve the metabolism of estrogen that occurs in the liver, explains Dr. Carlos Jarne, participates in a University Graduate in Micronutrition at the University of Burgundy (France) and in Anti-Aging Medicine (University of Barcelona).
4. Protect the bones
Consuming broccoli is an excellent option to keep our bones healthy and strong, due to its content of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc, especially in the trunk part these minerals are found.
5. Take care of the eyes
Its nutrients, such as zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, and vitamin A make broccoli a protector of eye health. Prevents muscle degeneration, cataracts and UV radiation damage. The lutein it contains protects the eye from degenerative diseases such as cataracts and other age-related vision deficiencies.
6. Improves the skin
It helps to have a much more attractive, young, soft and shiny skin, since for its antioxidant status this vegetable is rich in vitamin E, B, A, K and Omega-3 fatty acids ideal for the health of our dermis. Vitamin C produces collagen and keeps the skin healthy and flexible, while vitamin E protects the cell membranes of the skin and defends against radiation damage from UVA rays.
7. Prevents anemia
Broccoli has high levels of iron, a fundamental mineral to fight anemia. Also, its high iron content, in chlorophyll and folic acid, make broccoli a highly recommended food for people with iron deficiency anemia, due to iron deficiency.
8. Prevents constipation
Thanks to its rich fiber content, broccoli helps combat constipation. This property helps prevent stomach problems, such as heartburn, inflammation, improving the digestion of food. Sulfur compounds, such as sulforaphane, are effective against helicobacter pylori, which causes gastric ulcer and some types of gastric cancer.
9. Strengthens the immune system
Thanks to its high content of vitamin C, beta-carotene, plus other vitamins and minerals that are efficient to enhance our body.
Broccoli is an excellent anti-inflammatory and can slow down joint damage associated with osteoarthritis. A 2013 study at the University of East Anglia found that broccoli sulforaphane can help people suffering from arthritis because this chemical”blocks enzymes that cause the destruction of joints by stopping a key molecule known to cause inflammation”.
The isothiocyanates of broccoli and omega-3 fatty acids also help regulate inflammation. In addition, a 2010 study published in the journal Inflammation Researcher suggested that the flavonoid kaempferol decreases the impact of allergens, especially in the intestinal tract, which can reduce chronic inflammation.
10. Ideal diet during pregnancy
Being rich in folic acid, protein, calcium, antioxidants, fiber and phosphorus, every future mother should consume it. Broccoli is a very nutritious food and necessary in the diet during pregnancy.
11. Purges the body
The liver is also benefited by the properties of this vegetable. Broccol exerts acomplex hepatic action and has been used as a stimulant of the so-called internal “purification” of the organism. An important role of this purification is carried out through the liver, true receptor of all the products of the body metabolism.
Broccoli, capable of stimulating liver work, can interfere with some medications, reducing their effectiveness. It is also contraindicated in people suffering from hypothyroidism.
Broccoli in the kitchen
Broccoli provides brightness and color to simple recipes, shares casserole with potatoes, onions and carrots, and can also be the star ingredient of select recipes such as broccoli mousse.
In short, it is a vegetable worthy of a sophisticated dish and at the same time ideal for remineralizing and depurative diets.
Cook it with respect for its properties
It is advisable to cook it in a very respectful way so that it conserves all its anti-cancer properties.
Glucosinolates are soluble in water and sensitive to heat, so if you boil more than ten minutes these vegetables are reduced by half.
In contrast, the anticancer power of broccoli increases when it is consumed in the form of sprouts and when cooked with horseradish or mustard seeds.
To enjoy the taste of broccoli while its anti-cancer properties you can steam it for 5-7 minutes. Align with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper.
You can also make a salad with a turmeric vinaigrette and pepper, garnished with broccoli sprouts.
Combine with cereals
The soft and delicate flavor of broccoli combines with all cereals: in spring and sprouted rice or soup with quinoa or millet. Even cooked at your point, for about three minutes, you can give an original touch to a multicolored salad or pizza.
Being a quick-cooking vegetable , it can also be added cut into bunches of sautéed Japanese style, along with pumpkin balls, a carrot, turnips and a few flowers of young garlic. Broccoli is also used to make creams and hot soups seasoned with cumin, ginger, dill, oregano, garlic or parsley.
To consume this rich vegetable and discuss all its properties we recommend the “English” style, this means that it must be half raw and half cooked to improve the functioning of our body.
So you have no excuse, broccoli can be a good ally in the care of your health. Create your own recipe and share the experience with us on our social networks.