Health & Nutritional Benefits Of Broccoli

Dr. Purushothaman
March 17, 2024

Broccoli is a very nutritious vegetable belonging to the cabbage family. The florets of broccoli are dark green or purple in colour. It is very popular for its health-promoting properties. The phytonutrients present in it helps prevent a lot of diseases. It is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family the other members being cabbage, cauliflower, arugula and Brussel sprouts.

This vegetable grows well in cold regions where there is fertile soil and lots of water supply. There are two types of broccoli types, as per the way they look-heading and sprouting. The sprouting variety has many small florets while the heading variety has a single head. The hybrid varieties of Broccoflower are a blend of cauliflower and broccoli, and broccolini is a mix of Chinese kale and broccoli.

Some known health benefits of broccoli

  • Broccoli is a vegetable commonly used these days. It has very low calories and is very good for overall health. It is abundant in minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and dietary fibre.
  • Phytonutrients are present in abundance in fresh broccoli. Hence it is very beneficial to growing kids. Apart from that, such phytonutrients prevent prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and even colon cancer.
  • For better eyesight, consuming broccoli can help a lot, as it has an abundance of Vitamin A in it. Old aged people can improve retinal disorders if they take broccoli regularly. Broccoli is also good for improving the eyesight of small kids.
  • If broccoli is consumed fresh, you are sure to get a lot of Vitamin C. it is a very strong natural antioxidant that helps in increasing the immunity of the body. In short, it fights against viruses that cause flu or the common cold.
  • Great skin comes from the right food one consumes. Broccoli has Vitamin A that helps in improving skin quality and also in maintaining mucosa.
  • Like any leafy vegetable, broccoli leaves to are very healthy and full of nutrition. Its leaves have Vitamin A and Carotenoids that gives a lot of benefits to the health. In short, more amount of nutrition is gained with the consumption of broccoli leaves than by consuming its flower heads.
  • Folates are found in abundance in broccoli. Research shows that consuming fruits or vegetables with folates is very good for pregnancy, as it helps to prevent defects of the neural tubes in newborn babies.
  • This vegetable is also a good source of vitamin B complex and vitamin K. Omega 3 fatty acids are also found in good amounts in broccoli. So those of you who do not wish to consume fish can go for broccoli.
  • Apart from all these, broccoli is a very good source of minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, manganese, zinc, iron, selenium and magnesium.

Selecting and storing broccoli

Broccoli is available in the market all through the year. Make sure to pick fresh ones with firm flower heads. Florets should be compact too. Avoid choosing this vegetable with yellow flower buds or with hollow stems. For gaining maximum health benefits, make sure to buy organic broccoli.

Wash it in saltwater by dipping the flower head for around half an hour. Then wash in running cold water to remove dirt or pesticides. Make sure to eat it fresh. To store it for a few days, keep it inside a zip lock pouch.

Preparing broccoli

 If the broccoli heads are tender, they can be consumed raw or can be added to salads. This is the best ingredient for stir-frying alone or with other vegetables. It can also be used in making pizzas, pasta, or can be made as a side dish for rice. Never cook for long as overheating can remove the nutrients from the vegetable.



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