Health Benefits of Broccoli-Why It Is Good for You
May 15, 2022
According to Heather Jackson of Fitness19, our routines should be 30% exercise and 70% diet (1).
With that, paying attention to our greens is essential, and one of the best vegetables out there is Broccoli. Let’s know about broccoli with its health benefits.
Nutrition Facts of Broccoli
As per Food Data Central of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE broccoli contains plenty of nutritional properties.
Broccoli is filled with various minerals and nutrients but low in calories. It provides a relatively high amount of protein and fiber, compared to many other culinary herbs. It also contains vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. Moreover, it has iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and calcium.
Broccoli Health Benefits
Reduction of Bad Cholesterol Level
Studies show that cholesterol is a strong risk factor for coronary heart disease, a particular pattern of cardiovascular diseases. (2, 3).
Broccoli has a significant impact on reducing LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). This effect is not only the claim of the herbalist but also scientifically proved.
In two independent human trials conducted by the Institute of Food Research (Now Quadram Institute), the researchers found that broccoli reduced LDL-Cholesterol (4, 5, 6).
In the study, two types of broccoli were used: standard broccoli and high glucoraphanin enriched broccoli. Both kinds of broccoli reduced LDL-C. Of course, high glucoraphanin broccoli reduced LDL-C significantly, almost by 6 percent.
It is pertinent to mention here that the second type of broccoli used in the experiment was of a new variety reproduced to have 2 to 3 times more of a naturally occurring compound glucoraphanin.
In another study, it is found that regular consumption of Broccoli lowers the body’s cholesterol level, which lessens the risk for cardiovascular diseases (7).
Anti-oxidant Properties of Broccoli to Prevent Chronic Diseases
After two decades of extensive research, scientists concluded that oxidative stress may lead to chronic inflammation which consequently may cause fatal diseases like cancer, diabetes, and other serious illness (8).
Broccoli has anti-oxidant properties (9, 10). Specially broccoli sprouts have an ample amount of natural anti-oxidants (11). These anti-oxidant properties of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables largely contribute to reducing the risks of chronic diseases.
Now you may question how anti-oxidant properties contribute to preventing chronic diseases.
If you look at how oxidative stress occurs, you will find the answer. Oxidative stress happens due imbalance between free radicals containing oxygen and anti-oxidant. That means if there is a deficiency of anti-oxidant in the body compared to free radicals, there happens oxidative stress.
Contain Anti Inflammatory Bioactive Compounds
It is well established that anti-inflammatory properties fight against various incurable diseases.
Broccoli has anti-inflammatory bioactive compounds in a great deal (12). In research, the researchers concluded that broccoli possesses anti-inflammatory effects along with anti-oxidant effects (13).
Chronic inflammation causes Alzheimer’s disease Asthma, Cancer, Heart disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, allergies, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS), Type 2 diabetes, (14, 15).
So, it is necessary to consume anti-inflammatory-rich foods to protect the body from inflammatory diseases.
Support Heart Health
Broccoli contributes to maintaining the heart healthy in various ways (16).
It is well known that bad cholesterol and elevated blood triglycerides are dangerous enemies for heart health.
A human study proved that broccoli sprouts powder decreased bad cholesterol and blood triglycerides remarkably. On top of that, it also raised good cholesterol (17).
Another study confirmed that a higher intake of dietary fiber decreases the risk of both cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases (18).
Prevention and Treatment of Cancer
Because of the presence of glucosinolates and high levels of flavonoids, vitamins, and mineral nutrients, cruciferous or brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage reduce the risk of cancer (19).
Besides, brassica vegetables specially broccoli are rich sources of phytochemical compounds known as sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is largely derived from glucoraphanin. During the chopping or crushing of broccoli, glucoraphanin comes into contact with the enzyme myrosinase and thus produces sulforaphane (20, 21).
Medical scientists found this sulforaphane as effective in the prevention and treatment of different patterns of cancer such as (22):
* Breast Cancers
* prostate cancers
* skin cancers
*urinary bladder cancer
* oral cancer
* lung cancer
Cure Diabetes by Controlling Sugar Level
Antioxidants and fiber available in broccoli help to control the blood sugar levels of diabetics (23).
A 2020 research found that sulforaphane present in broccoli has an anti-diabetic effect (24).
A four-week research on 72 patients with type 2 diabetes found that broccoli sprouts powder (BSP) possessing a high amount of sulforaphane reduced a significant amount of insulin concentration and insulin resistance (25).
Besides, research demonstrates that anti-oxidant and bioactive properties of broccoli sprouts have potential efficacy for supplementary treatment of type 2 diabetes (26).
Broccoli is also important for diabetes control because it provides a rich amount of fiber. Harvard School of Public Health claims that low intake of fiber may intensify the risk of type 2 diabetes (27). Also at the same time research gave the emphasis on using foods rich in fiber as a supportive element for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Improve Oral Health & Prevent Dental Diseases
Some of the nutrients available in broccoli support healthy mouth and teeth (28). For the development and maintenance of calcified oral tissues like enamel, dentin, bony sockets, etc., there are no alternatives to calcium (29, 30). In the same way, for protecting teeth and gingivae (gum) the role of vitamin c is beyond question (31).
Calcium and vitamin C play an important role in oral health and healthy teeth. Broccoli is a good source of calcium and vitamin C.
According to USDA, the amount of calcium and vitamin c in broccoli (raw) is 46mg/100g and 91.3mg/100g, respectively (32). Likewise, as per the Standards Tables of Food Composition in Japan -2015 broccoli sprouts (raw) contain 57 mg of calcium and 64 mg of vitamin out of 100 grams of edible portion, respectively (33). The calcium intake found in broccoli sprouts (raw) is 6% of RDA (34).
Kaemferol, a flavonoid present in broccoli, enhances proliferation and osteogenesis in Periodontal ligament stem cells which may be used for periodontal tissue regeneration (35). Also at the same time, kaemferol may support the prevention of periodontitis (36, 37).
Vitamin C available in green vegetables like broccoli, lemons, etc. is very effective to prevent and cure scurvy (38).
Besides, in vitro and in vivo research reveals that sulforaphane available in broccoli may contribute to lowering the risk of oral cancer (39).
Improve Eye Health
Research suggests that carotenoids named lutein and zeaxanthin in broccoli may play an important role in the protection of age-related maculopathy (40, 41).
Maculopathy is a kind of disease that impairs the macula region within the retina. It is the commonest of the causes of blindness (42).
Else, the deficiency of vitamin A causes night blindness. Broccoli provides carotene which the body converts into vitamin A (43).
Besides, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties found in broccoli may help to reduce the risk of age-related eye disease (44).
Calcium and vitamin k-rich broccoli may contribute to maintaining bone density.
It is established fact that calcium is the sine qua non for bone health. Because bone is the reservoir of calcium. The body cannot generate the calcium it needs. Rather it takes calcium from food for the remodeling and renewal of bones (45, 46). Calcium deficiency causes the risk of osteoporosis (47).
In the same way, vitamin K increases bone density as well as decreases fracture rates (48). Besides, Vitamin K is necessary for the production of osteocalcin which is a unique element in bone (49, 50). Researches show that deficiency of vitamin K lowers bone mineral density and increases hip fractures (51).
So, it is obvious that how calcium and vitamin K-rich broccoli supports bone health.
Normalize Bowel Habits and Improve Constipation Problems
There is a direct relationship between bowel movement and constipation. Constipation occurs due to the lack of enough bowel movement (52).
A human trial reveals that daily consumption of sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprouts normalizes bowel habits which in turn improves defecation in healthy humans (53).
Another human trial on 96 male and female subjects demonstrates that vege-powder mainly consisted of chicory, broccoli, and whole grains improved the constipation problem compared to control group (54).
Shop Broccoli Supplement Now
Find the Broccoli Nutritions Packed in a Bottle
Maintain a Healthy Immune System
Broccoli helps to maintain a healthy immune system through its micronutrient vitamin c.
Now the question is- what is an immune system-
According to Better Health Channel, “the immune system is made up of special organs, cells, and chemicals that fight infection (microbes). The main parts of the immune system are: white blood cells, antibodies, the complement system, the lymphatic system, the spleen, the thymus, and the bone marrow. These are the parts of your immune system that actively fight infection” (55).
Vitamin c supports a healthy immune system in various ways (56). Daily intake of vitamin C varies on the basis of age. For an adult person, 100-200 mg/day is enough to maintain the immune system normal (57).
Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin C which provides 84% of RDI (58).
May Help Healthy Pregnancy
For a healthy pregnancy variety of minerals, proteins and vitamins are necessary.
Broccoli provides a huge amount of vitamin B9 which is popularly known as folate.
Folate is necessary for the development of the fetal brain and cognitive faculty. In the same way, it is also important for the healthy formation of the spinal cord of the fetus (59, 60, 61, 62)
Besides, folate deficiency may cause preterm delivery, low birth weight, and fetal development hindrance (63).
Other Health Benefits of Broccoli
May Aid to Improve Liver Health
The Journal of Nutrition in its report in 2016 claimed that broccoli may support maintaining liver functioning at its optimal level by way of decreasing the fatty liver (64, 65).
May Prevent Tumor
The sulforaphane property of broccoli prevent tumor through the re-expression of the tumor suppressor gene (66).
May Maintain Hormonal Balance
Broccoli helps to sustain healthy hormonal balance specially for postmenopausal women (67, 68).
May Protect Skin from Damage by UV Radiation
To protect skin from sun damage broccoli may play a vital role (69).
May Help Mental Health
Animal studies found that sulforaphane-rich vegetables like broccoli supported brain tissue recovery. It also decreased neural inflammation, and improved cognitive decline and behavioral functions hampered by subarachnoid hemorrhage (70, 71, 72).
May Delay Aging
May Improve Digestion
Broccoli plays an important role for preventing cancer, diabetes, heart disease and so on. If any one consume broccoli regularly can keep his health fit.
There are indeed a lot of health benefits of broccoli. It is a nutrient-rich vegetable that contains numerous minerals, lessens the risk for various diseases, improves several bodily functions, and can be consumed anyhow. In addition to that, studies and experiments are continuously emerging, so our list of broccoli benefits will continue to lengthen. Broccoli is indeed an important part of everyone’s diet. On the other hand, keep in mind that you would need to pair Broccoli with other positive habits and vegetables to maintain good health. But, including Broccoli in your diet is undoubtedly a good place to start in achieving a healthy and long life.