What is Broccoli :
Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family (family Brassicaceae, genus Brassica) whose large flowering head and stalk is eaten as a vegetable. The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means “the flowering crest of a cabbage”, and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning “small nail” or “sprout”.
Broccoli is classified in the Italica cultivar group of the species Brassica oleracea. Broccoli has large flower heads, usually dark green in color, arranged in a tree-like structure branching out from a thick stalk which is usually light green. The mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves. Broccoli resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivar group of the same Brassica species. Combined in 2017, China and India produced 73% of the world’s broccoli and cauliflower crops.
Broccoli is a bit divisive–people either love it or hate it, but its history as a preferred source of food and nutrition has existed since the Roman Empire.
Top Health Benefits Of Broccoli.
Here are the top health benefits of broccoli :
Cancer Prevention :
Broccoli includes properties that deplete estrogens which usually make cancer in the body. Study shows that broccoli is extremely suitable for preventing breast and uterus cancer.
Cholesterol Reduction :
According to research by the Institute of Food Research, a particular variety of broccoli can help reduce the blood LDL-cholesterol levels by 6 percent.
Because broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body. This is because the fiber in broccoli helps bind with bile acids in the digestive tract.
Heart Health :
Broccoli is excellent for heart health as it contains fibers, fatty acids, and vitamins that help to regulate blood pressure in the body. This also helps in reducing bad cholesterol, hence leading to a healthy heart. Broccoli helps to protect blood vessels from damaging as well.
Broccoli is also excellent for weight loss because it is rich in fiber. It is an ideal green vegetable to add in your salads and completing your five colored vegetables every day. In addition to this, broccoli also contains proteins, making it suitable for vegetarians that are otherwise not able to complete their protein requirement.
Because broccoli is rich in fiber, it can help get rid of toxins through the digestive tract. Other than this, broccoli is also charged with antioxidants that help in overall detoxification of the body.
Nutritional Facts and Benefits Of Broccoli :
There have been many health claims over the years about broccoli and whether it could be identified as a ‘superfood’ or not, but its nutrient-rich profile does offer some real health benefits.
Broccoli is a good source of fiber and protein and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, and magnesium as well as vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid.
Raw broccoli contains almost 90% water, 7% carbs, 3% protein, and almost no fat.
Broccoli is very low in calories, providing only 31 calories per cup (91 grams).
The nutrition facts for 1 cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli are :
- Calories: 31
- Water: 89%
- Protein: 2.5 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Sugar: 1.5 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
Broccoli’s carbs mainly consist of fiber and sugars.
The sugars are fructose, glucose, and sucrose, with small amounts of lactose and maltose (4).
However, the total carb content is very low, with only 3.5 grams of digestible carbs per cup (91 grams).
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet.
It can promote gut health, help prevent various diseases, and aid weight loss (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
One cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli provides 2.3 grams of fiber, which is about 5–10% of the Daily Value
Vitamins and minerals
Broccoli contains a variety of vitamins and minerals,
Vitamin C. An antioxidant, this vitamin is important for immune function and skin health. A 1/2-cup (45-gram) serving of raw broccoli provides almost 70% of the Daily Value
Vitamin K1. Broccoli contains high amounts of vitamin K1, which is important for blood clotting and may promote bone health.
Folate (vitamin B9). Particularly important for pregnant women, folate is needed for normal tissue growth and cell function.
Potassium. An essential mineral, potassium is beneficial for blood pressure control and heart disease prevention.
Manganese. This trace element is found in high amounts in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
Iron. An essential mineral, iron has many important functions in your body, such as the transport of oxygen in red blood cells.
Broccoli also contains numerous other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. In fact, it provides a little bit of almost every nutrient you need.