We all know that vegetables are healthy. We should be getting 7-10 servings of vegetables daily, especially green vegetables like broccoli.
But what is so great about broccoli? What exactly are the raw broccoli health benefits? Is it worth going out of our way to eat broccoli?
The answer is yes.
Vitamins in Broccoli:
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, broccoli is highest in Vitamin K (245% RDA), Vitamin C (135% RDA), Chromium 53% RDA) and Folate (42% RDA). At only 55 calories for a 1 cup serving, this is a highly nutrient-dense vegetable.
Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Inflammatory & Digestive Support Properties:
Broccoli has numerous health benefits. It acts as an anti-inflammatory. One of the ways that broccoli does this is through a flavonol called kaempferol. It lowers the risk of chronic inflammation by decreasing allergic reactions in our digestive tract.
In addition to flavonoids, broccoli contains the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. These give broccoli its antioxidant features.
This nutrient-dense vegetable also offers digestive support, both with its high fiber content and the phytonutrients “glucosinolates”, which help to protect the stomach lining.
Combine broccoli’s (1) anti-inflammatory properties (2)antioxidant qualities and (3) detoxification characteristics, and you’ve got a potent cancer prevention food. In fact, Studies show that only 1/2 cup of broccoli per day is enough to show substantial health benefits in regards to cancer prevention.
Health Benefits of Raw Broccoli VS Cooked Broccoli?
According to Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, raw broccoli provides significantly more of its beneficial nutrients than eating it cooked. Specifically, people who consumed raw broccoli absorbed sulforaphane faster and in higher amounts than people who consumed the vegetable in cooked form.
If you choose to cook the vegetable, however, know that steaming, microwaving and stir-frying is much better than boiling. You will preserve more of the nutrients when you cook broccoli for less time and in lower temperatures.
Broccoli Florets or Stalks – Which Contains More Nutrients?
University of California Berkeley Wellness states that both the florets and stalk of the vegetable are nutritious. They deliver the same amounts of vitamins. However, the florets contain more of the phytochemicals (beta carotene) and carotenoids (sulforaphane), while the stalks contain more fiber.
By the way, the soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol in the body. It does this by binding with cholesterol in blood, which makes the cholesterol easier to excrete from the body.
In addition to providing lots of health benefits and nutrition, it’s worth mentioning that broccoli can aid in weight loss. Combine its high fiber content with its low number of calories, and you’ve got a very satiated food that won’t make you fat.