Similar in appearance to that of cauliflower, broccoli belongs to the family Brassicaceae. Broccoli is one of the most well-liked vegetables globally that is used in preparing a variety of cuisines and dishes. It is also regarded as a super food because of the nutrients that it is encumbered with. Have a look at the 16 health benefits of broccoli and how to properly store this vegetable.
16 Health Benefits of Broccoli
1. Controls Blood Pressure
Broccoli is enriched with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These super-nutrients allow the smooth flow of blood through the blood vessels, which, in turn, diminishes the blood cholesterol level and blood pressure.
2. Promotes Eye Health
Broccoli takes care of the eyes in various ways. The vitamin A compounds of broccoli help the eyes function well in low light and are good for colored vision as well. Moreover, the antioxidants like lutein and caroteniod aid in deterrence of macular degeneration and cataract.
3. Good for Bones
Zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin K, and calcium in broccoli safeguard the bones. These compounds not only prevent bone-related ailments like osteoporosis, but also strengthen the bones.
4. Boosts Immunity
Likewise for bones, broccoli is also an excellent vegetable to improve the overall immunity of the body. Zinc, trace-minerals, and beta-carotene altogether reinforce the body’s resistance against alien substances.
5. Thwarts Cancer
Broccoli is equally powerful in preventing the growth of cancerous cells in the body. Human body converts the glucoraphanin (a compound that the broccoli contains) into an anti-cancer compound, called sulforaphane. Furthermore, broccoli has indole-3 carbinol, which keeps prostate, cervical and breast cancer under check. It also reduces the risk of skin cancer.
6. Maintains Health of the Nervous System
To keep the nervous system in the pink, incorporate broccoli in your daily diet. It is naturally loaded with potassium which ensures smooth functioning of the brain and sustains muscle growth.
7. Prevents Anemia
Broccoli is bliss for those people who are anemic. Iron and folic acid present in broccoli circumvent anemia, and help improve hemoglobin count.
8. Aids in Detoxification
Detoxification is a crucial course of action to protect your body from harmful waste and contaminants. Broccoli contains some special nutrients like glucobrassicin, gluconasturtiin, and glucoraphanin that eliminate toxins out of the body.
9. Keeps Heart Healthy
Since broccoli is well-off in vitamins, fatty acids and fibers, it guards the blood vessels from damage and reduces bad cholesterol. All these decrease the risk of stroke and heart attack.
10. Helps in Weight Loss
Being low in calories, broccoli is an ideal diet for weight loss seekers.
11. Good Food for Pregnant Women
All women must consume folate in ample amount during pregnancy. Broccoli is rich in folate and prevents spina bifida and other neurological defects in the fetus. Furthermore, the folate content decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
12. Controls Diabetes
Broccoli regulates insulin and keeps diabetes under check due to presence of chromium in it.
Beauty Benefits of Broccoli
13. Protects the Skin from UV Radiations
Broccoli serves as the best sunscreen. Whenever you step out, apply broccoli extract to protect your skin from the exposure to the ultraviolet radiations. It also renews and repairs your skin.
14. Prevents Skin Ageing
The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C fight-off the free radicals and reduce pigmentation, wrinkles and fine lines. Vitamin B and E gives natural glow to your skin and keep it young.
15. Stimulates the Growth of Hair
Vitamin A and C in broccoli promote the secretion of sebum that moisturizes the scalp. Calcium, on the other hand, strengthens the hair follicles. The antioxidants present in broccoli seed oil prevents hair loss and add volume to your hair.
16. Makes Your Hair Shiny and Lustrous
Broccoli contains erucic acid that imparts natural shine to your hair without leaving harmful residue in your hair follicles.
The Best Ways To Buy and Store Broccoli
We hope you enjoyed reading the 16 health benefits of broccoli and we can’t wait to help you become a happier and healthier version of you. But, what are some of the best ways to buy and store this nutritious vegetable?
When buying broccoli, choose one with green florets and firm stalks in order to purchase the freshest vegetable. When you hold the broccoli, it should have a heavy weight to it, otherwise, it’s fairly hollow and doesn’t contain many nutrients and vitamins. Take a look at the stems, too. Don’t purchase a vegetable that looks dried or has brown stems with yellow florets as this indicates it isn’t fresh.
Once you’ve purchased fresh and green broccoli, we recommend storing it unwashed in an open bag in your refrigerator. If you buy it fresh, it will last up to 10 days, although having other fruits and vegetables within close proximity can cause the vegetable to turn brown sooner.
Healthy Ways To Cook Broccoli
We love that broccoli can be cooked in numerous ways and enhances an array of dishes. Roasting broccoli provides a delicious flavor with a slight crisp to it. Preheat your open and toss the broccoli in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt. Evenly spread the florets on a tray and roast until the broccoli is tender and brown around the edges.
Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to eat broccoli since you aren’t risking overcooking any vitamins and minerals. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add broccoli with ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover the pan and cook for 4-9 minutes, depending on your preferred texture.
Alternatively, you can attempt sauteing broccoli. Heat a frying pan and add some oil to coat the bottom. Add small pieces of broccoli and stir frequently. This process should take 3-5 minutes and the florets will turn bright green.