Broccoli: The Flowering Top Of A Cabbage

Broccoli is considered one of the most nutritious vegetables that can offer numerous health benefits. This explains why there is a huge increase in the number of people who include this on their daily diet.

Cooking it the right way and eating the right quantity is of utmost importance. Broccoli can be enjoyed when raw, which is one of the best ways to protect its nutrient levels. The Italian name for broccoli is “broccolo”, meaning the flowering top of a cabbage. The word comes from the Latin word “brachium”, which means “branch” or “arm”, a reflection of the vegetable’s treelike shape.

Currently, China is the leading producer of Broccoli followed by India. Botanically, broccoli belongs to the plant family Brassicaceae, genus Brassica and species B. oleracea. In Africa, a number of farmers grow Broccoli and it is sold in local markets.

Vegetables have an impressive way of offering widespread benefits to your health, and broccoli is no exception. When you eat broccoli, you are getting dozens, maybe even hundreds, of super-nutrients that support optimal, body-wide health. This cruciferous veggie, which is in the same family as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower, is one of the best health-boosting foods around, with scientific research proving its effectiveness. It contains a substantial amount of nutrients that are extremely good for health including vitamins A, C, folic acid, fiber and calcium.

Broccoli is rich in glucoraphanin, a powerful and long-lasting antioxidant, which can be processed by the human body into a kind of compound capable of preventing cancer. It works by eliminating H. pylori from the human body, which is known as a bacterium that triggers gastric cancer and ulcers. The vegetable is also rich in indole-3-carbinol, which is an extremely powerful antioxidant. Anti-carcinogen properties are also present in broccoli and these are effective in hindering the development of prostate, cervical and breast cancer while also improving liver health. Regular consumption of broccoli maintains a healthier nervous system. This can be attributed to its high potassium content. This works not only in maintaining a healthier nervous system but also in allowing the human brain to function optimally.

Broccoli is a particularly rich source of kaempferol and isothiocyanates, both of which are anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. These have shown the ability to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances in our body. Broccoli even has significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which are well known as an anti-inflammatory.

For those who are dieting, broccoli can be a perfect addition to your diet plans. This is because it is rich in fiber, which prevents digestive problems, curbs overeating and maintains a lower and healthier level of blood sugar. Due to its high fiber level, this vegetable has proven to be effective in drawing out bad cholesterol from the body. Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis, a condition where bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue. Like many vegetables, broccoli also keeps your whole body less acidic, which has a host of health benefits.

The anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane, one of the isothiocyanates in broccoli, can prevent (or even reverse) some of the damage to blood vessel linings that can be caused by inflammation due to chronic blood sugar problems.

This stimulates a variety of antioxidant defense pathways in your body that can directly reduce oxidative stress and slow down the decline in your immune system that happens with age and hence reducing your aging rate.

The presence of vitamin-C, sulphur and other amino acids make broccoli a very good detoxifier. It removes free radicals and toxins like uric acid from the body, thereby purifying the blood and keeping away problems related to toxins such as boils, itches, rashes, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, skin diseases like eczema and hardening of the skin. An important mineral, chromium, found abundantly in broccoli, helps in the proper functioning of insulin and regulates blood sugar, thereby regulating blood pressure as well.

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