Broccoli might not be the food you think of when you get a late night craving, but these little green guys are worth working into your diet for a variety of reasons.
1. Nervous System
Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promotes regular muscle growth.
2. Blood Pressure
Along with a high amount of potassium, Broccoli also contains magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure.
3. Vitamin C
One cup of broccoli contains the RDA of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for fighting against free radicals. Moreover, vitamin C is an effective antihistamine for easing the discomfort of the common cold.
4. Bone Health
Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin k, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.
5. Sun Damage
Broccoli is helpful in repairing skin damage thanks to the glucoraphanin it contains which helps the skin to detoxify and repair itself.
6. Immune System
One cup of broccoli bolsters the immune system with a large dose of beta-carotene. Trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium, further act to strengthen immune defense actions.
7. Cancer Prevention
Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which with the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Furthermore, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function.
8. Diet Aid
Broccoli is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Furthermore, a cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.
9. Eye Health
Studies have shown that the carotenoid lutein helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as possesses anti-cancer effects. Additionally, broccoli is a good source of vitamin A that is needed to form retinal, the light-absorbing molecule that is essential for both low-light and color vision.
10. Heart Health
The carotenoid lutein may also slow down or prevent the thickening of arteries in the human body, thus fighting against heart disease and stroke. The B6 and folate in broccoli also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.
Image via ServingJoy.