The health benefits of broccoli are so varied and numerous that this vegetable is widely considered to be one of the very best that is regularly eaten in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Broccoli is closely related to the cauliflower plant, which also provides a mixture of different benefits. However, broccoli tends to outweigh the benefits of these other relative plants, thereby making it a great choice for inclusion in your regular diet. Read on for a few of the many health benefits of broccoli.
1. Vitamin C
Broccoli has a huge amount of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is most famous for helping to boost the function of your immune system, thereby preventing you from getting sick. However, it also has a number of other important functions as well. Among these are aiding the absorption of iron into your blood stream, which then allows you to prevent anemia and other blood conditions. Vitamin C is water soluble, meaning that you cannot build up a dangerous amount of it in your blood stream.
Broccoli is a great source of antioxidants. These chemical compounds help to neutralize free radical oxygen groups that can float around in your body. These oxygen radicals come about when your body goes through normal processing. They can cause damage to your cells and may increase the risk of cancer over the long term. Broccoli contains compounds which help to reduce the damage to these cells, and therefore also help to lower the risk of certain types of cancer developing as well.
3. Folic Acid
Folic acid is helpful in a number of different respects. It plays a key role in cell development and growth. For this reason, it’s both a vital nutrient for children as they grow and for adults in order to maintain healthy cell life cycles. Additionally, folic acid is oftentimes included as a supplement for women who are pregnant in order to encourage healthy fetal development as well.
Broccoli is also a very good source of fiber. Fiber is helpful in a number of different bodily processes, but it’s perhaps best known for its associations with the gastrointestinal tract. Fiber can help your body to maintain a digestive system that moves properly as it should. It helps to prevent the buildup of potentially dangerous polyps and growths throughout your intestines and colon, and it helps to keep bowel movements regular as well.
Broccoli also contains a number of other vitamins and minerals in lesser amounts. The best way to receive all of the nutrients of broccoli is through eating raw broccoli. However, cooked broccoli will also contain a good mixture of nutrients. However, if you allow your broccoli to sit out for more than a few days, it will likely lose a lot of the crucial nutrients that make it such a healthy option to include in various meals.