Published On: Tue, Sep 23rd, 2014

Health Benefits, Nutritional Facts and Uses of Broccoli

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica) is an edible plant abundant fleshy flower heads of dark green color, all these heads are placed in a tree on an edible stem and branches and foliage making it. Growing broccoli spans most of the world, is grown outdoors but the seeds are sown in seedbeds, then be transplanted to the field to when they reach a height of 15 cms.

To maintain optimal broccoli so once purchased, it must be stored at a temperature range between 0 ° and 4 ° C, it is important to maintain the natural moisture of the plant so it is recommended to wrap it in plastic and not expose it to intense light. Its deep green color indicates the quality, freshness and appetizing flavor. A broccoli stored incorrectly, quickly lose their nutritional becoming fibrous and woody to the touch and taste, also losing its green toning and showing a yellowish hue.

Like most of the vegetables are acquired, the broccoli will not be washed before storing in the refrigerator as this will increase the moisture level and speed up the process of deterioration; well, its consumption is advised in 3-5 days after purchase to make better use of its nutritional properties.Should not be consumed in that period of time, it is best to freeze the broccoli and to prevent nutritional deterioration.

Properties and Nutrition Facts of broccoli

The best nutritional properties of broccoli is its high content of vitamins and minerals, ensuring your intake a lot of nutrients needed for prevention of health hazards. Some of the vitamins found include vitamin A, beta-carotene, niacin, vitamin B1, B2, B6, folic acid and vitamin C. The main properties of broccoli, we find:

  • Its antioxidant action, the high number of nutrients provided in particular by beta.carotenos, isocyanates and vitamin C, protect us from the natural processes of aging. So also contains lutein, a natural antioxidant that strengthens the health of the eyes.
  • Broccoli is also a cleansing and filling vegetables for their high fiber content. It is ideal to satisfy the appetite without increasing the number of calories ingested ally.
  • Another property is owned broccoli cancer prevention. Several studies have demonstrated their protective capacity against various cancers such as lung, prostate, breast, endometrial and uterine tumors in the intestinal tract. Its high content of antioxidant nutrients, fiber and phytochemicals, help detoxify the body. Also, the content of sulforaphane makes with an intake three times a week is sufficient to prevent cancer.
  • Broccoli strengthens defenses, its use is recommended for all ages and especially in pregnant women because of their high content of folic acid. For middle-aged women, broccoli will help because they are high in calcium and acts as a phytoestrogen.
  • If pressure and cholesterol, broccoli property of acting on the liver makes cholesterol transport into tissues is reduced which minimizes the risk of thrombosis.
  • Its high content of phylloquinone which is the main source of vitamin K, helps prevent bleeding.

Health Benefits of broccoli

The benefits of broccoli are broad health due to its antioxidant, preventive and nutritional properties, builders, cleansing.

By integrating this super food to our diet, as it is commonly referred to broccoli, our body will benefit from strengthening the immune system and increase your ability to debug toxins, improving our quality of life in every aspect.

We can not fail to mention that you can satisfy even the most voracious appetite without consuming too many calories as a pound of broccoli contains the same calories as 28 grams of margarine, not counting the little cost that this represents for our pockets.

The daily amount required that our body needs vitamin C is covered with only 70 grams of broccoli.Similarly, with the same amount ingested, a tenth of the recommended daily fiber covers.

Finally, our aesthetic and beauty will benefit thanks to the antioxidant properties of broccoli, both skin and hair will be most fresh, shiny and healthy.

Broccoli Reduce cancer risk :

The chemical composition of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables is complex, which makes it difficult to determine exactly what compounds are those that provide protection against cancer. However, experts agree that broccoli contains certain chemicals that can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and other types.

The compounds in broccoli that could be effective against cancer include phytochemicals, sulforaphane and indoles. SFN is a highly potent compound which is derived from the forms when glucoraphanin and broccoli is chewed. It is believed that this compound combat cancer in several ways:

1. increases the enzymes that help rid the body of carcinogens.
2. Mata abnormal cells.
3.  Helps the body limit oxidation, the process by which many chronic diseases at the cellular level are initiated.

Indoles fight cancer by blocking estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells, thereby inhibiting the growth of cancer cells sensitive to estrogens in the breast.

Some experts  say that small amounts of broccoli sprouts may protect against cancer with the same efficiency as a larger amount of mature broccoli. We recommend eating it raw,  as this retains more nutrients. Eat cooked reduces some of the benefits of broccoli as the heating process seems to destroy certain anti-cancer compounds.

Half a cup a day or two servings of 2 cups a week is enough to get some of the benefits of cancer prevention. However, the American Cancer Society recommends eating a variety of plant foods, in addition to broccoli, to obtain the necessary components to reduce cancer risk.

Broccoli Contains powerful antioxidants :

Antioxidants in broccoli work to reduce the risk of oxidative stress in the body. These nutrients prevent excessive formation of highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules, and contribute to chronic inflammation and cancer risk.

Antioxidants work more effectively when they are together. For example, vitamin C can support the metabolism of oxygen for longer if it is accompanied by certain flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol, broccoli contains these two flavonoids. It also contains other powerful antioxidants such as lutein, beta-carotene and vitamin E.

Broccoli Strengthens eye health :

Broccoli is rich in riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2. This vitamin helps the eyes adjust  to light changes. A deficiency of riboflavin can result in inflammation, blurred vision and eye fatigue. Animal research suggests that adequate vitamin B2 helps prevent cataracts or slow its progress.

Broccoli also contains two carotenoids play an important role in the health of the eyes: lutein and zeaxanthin.Lutein is found in higher concentrations in the outer area of ​​the retina (peripheral retina). Similarly, Zeaxanthin in the macula is near the central portion of the retina. Therefore, an adequate intake of lutein and zeaxanthin help reduce the risk of problems related to the macula of the eye such as macular degeneration and troubles in the area of ​​the lens of the eye, such as cataracts.

Help slow the aging process
scientific evidence suggests that sulforaphane formed when broccoli is chewed, can rejuvenate the immune system enough to protect the body from common diseases of aging such as arthritis , Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases.

Moreover, this compound also serves to maintain healthy skin and delay the onset of wrinkles .

Strengthens cardiovascular health and lowers cholesterol :

One  of the common recommendations to lower cholesterol is to eat foods high in fiber and broccoli is one of them. To this end, it is believed that steam cooked broccoli is more efficient than the crude. Moreover, sulforaphane activated a protein in the body that stops the formation of  plaque in the arteries.

Broccoli also has substances that stop chronic inflammation within the blood vessels and cells.

Prevents osteoarthritis :

According to a team of researchers from the University of East Anglia, eat broccoli regularly can delay and even prevent osteoarthritis. In the study conducted in mice and cells, sulforaphane was able to block a destructive enzyme that damages the cartilage. According to lead researcher Ian Clark, the results are “very promising.”

Reduces inflammation :

Earlier in this article we talked about the anti-inflammatory properties of broccoli. Now we know a little about inflammation. The body uses inflammation as a defense to protect the body from harmful agents. This process works great for the body heal wounds and other injuries. However, when inflammation becomes  chronic, the risk of developing certain diseases increases.

To prevent chronic inflammation a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended. Broccoli is an excellent choice because it contains substances called isothiocyanates that help to “turn off” the inflammatory reaction.

Strengthens bone health :

Good news for people who can not drink milk,each serving of broccoli serves to strengthen bones too. Broccoli is a good source of calcium and vitamin K, an essential nutrient for the formation of osteocalcin (a type of protein found only in the bones).

Helps control diabetes :

One of the dietary recommendations to combat diabetes is to include foods high in fiber and low in calories. A half-cup serving of broccoli contains 5 grams of fiber and only 50 calories. It also contains certain substances that help prevent the damage caused by diabetes to blood vessels.

Recipe with Broccoli –  Broccoli with rice with tuna :

Ingredients: 200 grams of rice.

1 onion.

1 clove of garlic.

200 grams of broccoli.

100 grams of canned tuna.

Some saffron.

1 liter of vegetable broth or water.

2 tablespoons olive oil. Sal.

Development

  • We developed vegetable rehash for rice with the onion cut into squares. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion over low heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the rice and let it sauté with vegetables.
  • We cover the rice with vegetable broth (or water) and some saffron. We let cook over low heat for 18 minutes.
  • Halfway through cooking, add the broccoli and drained canned tuna.
  • We take the pan from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes uncovered.
  • Serve hot rice

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