Broccoli Nutrition  & Health Benefits Diabetes, Cancer, Heart

How This Helps

Broccoli is a hearty and tasty vegetable that Includes a wide range of nutrients. Incorporating broccoli in your daily diet can help you tide over a plethora of medical issues and will even strengthen your immunity against different ailments. It can help to fight various kinds of cancer, eliminates disease-causing free radicals and toxins in the body, helps you to maintain healthy skin, and even protects your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. Additionally, it provides relief from various stomach disorders, keeps your heart in a fantastic form, and strengthens your immune system.

Antioxidants:
Broccoli is a rich source of Vitamin C, a very important antioxidant compound. Besides, the vegetable contains flavonoids like kaempferol and quercetin, carotenoids like beta-carotene and lutein, along with Vitamin E, manganese and zinc. All these compounds reduce the oxidative stress in the body and support oxygen metabolism along with reducing the levels of reactive oxygen species in the body. 

Anti-inflammatory benefits:
Broccoli is rich in glucosinolates, which break down to isothiocyanates (ITCs). The ITCs suppress the inflammatory molecules like NF-kappaB, an important molecule that triggers the inflammatory pathway in the body. Moreover, the omega-3-fatty acids present in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli help in the production of anti-inflammatory molecules like PGH3, TXA3, PGI3, and LTE5.

Cancer Care:
The sulforaphane compound, present in broccoli, which imparts a bitter taste to the vegetable, has anti-cancer properties. Sulforaphane inhibits the enzyme, histone deacetylase, which helps in the progression of cancerous cells. Broccoli has an ability to inhibit cancers like melanoma, esophageal, pancreatic and prostate cancer. Even the folic acid in the vegetable reduces the risk of breast cancer in women.

Instructions

Useful in:
Antioxidants | Detoxification | Anti-inflammatory | Cancer | Cardiovascular Diseases | Bones | Wrinkles | Digestion | Boosts Immunity | High Cholesterol levels | Diabetes II | Eyes | 

Nutrients:
Serving size: 100 g

Nutrients Amount
Energy 141 kJ (34 kcal)
Water 89.3 g
Carbohydrates 6.64 g
Sugars 1.7 g
Dietary fiber 2.6 g
Fat 0.37 g
Protein 2.82 g
Vitamins
Vitamin A equiv. 31 μg
beta-carotene 361 μg
lutein zeaxanthin 1403 μg
Thiamine (B1) 0.071 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.117 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.639 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.573 mg
Vitamin B6 0.175 mg
Folate (B9) 63 μg
Vitamin C 89.2 mg
Vitamin E 0.78 mg
Vitamin K 101.6 μg
Minerals
Calcium 47 mg
Iron 0.73 mg
Magnesium 21 mg
Manganese 0.21 mg
Phosphorus 66 mg
Potassium 316 mg
Sodium 33 mg
Zinc 0.41 mg

Source: USDA Nutrient Database No. 28

History of broccoli

Broccoli is an all-star food that has many health benefits. Broccoli has many essential minerals and vitamins, fiber, and has low carbs to provide great-tasting nourishment. Broccoli belongs to a vegetable family known as cruciferous vegetables, and its close relatives include Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. Broccoli comprises sulforaphane, a sulfur-containing compound found in cruciferous vegetables. Researchers are analyzing the anti-cancer properties of sulforaphane and have come to some interesting findings, although more study is necessary.

As though that is not enough, a cup of cooked broccoli provides as much vitamin C as an orange and is an excellent beta-carotene source. Broccoli packs vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. It contains fiber and is low in calories. Broccoli has a reputation as a superfood. It's low in calories but includes an abundance of antioxidants and nutrients that support many areas of human health.

Broccoli is a cruciferous veggie, like kale, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, bok choy,  and turnips. This green vegetable originated in Italy and came from an Italian word that means 'sprout.' Broccoli was cultivated in Italy in early Roman times, and it's indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean area. It was brought to England and the US in the eighteenth century.

Broccoli grows well in cooler weather and on marginally alkaline soil. It takes 2-4 inches of compost or a thin coating of compost before planting. For best results, you may even control the temperature and alkalinity of the soil in accordance with your needs.

Broccoli belongs to the species Brassica oleracea and is an edible green plant from the cabbage household whose big flowering head is consumed as a vegetable. Broccoli has large flower heads, which are typically green in color and are organized like a tree structure branching out from a thick, edible stem. There are three main kinds of broccoli of that calabrese broccoli is the most frequent. Sprouting broccoli and the purple cauliflower are other varieties of the vegetable found mostly in the Mediterranean and European countries. One excellent and healthy way to eat broccoli is to steam them or eat them raw as salad greens to maintain the nutrients.

See: How to grow superfoods for your health

Broccoli Nutrition

Nutritional Power of Broccoli

Broccoli packs a unique mixture of nutrients, organic compounds, Vitamins and minerals and hence can prove to be very beneficial for your health if you include it in your diet. Essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, and chromium are present in abundance in broccoli. It has a good dose of dietary fiber, phosphorus, choline, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, manganese, Vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), potassium, vitamin B1,  and copper. It contains a concentration of phytonutrients and especially n glucosinolates. The isothiocyanates made from broccoli glucosinolates help to prevent cancer. Additionally, broccoli also contains Vitamin B1, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron, niacin, and selenium.

See: Turmeric Curcumin Health Benefits & Side Effects

Broccoli health benefits

You can enjoy many health benefits of broccoli.


- Fights cancer

Cruciferous vegetables have a range of antioxidants, which might help prevent the sort of cell damage that contributes to cancer. One such antioxidant is sulforaphane, which is a sulfur-containing compound which provides cruciferous vegetables their sour bite. Some scientists have indicated that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may play a part in "green chemoprevention," in which individuals use either the entire plant or extracts from it to help prevent cancer. Cruciferous vegetables also contain indole-3-carbinol. Research from 2019 indicates that this chemical may have strong antitumor properties. Cauliflower, Brussels Broccoli, carrots, turnips, cabbage, arugula, broccolini, daikon, kohlrabi, and watercress may all have similar properties.

Broccoli helps to fight certain types of cancer such as breast cancer, cancer of the uterus, prostate cancer as well as cancer of different internal organs such as liver, lungs, intestines, kidneys, and colon. These cruciferous vegetables have a sulfur-containing chemical called sulforaphane that has cancer-fighting capabilities. Sulforaphane can possibly inhibit the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC) that is responsible for the development of cancer cells. Folate is known for decreasing the risk of breast cancer in women. Aside from these, other anti-carcinogenic compounds such as glucoraphanin, diindolylmethane, beta-carotene, selenium, and others found in broccoli help to fight cancer.


- Fight diabetes

Research from 2017 indicated that eating broccoli can help individuals with type 2 diabetes control their glucose levels. This is a result of its sulforaphane content.

Additionally, one 2018 review found that individuals who consume a High fiber diet are not as likely to have diabetes type 2 compared to those who consume little fiber. Fiber can also help reduce glucose levels in people with diabetes.


- Detoxify your body

Broccoli helps detoxify your body as it contains Vitamin C, sulfur, and particular amino acids. Adding broccoli in your diet can help you one to eliminate free radicals and toxins such as uric acid in your body. This can enable you to prevent problems related to toxins such as boils, itches, rashes, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, and even skin ailments like eczema and hardening of the skin.


- May reduce cholesterol

Broccoli is rich in soluble fiber that helps to remove cholesterol in your body. This occurs as the fiber helps bind cholesterol with bile acids in the digestive tract and making it effortless to excrete cholesterol. A study has also demonstrated that a specific selection of broccoli can decrease the blood LDL-cholesterol amounts by around 6 percent.


- Reduce inflammation and allergies

Broccoli helps to decrease response to allergies since it comprises kaempferol, which helps to lower the effect of allergy-related substances within our body. Omega-3 fatty acids found in broccoli help to decrease inflammation. Sulforaphane is just another chemical found in broccoli that blocks the enzymes that can lead to joint destruction. So consuming broccoli can be useful for a person experiencing arthritis.


- Heal digestive issues

Broccoli contains fiber or roughage that's instrumental in treating constipation. This helps to cure just about all ailments of the stomach as constipation is the leading cause of most stomach ailments. The fiber adds bulk to your foods eat and also keeps water that allows for smooth bowel movements. Broccoli also contains vitamins and magnesium that help soothe the stomach by reducing inflammation.


- Reduces risk of heart disease

In addition to high levels of fiber, broccoli also has high levels of beta-carotene, Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins essential for a healthy heart. They reduce the amount of bad cholesterol and keep the heart working correctly by regulating blood pressure. Potassium, found in broccoli, enhances blood circulation and oxygenation of essential organs by reducing tensions and stress in veins and blood vessels. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane that can help prevent damage to blood vessel linings, which may result from inflammation if an individual has chronic blood glucose issues.


- Bone health

Broccoli contains a rich material of Vitamin K that's very beneficial for bone health. Vitamin K may help to make bones stronger by enhancing the body's ability to consume calcium and also lowering calcium excretion through urine. Thus it is vital to include broccoli on your diet to keep your bones from becoming weak and, in this process, becoming fractured.


- Anti-Aging

Broccoli contains Vitamin C that is an excellent antioxidant and which protects your skin from damage by sunlight and pollution. Additionally, it helps to decrease wrinkles and enhances the overall texture of their skin. This is because of Vitamin C in the formation of collagen, the critical protective layer of your skin. Broccoli provides Vitamins A and E, both of which are beneficial for your skin.


- Healthy hair

Broccoli contains nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, sulfur, silica and germanium that are good for your hair. Vitamin A and Vitamin C stimulate sebum production, an underactive secretion, which acts as a natural moisturizer and conditioner to your hair and scalp. The calcium present in broccoli can help to strengthen the hair follicles.


- Helps increase immunity

Broccoli contains a healthy amount of Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, along with other vitamins and minerals such as selenium, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. They may help bolster the immune system and protect your body from many diseases and infections.


- Aids in pregnancy

Broccoli contains vitamins, calcium, proteins, antioxidants, detoxifiers, and other vital nutrients and may prove to be quite beneficial for pregnant women. It helps prevent constipation throughout pregnancy since it's full of fibers. The folate in broccoli helps to ensure that there are no defects in the brain and spine or spinal cord of infants during birth.


See: Functional Medicine for Cancer Patients

Side effects of broccoli

Although eating broccoli has a range of health benefits, there are quite a few side-effects too. Some people can have an allergic rash when they come in contact with broccoli as it comprises a number of potent compounds. 


Broccoli is safe to consume, and any side effects aren't severe. The most common side effect is gas or bowel irritation, due to broccoli's high levels of fiber. All cruciferous vegetables can make you gassy. However, the health benefits outweigh the discomfort.

People taking blood-thinning drugs should observe their broccoli intake because the vegetable's vitamin K content may interfere with the medicine's effectiveness. Those with hypothyroidism should also limit their consumption of broccoli.



See: Bone broth collagen benefits

Best ways to cook broccoli

Cooking with Broccoli

Cooking Methods can affect the nutrient content and health benefits of broccoli. Boiling can destroy 90 percent of the precious nutrients from broccoli, while steaming, roasting, stir-frying, and microwaving will preserve the nutrients. Check out some recipes written by diet & nutrition experts.

See: Teriyaki Chicken with Brown Rice and Broccoli

References

1. Antioxidants and cancer prevention. (2017). cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/antioxidants-fact-sheet

2. Appendix 7. Nutritional goals for age-sex groups based on dietary reference intakes and Dietary Guidelines recommendations. (2015). health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-7/

3. A primer on potassium. (2018). heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/potassium

4. Axelsson, A. S., et al. (2017). Sulforaphane reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes. stm.sciencemag.org/content/9/394/eaah4477

5. Blekkenhorst, L. C., et al. (2018). Cruciferous and total vegetable intakes are inversely associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in older adult women. ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.117.008391

6. Broccoli, raw. (2019). fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/321900/nutrients

7. Clean Fifteen: EWG’s shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce. (2019). ewg.org/foodnews/clean-fifteen.php

8. Conzatti A, Froes FC, Schweigert P, Perry ID, Souza CG. Clinical and molecular evidence of the consumption of broccoli, glucoraphanin, and sulforaphane in humans. Nutr Hosp. 2014 Nov 30;31(2):559-69. 

9. Tortorella SM, Royce SG, Licciardi PV, Karagiannis TC. Dietary sulforaphane in cancer chemoprevention: the role of epigenetic regulating and HDAC inhibition. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2014 Nov 3. 

10. Kunzmann, A. T., et al. (2015). Dietary fiber intake and risk of colorectal cancer and incident and recurrent adenoma in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4588743/

11. Lee, Y.-R., et al. (2019). Reactivation of PTEN tumor suppressor for cancer treatment through inhibition of an MYC-WWP1 inhibitory pathway [Abstract].  science.sciencemag.org/content/364/6441/eaau0159

12. Folate: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019). 

ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/

13. Fusaro, M., et al. (2017). Vitamin K and bone. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5726210/

14. Hwang, J.-H., & Lim, S.-B. (2014). Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of broccoli florets in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells.  ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103733/

15. López-Chillón, M. T., et al. (2018). Effects of long-term consumption of broccoli sprouts on inflammatory markers in overweight subjects [Abstract]. researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4647168/

16. McRae, M. P. (2017). Dietary fiber is beneficial for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: An umbrella review of meta-analyses.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731843/

17. McRae, M. P. (2018). Dietary fiber and type 2 diabetes mellitus: An umbrella review of meta-analyses. 

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5883628/

18. Mokhtari, R. B., et al. (2018). The role of sulforaphane in cancer chemoprevention and health benefits: A mini-review. 

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5842175/

19. Shelp BJ. Boron Mobility and Nutrition in Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica. Annals of botany. 1988 Jan 1;61(1):83-91. [Cited 23 June 2019]. Available from:https://academic.oup.com/aob/article-abstract/61/1/83/201573

20. Owis AI. Broccoli; the green beauty: a review. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. 2015 Sep 1;7(9):696. [Cited 23 June 2019]. Available from:https://search.proquest.com/openview/9105ef61a60f78fa2f9f6eeeb0647d70/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=54977

21. Moreno DA, Carvajal M, López-Berenguer C, García-Viguera C. Chemical and biological characterization of nutraceutical compounds of broccoli. Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis. 2006 Aug 28;41(5):1508-22. Feedipedia [Internet]. feedipedia.org. 2015 [Cited 23 June 2019]. Available from:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0731708506003116

See: 90 pounds lost and diabetes type 2 reversed in 6 months with Functional Medicine

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email