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Broccoli nutrition facts and health benefits that you should know

Here are broccoli nutrition facts and health benefits. The health benefits of broccoli mentioned in this article are based on studies.

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the Brassica genus of plants. It’s a type of flower and has a thick, central stalk with grayish-green leaves and green florets (there are some purple varieties). It is versatile and easy to find in most grocery stores.

Broccoli is considered to be one of the most nutritious vegetables and, when cooked properly, it can really be a delicious addition to any meal plan.

1. Broccoli Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one cup (91g) of raw, chopped broccoli.

Calories: 31
Fat: 0.3g
Sodium: 30mg
Carbohydrates: 6g
Fiber: 2.4g
Sugars: 1.5g
Protein: 2.5g

Carbs: One cup of raw, chopped broccoli contains only 31 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and very little sugar (1.5 grams). More than a third of the carbohydrates found in broccoli come from fiber (2.4 grams), making it a filling, heart-healthy food choice.

The glycemic index (GI) for broccoli is 10. The glycemic index is an estimate of how a food affects your blood sugar levels. Broccoli is a low GI food, which means that it has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels.

Fat: Broccoli has only a trace amount of fat and is cholesterol-free. It does, however, contain a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Consuming two cups of broccoli delivers nearly 0.5 grams of this anti-inflammatory fatty acid.

Protein: For a vegetable, broccoli has a significant amount of protein, 2.5 grams per one-cup serving. But you still should include other protein sources in your diet to meet your daily needs.

Vitamins and Minerals: Broccoli is bursting with vitamins and minerals. It’s an excellent source of immune-boosting vitamin C, providing over 81mg, or about 135% of your daily needs. It is also an excellent source of vitamin K, important in bone health and wound healing. You’ll consume 116% of your daily recommended intake in a one-cup serving of broccoli. It’s also a very good source of the B vitamin folate, and a good source of vitamin A, manganese, potassium, and other B vitamins.

Minerals in broccoli include manganese, potassium, and phosphorus.

Broccoli nutrition facts and health benefits that you should know

2. Health Benefits of Broccoli

Protect health

Antioxidants present in broccoli bring many health benefits. Antioxidants help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, help reduce inflammation and protect against a number of diseases.

Broccoli contains a lot of glucoraphanin, which is a compound that is converted to sulforaphane in the digestive system and has antioxidant effects.

Test-tube and animal studies show that sulforaphane lowers blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, and reduces oxidative stress and chronic diseases. However, these studies need more time to prove beneficial in humans.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are also antioxidant compounds found in broccoli. They work to protect eye cells from oxidative damage.

Help reduce inflammation in the body

Biological compounds found in broccoli have been shown to reduce inflammation in body tissues. Animal studies have shown that broccoli contains Kaempferol (a flavonoid) with effective anti-inflammatory effects.

A study in tobacco users found that those who included broccoli in their diets reduced inflammation. The results of these studies suggest that broccoli’s anti-inflammatory effects are desirable, but further research is needed to prove its effects.

Anti-Cancer Effects

In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, certain compounds in broccoli may help reduce chronic damage to certain tissues in the body. Broccoli has been studied to reduce the risk of cancer in several organs such as breast, prostate, stomach, kidney, and bladder cancers.

Although these studies are small, they are encouraging. More robust studies are needed to demonstrate the role of compounds in broccoli in the treatment or prevention of cancer.

Increase blood sugar control

Using broccoli can help better control blood sugar in people with diabetes. The mechanism of the compounds is still unclear but appears to be related to the antioxidants found in broccoli.

Insulin resistance was significantly improved in patients with type 2 diabetes who used broccoli. Animal studies have shown that blood sugar levels and pancreatic cell damage in rats are significantly reduced when fed broccoli extracts. The source of fiber from broccoli also helps lower blood sugar and control diabetes.

Heart Health

Some studies show that broccoli can improve cardiovascular function. High cholesterol and triglyceride levels are risk factors for the onset of cardiovascular disease.

The use of broccoli in meals has not only been shown to significantly reduce triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels, but also increase levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol. This eliminates the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as atherosclerosis. Some of the antioxidants in broccoli have been studied to help reduce the risk of heart attack.

Studies in mice that were put into artificial cardiac arrest and then fed broccoli reduced damage and oxidative stress in heart tissue.

Slow down the aging process

Oxidative stress and decreased metabolic function are responsible for the aging process in humans. Although this process is natural and inevitable, good diets can also contribute to genetic expression as well as the development of diseases related to aging.

Research shows that sulforaphane is an important compound found in broccoli that helps to improve the aging process through enhancing the expression of antioxidant genes. However, more studies in humans are still needed to prove this relationship more definitively.

Oral health

The amount of vitamin C and calcium in broccoli are two nutrients that help protect oral health effectively. They help reduce the risk of periodontal disease. Kaempferol found in broccoli also has a protective effect on the teeth from this disease. In addition, the compound sulforaphane found in broccoli helps reduce the risk of cancer in the oropharynx.

Eating broccoli is said to help remove plaque and whiten teeth. However, in terms of scientific evidence there is still not enough evidence to support this effect.

Liver Health

What is it about broccoli that makes it so healthy for your liver? It’s all in the compounds this delicious vegetable contains.

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that can support liver health with its natural compounds, including Diindolylmethane and glucoraphanin.

Compounds like these found in broccoli have been linked to having anti-cancer properties and supporting the natural detoxification process the liver offers.

Diindolylmethane and glucoraphanin are compounds found not only in broccoli but in most cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, kale, and cabbage as well. Their antioxidant activity is helpful in caring for your liver health and can contribute to the overall health of your body as well.

Weight Loss

Broccoli contains antioxidants, which are known to lower the inflammation in the body, among other things. These nutrients in broccoli are unique in how they work.

This vegetable also provides the body with sulforaphane, an antioxidant plant compound that gives this vegetable most of its anti-inflammatory benefits. Sulforaphane works by lowering cytokines and NF-kB, the substances that drive the inflammation process. When these are abundant in the body and allowed to persist dangerous levels of inflammation can be reached. As research shows that chronic inflammation can cause weight gain, being able to reduce it can help you lose weight.

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