Do you eat broccoli regularly? There are some pretty compelling reasons to “green” your dinner plate with this crunchy, cruciferous vegetable. All veggies are good for you, but when it comes to health benefits, broccoli really rocks. Here are five reasons you ― and your family ― should eat more broccoli.
Not all studies show a veggie-rich diet prevents cancer, but the evidence is more convincing for broccoli. Broccoli is a source of compounds called isothiocyanates that turn on enzymes that break down cancer-causing chemicals. It’s also a good source of indoles, particularly indole-3-carbinol, which may reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer. These two disease-fighting compounds pack a powerful punch against cancer.
Would you believe that an order of broccoli has as much calcium as a glass of milk? Calcium is essential for building strong bones especially as hormone levels drop with aging. Broccoli is a dairy-free way to get more bone-building calcium.
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Sure, broccoli packs a punch against cancer, but did you know it protects your heart too? The sulforaphane in broccoli triggers the release of a protein called thioredoxin, a compound that helps to protect the heart against damage that occurs when it’s deprived of oxygen — such as during a heart attack. Rats that ate a broccoli extract for a month developed less heart damage when the oxygen supply to their heart was cut off — one more reason to add broccoli spears to the menu. Not to mention broccoli is loaded with soluble-fiber to help lower cholesterol levels.
Broccoli contains two carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin that help to protect the light-sensitive portion of the eye, the retina, from a condition called macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is the most common cause of irreversible visual loss. Aren’t your eyes worth a little extra protection?
Younger looking skin
Broccoli even protects your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. Mice that ate a broccoli extract prior to being exposed to ultraviolet light developed less skin damage and skin tumors than mice that didn’t. Broccoli may not eliminate the need for sunscreen, but it protects skin from the inside out — something sunscreen can’t do.
The bottom line
Now you have five good reasons to eat more broccoli. It has too many health benefits to pass up.