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Health Benefits of Broccoli

bowl of broccoli Children may turn their noses away from this dark green vegetable but broccoli is packed with nutrients vital for good health. In fact, the healthy benefits of broccoli are surprising and not too many people know about them. This cruciferous vegetable may look unassuming with its tight green buds and fleshy stem but it contains a cocktail of well-known disease fighters, antioxidants, vitamins and phytochemicals.

What’s more, when cooked properly, broccoli can actually make tasty dishes that have the family asking for more (I share a personal recipe below). One thing that most people don’t know is that this crunchy veggie can also help you to get rid of belly fat and get flat abs. It’s that good.

Why is Broccoli Good For Your Health – Surprising Health Benefits

Broccoli contains Vitamin C and Beta-carotene – important antioxidants that are known for their disease curing properties. Beta carotene destroys free radicals and Vitamin C improves immunity. Regular intake of broccoli mitigates the risk of several conditions like cataracts and may even safeguard the body from high risk diseases like cancers and heart conditions. Research in recent years shows that compounds like indole-3-carbinol found in broccoli are effective against breast and prostate cancers. (Note, another food that is rich in Indole-3-carbinol is Kale)

Calcium is one of the most important minerals required by the body. It is mainly needed for the maintenance of bones and teeth. Research shows that in addition to protecting against dreaded conditions like osteoporosis, calcium also plays a role in controlling colon cancer and regulating blood pressure levels. Generally, calcium is found in dairy products. Broccoli is one of the few vegetables containing high amounts of calcium. Thus, it is a great alternative source of calcium for vegans and people who are sensitive to dairy foods.

Broccoli is a weight watcher’s delight. Approximately 146 grams of broccoli contain less than 50 calories. So, people on a diet program can take in good amounts of this vegetable without the fear of putting on weight. Additionally, broccoli is also a storehouse of fiber – both broccoli soluble and insoluble fiber. Thus, it helps meet the body’s needs for both these kinds of fiber.

Fibrous foods such as these facilitate easy elimination and flush out toxins from the body. Since broccoli is fiber rich, it can help regulate blood cholesterol levels.

But the benefits of broccoli for weight loss do not stop there. Broccoli has large amounts of chromium which regulate blood sugar levels and keep hunger at bay so it’s a food that suppresses appetite naturally.

Broccoli contains good amounts of folic acid which is responsible for healthy tissue growth. That is why it is recommended as a food supplement during pregnancy.

It is believed that broccoli could prevent a large number of medical conditions including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, tumors, arthritis, cancers and heart diseases. Some believe that broccoli even has anti-aging properties and can reverse the effect of the aging process. Broccoli also has natural anti-viral and anti-ulcer properties. From the above it’s easy to see why parents and doctors alike love this dark green vegetable.

How to Cook and eat broccoli

To preserve all its nutrients, broccoli must always be eaten raw or lightly cooked. Raw broccoli is an excellent addition to salads of all kinds. If the prospect of eating broccoli raw does not tickle your appetite, add a dash of your favorite vegetable dip to the crunchy buds.

Boiling or steaming is the best way to cook broccoli. Cut the buds into tiny pieces and cook these buds with tasty accompaniments. Broccoli easily takes on the flavor of other foods and is therefore easy to disguise.

Some people may experience bloating as a result of eating broccoli. In that case, combining broccoli with ginger or garlic may be a good idea.

My Pasta With Broccoli Recipe

I love eating pasta with broccoli and I think you should give it a try to. Here is my very simple recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 of a pound of whole flour pasta.
  • 2 broccoli.
  • Some pesto sauce
  • Green olives
You boil the pasta and broccoli together until they’re both ready. The pasta should be a bit crunchy and the broccoli should be tender but not soft. You mix them up with some pesto sauce, which you use according to your personal taste. Slice some green olives on top and add some black pepper. The result is fantastic. Try it out.

You should also check this recipe for another great way to use broccoli.

In Conclusion

I hope that now that you know about the many health benefits of broccoli that you will make it a regular part of your diet. Some say it’s better than other vegetables. Broccoli is a treasure-house of nutrients. It is simple to cook and is also easily available throughout the year. So, there really is no reason to leave out this ‘power-food’ from your table, is there?

For more healthy nutrition ideas for fat loss check out the Diet Solution Program.

Image credit: La Grande Farmers’ Market

Date published: July 15, 2010. Last modified: December 24, 2011


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