The sweetest wave of the summer 13/01/2022 Broccoli is a green vegetable that looks like a miniature tree. It belongs to the vegetable species known as Brassica oleracea. One of its characteristics is that it is closely related to cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale and cauliflower. Broccoli dates back to the Roman Empire, where it grew in the Mediterranean region and has its origins in the wild mustard plant. High in vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds. One of the greatest benefits of broccoli is its high nutrient content. It is loaded with a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fibre and other bioactive compounds. Broccoli can be eaten cooked or raw; both are perfectly healthy but provide different nutrient profiles. Different cooking methods, such as boiling, microwaving, stir-frying and steaming, alter the nutrient composition of the vegetable, in particular by reducing vitamin C, as well as soluble protein and sugar. Steaming seems to have the fewest negative effects. Still, whether raw or cooked, broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C . Just half a cup of cooked broccoli provides 84% of our body’s daily intake. Contains powerful antioxidants that offer protection to our state of health. The antioxidant content of broccoli may be one of its main advantages for the health of our body. Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit or neutralise cell damage caused by free radicals. This can lead to a reduction in inflammation and a protective effect on overall health. Broccoli has high levels of glucoraphanin, a compound that is converted into a potent antioxidant called sulforaphane during digestion. Studies indicate that sulforaphane may offer multiple health benefits, including reducing blood sugar, cholesterol levels, oxidative stress and the development of chronic diseases. Broccoli also contains antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which may prevent oxidative stress and cell damage in the eyes. Broccoli may be an ally in protecting against certain types of cancer. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, contain several bioactive compounds that may reduce cell damage caused by certain chronic diseases. Multiple small studies have shown that eating cruciferous vegetables may protect against certain types of cancer, such as breast, prostate, gastric and kidney cancer. Ideal for supporting heart health. Elevated levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are known to be major risk factors for heart disease. Broccoli may help to improve these settings. A recent study noted a significant reduction in triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as an increase in “good” HDL cholesterol levels in people who were treated with a broccoli sprout powder supplement. Some research also supports the notion that specific antioxidants in broccoli may reduce your overall risk of heart attack. In addition, a higher intake of fibre-rich foods such as broccoli is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Healthy diet As mentioned, broccoli is a nutrient-rich vegetable that can improve our health in a number of ways, such as reducing inflammation, improving blood sugar control, boosting immunity and promoting heart health. However, we need to keep in mind that good health doesn’t come from just one food. Broccoli is one of the foods that can contribute to optimal health. Including broccoli in a healthy, balanced diet can help us achieve our health goals more easily.