Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous or cabbage, family of vegetables. Broccoli comes in different varieties ranging from crunchy, fibrous to soft and the colours can sometimes differ from deep sage to dark green to purplish green.
Broccoli is one of the most nutrient dense food, rich in varieties of strong antioxidants like Sulphoraphane, Glucarate, Glutathione, Beta carotene, Indoles, Vitamin C, A, Folic acid, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium which is extremely good for your health. Over year’s broccoli have demonstrated remarkable anticancer effects, particularly against breast cancers, cervical, prostrate, colon and lung cancers. Broccoli is very low in cholesterol and in saturated fat.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
- Cancer fighting:This vegetable is very effective in fighting cancer due to its key compound called Sulforaphane. Sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol found in this vegetable, also help boost detoxifying enzymes and act as antioxidants, thereby reducing oxidative stress and affect estrogen level, which helps reduce risk of breast, uterus, cervical, prostate and skin cancer. Studies at the John Hopkins University shows that the vegetable can prevent the development of tumors by 60 percent and help reduce the size of tumors by 75 percent. Studies have shown that for a person to cut the risk of cancer into half, one should eat at least 2 pound of broccoli per week.
- Bone-Building: Broccoli is very rich in calcium and vitamin K, which makes it extremely potent in promoting bone health and helps prevent osteoporosis and lower the risk of fracture. A glass of broccoli juice provides calcium far more than cow milk (which contains saturated fats and has no healing properties like broccoli does).
- Eye Health: Broccoli contains two powerful carotenoids by the name lutein and zeaxanthin which are highly important of a healthy eyes. Broccoli is also rich in vitamin A which plays a crucial role in forming retinal, the light absorbing molecules required for both low-light and color vision.
- Heart Health: Broccoli helps improve heart health by keeping the blood vessels strong. It improves the ability of the arteries to pump blood and reduces heart damage due to oxygen deprivation while providing high level of heart-healthy chemical. The sulforaphane present in broccoli is anti-inflammatory, which can help prevent or reverse damaged blood vessel linings caused by blood sugar problems
- Detoxification: Broccoli juice is usually my go to, whenever the need for detoxifying my body arises. Broccoli is a strong detoxification agent due to the presence of strong phytochemicals like gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin. The phytochemicals also helps in eliminating unwanted contaminants and controls detox process at genetic levels. A study published in this journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America proves that broccoli sprout may be more potent in this regard.
- Digestion: Broccoli promotes good colon health, protecting against constipation and colon cancer. It also aids in digestion by keeping your stomach lining healthy. A study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore the sulforaphane present in the broccolis sprouts keeps the stomach bacteria Helicobacter pylori from becoming overgrown or clinging too strongly to the stomach walls. This experiment where carried out by feeding mice with broccoli sprouts daily for two months, which resulted to the reduction of Helicobacter pylori in their stools by 40%.
- Boosts Brain Power: Choline found in broccoli is important in the growth of new brain cells as well as neural connections and good memory functions. It’s also a great source of vitamin K, which is well known to increase brain function and vitamin B which plays key role in improving stamina and memory.
- Peptic Ulcer: Sulforaphane may also prove to be effective for helping the body get rid of Helicobacter pylori which is responsible for peptic ulcer. It can also help in other stomach disorders like gastritis, acid indigestion and esophagitis.
- Tumors: Sulforaphane present in broccoli also helps the body’s production of detoxification enzymes which helps reduce tumor size.
- Prevent Birth Defect: Due to its richness in antioxidant compound it helps protect sperms and prevents them from genetic damage and other birth defects.
- Regulate Blood Pressure and Kidney Health:Sulforaphane compound present in broccoli helps improve DNA methylation, which is important for normal cellular function and gene expression. Which in turn helps regulate blood pressure level. According to a study in which hypertensive rats with impaired kidney function were given sulforaphane. The natural compound improved the rats with impaired kidney function and lowered their blood pressure by normalizing DNA methylation patterns within their cells.
- Anti-Aging and Immune System Health:If you want to look younger as you age, broccoli is the vegetable for you. The compound sulforaphane stimulate a variety of antioxidant pathway in your body which can reduce oxidative stress and boost the immune system. This process slows down the decline of the immune system that happens with age. The vitamin C present in broccolis also fight free radicals and prevent premature aging signs like fine lines, wrinkles and skin spots.
I usually go for the dark green once, the darker the better. The stem should be tender and firm. Yellow or wilted leaves indicates loss of nutrients. Store dry in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to about four days. It’s best to use a gear juicer because using a centrifugal juicer yields very little juice and ends up wasting the whole vegetable.Try as much as possible to go for the organic once because broccoli head can be difficult to rinse away insecticide residue.
Wash organic broccoli, for nonorganic soak or spray a biodegraded wash, then rinse. Slice to them into strips and feed into the juicer shoot.