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07 Dec 2021
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All About the Benefits of Broccoli

Broccoli is a green vegetable whose resemblance is akin to a miniature tree. The plant species it belongs to is called Brassica oleracea. A cruciferous vegetable, it belongs to the same family as cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussel sprouts. Broccoli is widely available in three main varieties which are Calabrese broccoli, purple cauliflower and sprouting broccoli. This article will help you understand this nutrient-rich vegetable that is full of antioxidants, fibre, minerals and vitamins.

Broccoli - Nutritional Facts

One of the main reasons broccoli is such a popular vegetable today is owed to its high nutrient content. In addition to the host of fibre, minerals, and vitamins it provides, it has a number of bioactive compounds. This vegetable can be cooked or eaten in its raw form. Each of these eating styles is healthy and each provides different nutrients to the consumer. That being said, different cooking styles such as stir-frying, steaming, boiling and microwaving each affect the nutrient composition derived from this vegetable. In particular, these cooking styles can impact the vitamin C levels in addition to the amount of soluble protein and sugar. Steaming is understood to be the healthiest cooking style.

Those curious to learn the nutritional profile of broccoli will be happy to find information on the same in the table featured below. It makes clear the nutrients found in a single cup (or 91 grams) of raw broccoli. 

Broccoli Nutrients

Broccoli Nutritional Value – 1 Cup (91 Grams)

Carbohydrates

6 grams

Protein

2.6 grams

Fat

0.3 grams

Fibre

2.4 grams

Vitamin C

135% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)

Vitamin A

11% of the RDI

Vitamin K

116% of the RDI

Vitamin B9

14% of the RDI

Potassium

8% of the RDI

Phosphorus

6% of the RDI

Selenium

3% of the RDI

Important Macronutrients and Micronutrients in Broccoli

In order to thoroughly comprehend each of the advantages eating broccoli provides, it is important to first be well versed with the macronutrients and micronutrients available in this vegetable.

Carbohydrates

A single cup of raw, chopped broccoli is worth only 31 calories and 6 grams of carbohydrates. It also happens to have a modest 1.5 grams worth of sugar. Over a third of the carbohydrates found in this green vegetable are derived from fibre. Owing to this very fact broccoli is a filling and heart-healthy vegetable. Broccoli has a glycaemic index of 10. This index provides you with an estimate of how the food you consume impacts your blood sugar levels. As broccoli has a low glycaemic index, it has a very minimal impact on blood sugar levels.

Fat

The fat found in broccoli is barely traceable and it has no cholesterol. That being said, it has a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids that are present as alpha-linolenic acid (or ALA). Should you choose to eat two cups of broccoli you derive close to 0.5 grams of this anti-inflammatory fatty acid.

Protein

Considering broccoli is a vegetable it packs in quite a fair amount of protein amounting to 2.5 grams per cup. However, broccoli should not be the sole source of protein to meet your daily requirements.

Vitamins and Minerals

There are several vitamins and minerals to be derived from broccoli. Vitamin C which helps boost immunity is plentiful in this vegetable as it provides over 81 milligrams which is equivalent to close to 135 percent of one’s daily needs. Broccoli also happens to be a rich source of vitamin K which helps enhance bone health and allows wounds to heal. A single cup serving of broccoli provides you with 116 per cent of the daily recommended intake of this vitamin. Broccoli is rich in vitamin B, manganese, phosphorus and potassium.

Broccoli - Health Benefits

There are several health benefits associated with the consumption of broccoli. They have been featured below.

Broccoli for Weight Loss

Owing to the low calories that broccoli has (i.e., 31 calories in a cup), it is a popular vegetable for those hoping to lose weight. As a fibrous vegetable, it provides you with 9 percent of the recommended daily value. This fibre can help one reduce their cholesterol levels and regulate their blood sugar. It also happens to improve bowel health and help with weight loss. This is because fibrous foods make you feel full for longer periods of time following their consumption.

Enhanced Diabetes Management and Prevention

As per certain studies, fibre-rich diets have been found to lower the risk associated with being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This is understood to be due to the fact the fibrous foods require more time to be consumed owing to which they provide more satiety. Insulin resistance has also been shown to improve following the regular consumption of broccoli sprouts among type 2 diabetics as per certain other studies.

Superior Heart Health

A ton of studies have showcased the connection between the consumption of cruciferous vegetables to enhance heart health. This means that the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, having a stroke, developing an ischemic heart or being diagnosed with cerebrovascular disease are lower. These studies predominantly focused on broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussel sprouts as the cruciferous vegetables under consideration.

Minimizes the Risk of Cancer

A handful of studies have also suggested that increased consumption of these aforementioned cruciferous vegetables including broccoli lowers the chances of certain kinds of cancer such as cancer of the prostate, breast and lung.

Cell Protection

There are high levels of antioxidant phytonutrients present in broccoli. These antioxidants help keep free radicals at bay. These free radicals are capable of causing cell damage which leads to inflammation and disease.

Closing Thoughts

Broccoli is a vegetable that is reasonably priced and available all year round. That being said, it is more abundantly found during cooler months i.e., October through April. Broccoli benefits, as this article has showcased, are plentiful.

In conclusion, while broccoli is a rich source of nutrients and can help promote good health, a health emergency can never be predicted. Hence, staying financially prepared is important! Visit the Finserv MARKETS website to understand more about health insurance plans.

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