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Broccoli Health Benefits, Nutritional Value and Uses

What is Broccoli?

Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowering head is eaten as a vegetable. The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means “the flowering crest of a cabbage”,.  Broccoli has large flower heads, usually green in color, arranged in a tree-like structure branching out from a thick, edible stalk. The mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves. Broccoli resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivar group of the same species.

Health Benefits of Broccoli

Helps Protect Against Cancer with Antioxidants & Phytochemicals: Brussels sprouts nutrition is protective because they contain compounds called glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that can reduce your risk of cancer. Studies show that consuming Brussels sprouts specifically can reduce the risk for colon cancer. Brussels sprouts’ has a high levels of glucosinolates, a special kind of compound that fights oxidative stress and helps the body detoxify itself, significantly increases the body’s defense against cancer progression. Cruciferous vegetables including Brussels sprouts are associated with a lower risk of cancer because they protect against free radical damage, or oxidative stress, and DNA-mutation. Researchers report that the sulfur-containing compounds called sulforaphane are what give cruciferous veggies their cancer-fighting abilities, in addition to their distinct smell and sometimes bitter taste. Sulforphanes inhibit the harmful enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC), known to be involved in the progression of cancer cells.

Provides Bone Building Vitamin K: Brussels sprouts are one of the best suppliers of essential Vitamin K, with over 270% of your daily value in every one cup. Vitamin K is responsible for keeping the skeletal structure healthy and helps to prevent conditions related to loss in bone mineral density, like osteoporosis or bone fractures. Vitamin K also has the role of helping with blood clotting, bone calcification and turning off inflammation in the body. Brussels sprouts provide a high dose of essential Vitamin K that can help offset problems associated with a poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle habits.

Boosts the Immune System: Brussels sprouts nutrition supply a large amount of immune-boosting vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as a protective antioxidant in the body, reducing inflammation and cell damage. Essential for a strong immune system, in addition to many other functions within the body like normal growth and development, vitamin C’s antioxidants keep your immunity strong against bacteria, viruses, toxins and other harmful invaders that can cause disease and illness. Because of the protective effects of vitamin C, Brussels sprouts help to maintain the health of your digestive tract, skin, eyes, teeth and gums. Vitamin C foods also protect your cells from free radical damage — and thereby reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, autoimmune responses and more.

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Fights Inflammation & Heart Disease: Cruciferous vegetables can significantly reduce the risk for heart disease. Brussels sprouts anti-inflammatory abilities are found in its supply of vitamin K, vitamin C, various antioxidants, and even small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These vitamins, antioxidants and omega-3s work together to keep arteries clear of dangerous plague buildup, to lower cholesterol levels, to fight high blood pressure, to increase blood flow and to maintain healthy, strong blood vessels. Such significant benefits reduce the chance of heart attack and other cardiovascular complications that affect millions of people every year. Brussels sprouts nutrition is also powerful because they contain many special phytonutrients, antioxidants and compounds — including sulforaphane, glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin and gluconasturtiian — that are all effective at reducing dangerous inflammation and heart disease.Thesephytonutrients, antioxidants and compounds help to detoxify the body, support liver function, slow down free radical damage and prevent the formation of many common diseases including heart disease.

Restores Digestive Health: Glucosinolates found in Brussels sprouts can help protect the vulnerable lining of the digestive tract and stomach, reducing the chances of developing leaky gut syndrome or other digestive disorders. At the same time sulforaphane found in Brussels sprouts facilitates in the body’s important detoxification process. They can help with digestion by preventing bacterial overgrowth from occurring in the gut microflora. Fiber keeps your digestive system running smoothly, encouraging regular bowel movements, preventing constipation or diarrhea and detoxifying the body by pulling toxins and waste out of the digestive tract. The fiber found in Brussels sprouts also has other important benefits too, such as helping to reduce cholesterol levels and slowing down the absorption of glucose into the blood flow, which means it helps to protect from diabetes and heart disease.

Protects Eye & Skin Health:

Brussels sprouts nutrition contains the important antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin C helps to fight UV light damage that can lead to skin cancer or aged skin, while vitamin A offers protection against damage to the skin as well as the eyes. Consuming both vitamins serves to naturally slow aging and to increase eye health, boost skin’s immunity, and foster new cell growth. Brussels sprouts nutrition includes the antioxidant zeaxanthin, which works to filter out harmful light rays from entering the cornea, helping to protect the eyes from damage and disorders like macular degeneration. Meanwhile, Brussels sprouts’ sulforophane compounds also help to reduce oxidative stress damage to the eyes — protecting against blindness, cataracts, and other complications — and skin, warding off cancer and inflammation.

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For Proper Nerve Function: Potassium is an electrolyte that’s needed to maintain nerve function, muscle contraction, bone density, and all our nerve and muscle-related systems. Brussels sprouts provides approximately 14% of your daily potassium needs in One cup Involved in proper cell function, potassium is crucial for almost every part of the body. It helps maintain the membrane structure of cells and the transmission of nerve impulses, which making it vital for healthy heartbeat rhythms. It also plays a role in enzyme functions that are involved in carbohydrate metabolism.

Improves Brain Health: Researchers have known for some time that the nutrients we get from food can greatly affect cognitive processes and emotions, in addition to slowing the aging process of the brain. More and more studies are showing that dietary factors play a big part in neuronal function and synaptic plasticity of the brain because the gut and the brain have the ability to directly communicate with each other. Translation: Consuming high amounts of nutrients can protect brain health and improve mental function.

What kinds of nutrients? Well, Brussels sprout’s powerful antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin A, in addition to other nutrients shown above, help to stop oxidative stress and inflammation that are capable of damaging brain cells.

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Helps Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy: Brussels sprouts nutrition contains a high supply of folate, which is often called folic acid. Folate is a naturally occurring B vitamin that’s critical for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Helping the body to effectively produce new cells, folate plays a role in copying and synthesizing DNA. Folate also helps the body utilize other B Vitamins in addition to protein, protects against anemia, boosts immune function, and can assist poor digestion. Present in large doses in many leafy green vegetables, folate is important for the healthy formation of the fetus’s neural tube. Acquiring enough folate can help prevent such birth defects as spina bifida.

Balances Blood Sugar and Fights Diabetes: Certain green vegetables like Brussels sprouts contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels. These compounds can increase insulin sensitivity and prevent pre-diabetes from turning into diabetes. They can also help reduce complications for those with existing diabetes by managing blood glucose and preventing further oxidative stress or inflammation.

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