Eating broccoli offers benefits for both your physical and mental health, but you may not be aware of all the many advantages this vegetable has to offer. Here are eight health benefits of eating broccoli that might surprise you!
1) Improves vision
Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin A, and studies have shown that increased consumption can improve vision. Its high beta-carotene content means it helps with night blindness and eye degeneration. What’s more, the antioxidant property protects the macula from oxidative damage.
2) Lowers Cholesterol
A research study found that broccoli eaters were able to reduce their cholesterol levels by 15%. However, there is no current evidence that shows a significant change in the blood pressure or cardiovascular disease rate when eating broccoli.
There was one study that showed lower levels of heart attacks and strokes among the people who ate more vegetables but this doesn’t hold true for all vegetables.
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The researchers found that vegetables like broccoli, green beans, carrots, and onions may have a positive effect on lowering cholesterol levels. But they stressed there wasn’t enough evidence to say it could reduce heart attacks or strokes rates.
3) Reduces Risk of Stroke
One study found that eating just three servings of broccoli every week can significantly reduce your risk of stroke. The ingredients in broccoli act as a natural blood thinner, meaning they can help prevent the formation of clots that trigger strokes.
Broccoli also contains sulfur compounds, which reduce inflammation and oxidation damage in the body, both major causes for stroke.
4) Protects Against Cancer
Broccoli is a powerful cancer-fighting food and studies show that when it’s eaten raw, broccoli can help fight some of the most deadly forms of cancer, such as prostate and pancreatic.
Broccoli has two types of glucosinolates that are active against cancer–glucoraphanin and sulforaphane. These compounds activate natural enzymes in the body to induce tumor cell death.
This makes raw broccoli one of the best ways to protect yourself from various cancers by including it in your diet regularly.
5) Prevents Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the top three most common endocrine disorders, and nearly 10% of the population over 20 has diabetes.
About 30-70% of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are also at risk for heart disease or stroke. People with type 1 diabetes have an increased risk for both kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.
There are lots of good reasons to start eating broccoli, but this post will focus on the link between broccoli consumption and reducing your risk for diabetes.
6) Good for the Skin
The skin is the largest organ in the body and it is also one of the first places to show signs of aging. As a result, it’s important to care for it. One way to do that is by increasing intake of broccoli.
Foods rich in Vitamin C like broccoli can slow down and even reverse the appearance of wrinkles because they reduce cellular damage and stimulate collagen production. Combined with Vitamins A, E, and K, these antioxidants protect your skin from free radicals that can cause premature aging and sun damage.
Having a healthy amount of B vitamins (especially folic acid) helps maintain skin’s elasticity because they are essential for tissue growth, which causes tissues such as those found in your skin to grow stronger as well as increasing wound healing.
7) Fights Infections
Broccoli contains Vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient in fighting infections. In addition to Vitamin C, broccoli is a great source of calcium, folate and selenium.
These three nutrients work together to fight viral infections by supporting white blood cells that kill off the viruses.
Since 100% of Americans do not get enough vitamin D (and broccoli has a hefty dose) we are at risk for many health problems including type 2 diabetes, obesity and mental illness just to name a few! Moreover, did you know that selenium levels lower as we age? So once we reach our 30s it’s important that we have this nutrient through foods like broccoli or food supplements.
8) Helps prevent hair loss
Broccoli is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and protein. It’s also a great source of fiber to help your digestive system work properly. All these nutrients support your hair follicles and promote growth. If you’re struggling with hair loss due to stress or genetics, give broccoli a try and notice the difference in just a few weeks!