In today’s world, food is no longer eaten with carelessness. The high rate of various ailments has necessitated the evolution of foods. Every food must possess the basic requirements of our bodies. And brocoli is such a vegetable to run to both as a food, as well as herbal remedy.
You may, or may not have eaten brocoli vegetable foods. If you have, have you ever wondered what impact the plant has on your body? If not, then this article is specifically made for you.
Brocoli, also known as kale, and broccoli, is a vegetable food that belongs to the family of cabbage and has its origin in Turkey. It is a glabrous, annual, or biennial plant with unbranched stem that thickens upward. The leaves of the plant are thick, but slightly leathery. They’re greyish blue to green in color and produces flowers at the tip of the plant.
What are the nutritional values of brocoli?
There are reasons why brocoli is highly favored among other vegetables and by vegetarians. The vegetable plant possess high vitamin A, vitamin C content, iron, the B vitamins, vitamin E, Selenium, vitamin D and K, Zinc, phosphorus, copper, manganese, calcium, and potassium.
Broccoli is also a good source of dietary fiber. These and various bioactive phytochemicals such as phenolic compounds, and flavonoids.
How can you eat broccoli?
Just like cabbages, broccoli is mostly eaten as food salad. But it can also be eaten alone as a vegetable sauce, or eaten raw like cabbage. It can also be fermented, and the fermented water taken to treat gastrointestinal diseases.
Where can you buy brocoli?
Although broccoli is native to Turkey and Eastern Europe, it can be grown in many countries. In Nigeria, brocoli has gained massive attention due to its vitamins and material contents, and as an alternative to cabbage for making vegetable salads.
You can purchase the vegetable in most supermarkets and groceries. You can also purchase organically grown broccoli vegetables from local cultivars around the villages.
Health benefits of brocoli
Broccoli has several health benefits which endeared it to everyone, or at least most people. Just like cabbage, carrot, and many other vegetables, I cannot overemphasise the need to always include broccoli in your foods.
Brocoli is a detoxifier
Most of things we put into our mouths elicit so many reactions, one of which is oxidative stress and the release of free radicals into our systems. When these free radicals are high, and have overpowered the natural antioxidants in our body, the attack our cells and DNAs. In most cases, this would lead to autoimmune diseases a d eventually early aging and death.
The ability to keep our body in control and prevent excessive release of free radicals onto our bodies, will prolong our youthfulness and promote healthy living. Fortunately, we can source these detoxifiers from our surroundings, and broccoli is one of such vegetables with strong antioxidant activities.
These antioxidant properties of broccoli is traced to its vitamin C and selenium contents. It also contains certain amino acids a d phosphorus, which also possess antioxidant properties.
Brocoli for depression
Low serum folate and vitamin B12 concentration has been associated with high risk of depression disorders. Some studies suggested that both vitamins improve responses to antidepressant medications on on depressed patients.
These B vitamins produces chemicals in the brain, which stimulate happy mood, thereby warding off depression and anxiety disorder. It is therefore fortunate that brocoli possess these B vitamins in an appreciable amount. If you therefore have a patient with anxiety disorder, broccoli could be a good vegetable salad or soup for recommendation.
Broccoli supports your heart health
Brocoli is rich in fiber content, which helps in lowering low density lipoprotein cholesterol and high blood pressure. This is important for your heart health. But that’s not there is to brocoli. The vegetable plant is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids is a well known cardiovascular supplements. It can greatly reduce blood cholesterol, support blow flow, thereby ensuring that your hart maintains steady flow of oxygenated blood.
Also, the potassium in the vegetable plant is a vasodilator, which ensures free flow of blood through the arteries to various parts of the body, and allow for proper oxygenation of essential organs, reduce arterial pressure and relax tensions on the veins.
Broccoli for pregnancy
Being fortified with most of the B vitamins, such as folate, vitamin D, and vitamin E, brocoli distinguished itself among the herbs that are necessary for pregnancy. The B vitamins, most especially folate, helps in the formation of neural tube, prevent the formation of birth defects. Vitamin D and calcium present in the herb ensure the formation of strong bone.
Vitamin C and E play important roles as antioxidants in protecting your baby from the harmful effects of free radicals. Vitamin E also improves the formation of red blood cells, thereby ensuring the supply of nutrients and oxygen to all parts of your body and prevents pregnancy induced anemia.
Kale improves vision
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that is required to ensure the proper functioning of the eyes. The deficiency of this essential vitamin can result to night blindness, and if untreated can lead to cataract. Luckily, broccoli is well fortified with not only vitamin A, but also with beta-carotenoid, Zeaxanthin, and other vitamins ,especially the B vitamins, and minerals.
These nutrients help to protect your eyes from muscular breakdown of the retina muscles, and also from the onset of cataract, and other eye diseases such as glaucoma. They also protect and involve in the repairing processes of damages done on your eyes by constant exposure to high radiations.
Broccoli juice improves diabetes conditions
The juice of the herbal plant may be an excellent remedy for persons managing diabetes. This is because the juice of brocoli contains certain bioactive compounds that improves diabetes conditions from different angles. For instance, Some compounds in broccoli act as inhibitors of Alpha – amylase and alpha – glucosidase enzymes. These enzymes are involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates to simple sugars, thereby ensuring the continual supply of glucose to the blood, and so, increasing the blood glucose levels. By inhibiting these enzymes, broccoli would reduce the fasting blood glucose level.
Also, brocoli juice contains sulforaphane which stimulates glucose uptake through the activation mechanism of Akt and translocation of GLUT4 to the plasma membrane. This is a good sign for person suffering type 2 diabetic mellitus. In this type of diabetes condition, the problem isn’t the lack f insulin due to pancreatic destruction, but the inability of the cells to recognize and accept the transport of glucose across the cellular membrane. So, broccoli helps greatly in ensuring the improvement of type 2 diabetes.
It is also very important to mention that brocoli is an important source of strong antioxidants. Most onset of diabetes are due to the destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas. When you take broccoli juice constantly, you sure would experience an improvement in your health. However, it is necessary you consult your doctor, to ensure proper guidance.
Broccoli possess anticancer compounds
There has been an increase in the number of patients diagnosed with various forms of cancer diseases. Among these cancer cases, human breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancers are notable and wide spread. The sad reality however, is that most patients cannot afford either chemotherapy or the use of radiation to kill those malignant cells. It is for this reason that most local dwellers tend to fall back on herbal remedies. Some studies have supported this move, with some claiming that herbal remedies are more potent that orthodox medications.
The sulforaphane present in broccoli not only fights diabetes but is also regarded as a cancer green chemopreventive compound by some researchers, due to its biological activities against breast cancer, prostate and colon cancers, as exhibited in their studies. The fact that broccoli is easily affordable and more cost-effective than the traditional chemopreventive drugs, coupled with its numerous vitamins and other nutrients, which possess anticancer activities, set the plant aside as a go-to when cancer prevention and management is concerned.
Brocoli juice for skin care
Broccoli juice possess several skin care compounds. These antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotenoid, omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids the B vitamins which are present in broccoli juice are super important for maintaining the glow of your skin, keep it healthy and hydrated and prevent skin diseases such as skin rashes, eczema, and skin hardening.
Another compound present inn the vegetable plant is glucoraphanin. This compound is said to reverse the harmful effects of U V radiations on your skin. When expose to the sun and other radiations, the skin may become tanned, damaged and may blister. But a regular consumption of the broccoli juice will ensure these effects do not happen.
The fiber present in brocoli is essential for proper digestion of foods and assimilation of nutrients into the circulatory system. Without fiber, the food we eat will be difficult to digest. This usually leads to constipation and discomfort. Dietary fiber enhances the movements of the bowel, and thereby makes it easy for you to defecate. Aside fiber, magnesium which is present also in broccoli, also prevents acts as ant antacid and prevents heartburn.
Prevents gastric ulcer
Just like cabbage juice, broccoli juice is another excellent remedy for gastric or peptic ulcer. Both possess strong antimicrobial activities against bacterial and fungi. This may explain why both plants are strongly recommended, in traditional medicines, for the treatment of ulcers. In addition, the antacid effect of the magnesium present in broccoli is a plus to its anti-ulcer campaign.
If you are treating ulcer, you may take a glass of broccoli juice every morning before breakfast. This will help in killing the bacterial responsible for the ulcer and also prevents the harmful effect of excess acid in your body. By so doing, you wont experience the usual stomach burning sensation characteristic of peptic or gastric ulcer. You may also combine cabbage and broccoli in your juice recipe.
Aside the vitamins, broccoli juice also contains zinc, phosphorus, selenium and copper, which are immune boosters. Zinc is of the mineral element with varied immune regulatory roles. It also exhibit strong antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activities. Zinc also prevents autoimmune diseases from manifesting. With zinc and vitamin C, your body can enjoy maximum immunity against any diseases.
Prevents kidney diseases
Brocoli juice is a good home remedy for the prevention and treatment of kidney stone formation. This is attributed to the presence of vitamin B6 and magnesium in the plant. These nutrients may help dissolve and remove kidney stones from your body, as well as prevent the formation of one. To benefit from this health benefit, you would need to drink fresh broccoli juice on a regular basis.
Supports healthy bones
It is important that you serve broccoli juice to your aged parents on a regular. This is because whereas the herb does not only improve bone formation in babies, but also prevents the formation of osteoarthritis, neoplasia, and general arthritis in older people. The calcium, vitamin D, potassium and phosphorus, which are present in the herb are very important in bone formation and health.
Brocoli improves wound healing
Kale juice contains excess amount of vitamin B5. This vitamin plays important roles in wound healing and skin reactions to radiations. Broccoli also prevents the formation of gout due to the presence of vitamin C in an excess amount.
Broccoli as anti-aging therapy
Brocoli is not just rich in antioxidants, it also utilizes them to restore your skin health. A regular consumption of the juice will give your body that youthfulness you so much desire. If you so desire to slow your aging processes, you may also include spermidine supplements , and ashwagandha tea in your menu.
Can anyone eat or drink brocoli juice?
Brocoli is generally safe for consumption. However, there are certain restrictions for certain people. If you are allergic to brocoli juice, it is advisable you quit drinking the juice, forthwith, and consult your doctor. Generally, this article is for academic consumption and should not in anyway replace your doctor’s services.
Avoid broccoli if you are treating goiter
Broccoli contains goitrogens, which may cause the swelling of the thyroid gland. It is therefore very important that you avoid it, if by any chance you are treating any form of thyroid dysfunctions.
Brocoli may cause stomach upset
The vegetable herb contains excess fiber and may cause stomach upset when eaten too much. It also contains non-digestible sugars that when fermented by gut bacteria may cause uncomfortable symptoms when consumed by people with irritable syndrome or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
Y. Xu et al., “sulforaphane ameliorates glucose intolerance in obese mice via the upregulation of the insulin signaling pathway,” Food Funct., vol. 9, no. 9, pp. 4695–4701, 2018, doi:
Nandini, D. B., Rao, R. S., Deepak, B. S., & Reddy, P. B. (2020). Sulforaphane in broccoli: The green chemoprevention!! Role in cancer prevention and therapy. Journal of oral and maxillofacial pathology : JOMFP, 24(2), 405. https://doi.org/10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_126_19