Broccoli is rich in vitamins and minerals. You may incorporate it in any weight loss diet as the calories in broccoli are negligible. Scroll down to know the healthy way of eating this vegetable.
Broccoli resembles cauliflower but it is green in color. It is the plural of the Italian word broccolo, meaning, ‘the flowering top of the cabbage’. It belongs to the cabbage family, Brassicaceae. The green large flower heads, the thick edible stalk and sprouting branches of broccoli look like a tree. This vegetable has been in use in Europe, since 2000 years. It has always been a main food component of the Italian food.
Broccoli can be eaten raw, steamed, stir-fried, microwaved, etc. Boiling is particularly not recommended as it can reduce the levels of anticancer compounds in it. Let us first take a look at calories and nutrients in the vegetable and how they help maintain our health.
|Raw||1 Cup Chopped (90 gm)||30|
|Cooked, Drained (without salt)||1 Large Stalk (11”-12” Long, 280 gm)||100|
|Raw||1 Cup Flowerets (70 gm)||20|
|Frozen, Chopped, Cooked, Drained, (without salt)||1 Cup (90 gm)||25|
|Stalk||1 (115 gm)||32|
|Canned Cream of Broccoli Soup||1 Cup (245 gm)||90|
A single serving of raw broccoli provides more than 30 mg of vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of Vitamin C.
Nutritional Value of Broccoli
- High in vitamin C, K, A, B6.
- Rich in dietary fiber.
- Contains nutrients like diindolylmethane and selenium, which have anticancer properties.
- The diindolylmethane has antiviral and antibacterial properties too.
- Glucoraphanin present in this vegetable can be processed into anticancer compound sulforaphane.
- It is rich in potassium and manganese.
- It is high in thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
Broccoli Health Benefits
As broccoli has several vital nutrients, it has several health benefits.
- The antioxidants present in it help neutralize the harmful free radicals. It can help fight cancer and cancer causing agents. The indoles from this vegetable prevent hormone level related cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.
- Weight reduction, anti-aging (due to high content of antioxidants), cholesterol reduction, control or prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, stomach, colon and lung cancer and diabetes are some of the other health benefits of broccoli.
- It helps prevent heart diseases.
- Vitamin C helps strengthen the immune system.
- It enhances iron absorption.
- Calcium from the vegetable ensures healthy teeth and bones.
- Potassium helps in body metabolism, water balance, electrolyte functions and heart and kidney health.
- Chromium helps regulate the level of blood sugar and insulin. It is especially beneficial for diabetics.
- High fiber from broccoli prevents constipation.
- It helps lower the symptoms of arthritis.
- The carotenoids found in this vegetable help maintain the health of the eyes and can prevent diseases like cataract.
- As it contains enough folic acid, it can help lower the risk of birth defects in children.
- It helps prevent several common ailments like common cold.
Remember, over cooking of broccoli can destroy the nutritional elements present in it.
I hope the above article has provided sufficient information on health benefits of broccoli. Now, you really don’t have to worry about the calories in it. Next time you buy vegetables, I am sure, you will pick up broccoli first.