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Why You Need To Add More Broccoli to Your Diet

When was the last time you had one or more servings of broccoli? Chances are you’re not getting enough of the super green, king-of-all vegetable.

Add broccoli to your menu tonight by using small steam florets for toppings on a pizza or in a Mediterranean pasta dish.

Broccoli is part of the cruciferous family, which includes other vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and cabbage. Vegetables from this family contain powerful and protective compounds that help prevent cancer called isothiocyanates. These isothiocyanates help the liver become a much more efficient organ to detoxify cancer causing compounds. 

One of the isothiocyanates, sulforaphane and a naturally occurring compound, helps protect people from respiratory diseases such as asthama. This compound, sulforaphane, blocks the effects of inhaled free radicals that are inhaled on a daily basis. By blocking the free radicals, sulforaphane can help prevent asthma attacks as well as providing an environment where cell mutation and cancer growth are a lowered risk. New research is also pointing to another substance in broccoli, released when chewing on it, that may help destroy the cells that allow breast cancer to grow and divide.

Research has shown that adding broccoli to your diet two or more times per week will provide vitamins and minerals that can help protect your eyes from cataracts due in part to its high antioxidant levels of lutein and zeaxanthin. 

In addition to that, broccoli also carries considerable levels of chromiuim, roughly 30 mcg per 1 ½ cup serving size. The mineral chromium is responsible for metabolizing nutrients, carbohydrates, fats and proteins and thus indirectly in control of glucose levels. Additional research has shown that chromium potentially helps the body increase lean muscle by reducing one’s body fat percentage.

Broccoli is also high in fiber – both the soluble and insoluble kind – that helps with digestion health.  It also boasts 62mg of calcium per serving which is excellent for bone health and the ability to maintain bone density. Other vitamins and minerals that are present in broccoli include vitamin A, B, C, E and K, niacin, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.

Add broccoli to your menu tonight by using small steam florets for toppings on a pizza or in a Mediterranean pasta dish. Or, you can enjoy them raw, in a tray or as a crunchy side dish.



1 Comment

anonymous by Bruce on 9/9/2010
Thanks for the great information.

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