Broccoli Nutrition & How It Can Transform Your Health
Your mom was right about eating your broccoli. If you don’t already eat broccoli regularly (yet), know that this is one vegetable that can totally transform your health.
Broccoli is a wonderful source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber. It’s also loaded with potassium, selenium, folate, and vitamin A. Even better, broccoli is a great source of antioxidants, which are key for slowing the aging process. On top of all that, broccoli contains compounds that can help reduce inflammation and its has fiber helps with digestion.
Now for the even more astonishing stuff…
Broccoli & Hormone Balance
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain a phytochemical called indole-3-carbinol (I3C) which helps to maintain a healthy ratio of good and bad estrogen. Remember, estrogen encompasses a group of hormones and their metabolites – metabolites being the substances that are either required for estrogen metabolism or are created from estrogen metabolism. In order for the female reproductive system to be healthy, these must function in a proper ratio, because this metabolism can result in good estrogen or the more dominant types of estrogen that can be bad for your health if they circulate in excess. For example, many types of breast cancer tumors depend on the dominant estrogen in order to grow.
So, back to broccoli… When I3C is digested, it creates another compound called diindolylmethane (DIM). DIM helps to balance hormones, specifically estrogen and testosterone. So, together I3C and DIM create hormonal balance by increasing the activity of enzymes that convert the dominant bad estrogen to the good kind.
I3C and DIM also metabolize xenoestrogens, which are harmful chemicals that mimic estrogen. Xenoestrogens often come from manmade materials, such as plastics or other synthetic compounds, although they also come from certain plants.
All that from broccoli!
But Wait, There’s More!
Broccoli isn’t done yet. It contains another vital chemical, sulforaphane. Studies have shown that sulforaphane slows aging and fights cancer. It assists in detoxification by initiating an enzyme in the liver, allowing toxins to be efficiently removed by your body.
Always Choose Organic Broccoli
Organic broccoli is an absolute must. The USDA testing program found that 70% of domestic, conventional broccoli samples – meaning non-organic and grown in the USA – contain the pesticide Imidacloprid. This chemical concoction is commonly used on broccoli because of its neurotoxic effect on insects, and so you don’t want to be eating that compound. Sadly, bees suffer from that neurotoxic effect.
Well, there you have it. The health benefits of broccoli in a nutshell. I’ll bet you didn’t realize there were so many and how potent broccoli really is as a superfood. So make your mom proud by including organic broccoli as a regular part of your plate.
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