Health benefits of broccoli

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SHAFAQNA – Broccoli is a cool-season crop and demands fertile rich and well-drained soil to flourish. Technically, broccoli is categorized into two main types according to their appearance; heading and sprouting. Heading variety forms a large, solid head, whereas sprouting types forms many smaller heads or florets.

 Broccoli is one of the very low calorie vegetables; provides just 34 calories per 100 g. Nevertheless, it is rich in dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants that have proven health benefits. Total antioxidant strength measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of broccoli is 1632 µmol TE/100 g.

 Fresh Broccoli is a storehouse of many phyto-nutrients such as thiocyanates, indoles, sulforaphane, isothiocyanates and flavonoids like beta-carotene cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zea-xanthin. Studies have shown that these compounds by modifying positive signaling at molecular receptor levels help protect from prostate, colon, urinary bladder, pancreatic, and breast cancers.

 Fresh vegetable is exceptionally rich source of vitamin-C. Provides 89.2 mg or about 150% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and immune modulator, helps fight against flu causing viruses.

 Further, it contains very good amounts of another anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-A. 100 g fresh head provides 623 IU or 21 % of recommended daily levels. Together with other pro-vitamins like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and zea-xanthin, vitamin A helps maintain integrity of skin and mucus membranes. Vitamin A is essential for healthy eye-sight and helps prevent from macular degeneration of the retina in the elderly population.

 Broccoli leaves (green tops) are an excellent source of carotenoids and vitamin A; (provide 16000 IU of vitamin A per 100 g) contain these compounds, several times greater than that in their flower-heads.

 Fresh heads are an excellent source of folates; contain about 63 µg/100 g (Provides 16% of RDA). Studies have shown that consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits rich in folates during pre-conception, and pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects in the offspring.

 This flower vegetable is rich source of vitamin-K; and B-complex group of vitamins like niacin (vit B-3), pantothenic acid (vit.B-5), pyridoxine (vit.B-6), and riboflavin. The flower heads also have some amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

 Furthermore, it is also a good source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc and phosphorus.

 

Source: nutrition.com

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