BEST IDEA THIS MONTH:

YOUR PAR­ENTS WERE RIGHT ON THIS ONE – THE BROC­COLI YOU PUSHED TO THE SIDE OF YOUR PLATE AS A CHILD RE­ALLY IS GOOD FOR YOU.

LOSE IT! - - News - BY NICKY PERKS

Broc­coli

Broc­coli be­longs to the cru­cif­er­ous veg­etable fam­ily, along with cauliflower, Brus­sels sprouts, cab­bage and kale, and is full of nu­tri­ents that boost the im­mune sys­tem and help to heal the body. If your goal is op­ti­mal health, you would be sab­o­tag­ing your ef­forts if broc­coli didn’t fea­ture on your din­ner plate a few times a week.

The top 6 ben­e­fits of broc­coli:

1 CAN­CER PREVEN­TION The jury’s still out but there has been a lot of re­search into the role broc­coli can play in the preven­tion of var­i­ous forms of can­cer. There have been promis­ing stud­ies in rats and mice and mixed re­sults in hu­mans that war­rant fur­ther re­search.

One of the study ar­eas fo­cuses on the isoth­io­cyanates in broc­coli as, un­der cer­tain cir­cum­stances, phenethyl isoth­io­cyanate and sulphoraphane are able to in­hibit en­zymes that cause can­cer and tu­mours to de­velop.

Broc­coli also con­tains in­dole-3-carbinol, which has been get­ting a lot of re­search at­ten­tion for its po­ten­tial abil­ity to al­ter oe­stro­gen me­tab­o­lism, a fac­tor in fe­male-re­pro­duc­tive can­cers. Spe­cific stud­ies have found that it curbs the de­vel­op­ment of hu­man breast-can­cer cells and re­duces ab­nor­mal cells on the sur­face of the cervix.

Fur­ther­more, broc­coli con­tains a good amount of fo­late. In­ad­e­quate con­sump­tion of fo­late in­creases the risk of a va­ri­ety of can­cers, in­clud­ing breast, ovar­ian, cer­vi­cal, lung, brain and prostate.

2 BOOSTS THE IM­MUNE SYS­TEM Broc­coli is very high in vi­ta­min C, an es­sen­tial nu­tri­ent that has an­tiox­i­dant prop­er­ties and is very im­por­tant in the process of wound heal­ing. Its abil­ity to re­duce the length of a cold, as well as its sever­ity, is well known.

3 EN­COUR­AGES GOOD SKIN AND STRONG BONES Vi­ta­min C helps to fight dam­age to the skin that’s caused by the sun and pol­lu­tion and it plays a vi­tal role in the for­ma­tion of col­la­gen, the pro­tein that gives our skin strength and elas­tic­ity. Broc­coli also con­tains small amounts of vi­ta­min E, beta-carotene and zinc, which are all im­por­tant for healthy skin.

If you want to avoid os­teo­poro­sis as you get older, eat­ing broc­coli on a reg­u­lar ba­sis will en­sure a good sup­ply of vi­ta­min K, as well as some cal­cium. Both are very im­por­tant for bone health.

4 HAS NEUROPROTECTIVE PROP­ER­TIES Re­searchers in Italy have de­scribed sulphoraphane as ‘a promis­ing com­pound with neuroprotective prop­er­ties that may play an im­por­tant role in pre­vent­ing neu­rode­gen­er­a­tion’.

Sulphoraphane can ac­ti­vate a process that pro­tects against ox­ida­tive stress, which is a fac­tor in trau­matic brain in­jury, Alzheimer’s diesease and Parkin­son’s dis­ease.

5 FA­CIL­I­TATES WEIGHT LOSS Un­like some veg­eta­bles, broc­coli is low in carbs so it’s an ex­cel­lent choice if you are try­ing to lose weight. An­other bonus is that broc­coli’s high wa­ter con­tent fills you up, thereby pre­vent­ing overeat­ing, while its sol­u­ble fi­bre will keep you feel­ing fuller for longer.

6 PRO­MOTES GOOD VI­SION The nu­tri­ents lutein and zeax­an­thin, which are found in broc­coli and other leafy green veg­eta­bles, are im­por­tant for eye health. They pro­tect against the sun’s ul­tra­vi­o­let rays and var­i­ous stud­ies have shown that they help to slow mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion and can re­duce a per­son’s like­li­hood of de­vel­op­ing cataracts.

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