While we know we need to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, there are some that provide different nutrients that benefit us in different ways–broccoli is a prime example of a vegetable that offers up a lot of healthy benefits.
Did you know that broccoli is a good source of vitamin E, which plays an important role in your cardiovascular health? In addition, this vitamin also serves as an antioxidant, which protects cell membranes and other fat- soluble parts of the body from oxidative damage. Plus, as if that weren’t enough, it also helps to relieve anemia, burns on the skin, epilepsy, immune deficiencies, and rheumatoid arthritis, among other ailments.
This vegetable is also high in Vitamin C, which has plenty of health benefits, all of which are widely known and accepted. These benefits include the ability to protect the heart from damage caused by LDL cholesterol, hunt free radicals, heal wounds, repel histamines, strengthen muscles and blood vessels, creates liver bile, detoxify alcohol, aid in lowering blood pressure, prevent cataracts, combat diabetes, fight respiratory infections, among many other beneficial properties.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, have anti-aging and disease-fighting ingredients that many of us do not get enough of. In addition, broccoli and other high-fiber, complex-carbohydrate foods are known to lower the risk for diabetes, arthritis, cancer, hypertension, and a host of other major conditions.
Broccoli is also high in vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, dietary fiber, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
In addition to all of these excellent health benefits that broccoli possesses, a new study suggests that there might be yet another benefit to eating it–protecting your bladder. Previously, research had shown that by eating two or more servings of broccoli a week, men had less than a 45% reduced risk of developing bladder cancer as compared to those who ate less than a serving per week.
However, new research has shown that it actually has one ingredient that is beneficial, which is created when broccoli is cut, eaten, and digested.
Broccoli–and other cruciferous vegetables–contain chemicals called glucosinolates, which, when cut and chewed, and subsequently digested, turn into a compound called isothiocyanate.
During research, it was found that glucosinolates had absolutely no effect on reducing the growth of cancer cells in the bladder, whereas isothiocyanates were able to halt even the most powerful cells.
Researchers noted that there are quite a few other compounds that might have anti-cancerous properties and how they work together, however, this particular study focused solely on isothiocyanates. While this study is only preliminary research, it reiterates the point–eat your veggies!