The properties of broccoli they are currently the order of the day. Many consider it a superfood due to its high concentration of vitamins, minerals and, above all, for its active ingredients.
However, not everyone likes its taste or texture, so it lives halfway between the love and hate of many people’s gastronomy.
For those fans of this vegetable, we are going to tell you the main benefits of its consumption and all the studies that have shown the magnificent properties of broccoli to improve our health.
Its consumption, along with other family options Brasicaceae (brassic), gives us multiple benefits and it is essential to introduce them regularly in our diet.
Nutritional composition and active ingredients
As we usually do, we will break down the nutritional composition of the properties of broccoli in terms of its energy, minerals, vitamins and bioactive principles.
You are going to get many surprises.
If a medium piece of broccoli weighs approximately 500 grams, a standard serving is usually between 200 and 250 grams. Therefore, it is perfect to share with your partner.
Nutrients per 100 grams
|Composition||Quantity||% Recommended Daily|
Due to its low amount of fat, carbohydrates and energy, it is indicated for high-fiber diets. As it has a large amount of water, its satiating power is high. It can be combined with other vegetables that provide more energy or even protein-rich foods.
Minerals per 100 grams
- Calcium: 56 mg (5.6% RDA)
- Iron: 1.7 mg (12.14% RDA)
- Magnesium: 22 mg (9.16% RDA)
- Zinc: 0.6 mg (4.0% RDA)
- Sodium: 8 mg
- Potassium: 370 mg (10.6% RDA)
- Phosphorus: 87 mg (10% RDA)
These values must be extrapolated by the amount consumed. As we have mentioned, half of a broccoli is approximately 250 grams, so you would have to multiply these values by 2.5.
Read more: foods with more magnesium.
Vitamins per 100 grams
- Thiamine: 0.1 mg (10% RDA)
- Riboflavin: 0.06 mg (3.75% RDA)
- Niacin: 1.7 mg (10% RDA)
- Vitamin B6: 0.14 mg (8.2% RDA)
- Folate: 90 μg (22.5% RDA)
- Vitamin C: 87 mg (145% RDA)
- Vitamin A: 69 μg (7.7% RDA)
- Vitamin E: 1.3 mg (10.9% RDA)
The nutritional relationship of vitamins is very interesting and stands out, mainly, for its vitamin C content. Only 100 grams far exceed the recommended daily needs, so it is a food that even exceeds citrus fruits in concentration of this vitamin.
However, you have to be careful with cooking to preserve to the maximum all these vitamins that suffer and break down with heat. Of all the cooking methods, the Steam has been shown to preserve them the most.
Different cooking methods, such as boiling, microwaved, frying and steaming, alter the nutrient composition of the vegetable, especially by reducing vitamin C, as well as soluble protein and sugar. Steaming appears to have the fewest negative effects [Study]
The potential of sulforaphane
However, what may interest us most are the active compounds present in the properties of broccoli and other brassicas, such as the case of sulforaphane.
This sulfur-related compound gives us countless positive health effects, specifically in the cardiovascular system and digestive.
Is highly antioxidant and protects us from the famous reactions it releasesn free radicals (active substances that are highly oxidizing).
These antioxidants reduce oxidative stress linked to many diseases, such as cancer and even autism. There are several studies that highlight the properties of broccoli based on sulforaphane and the positive effects on children who developed this disease.
As with the problem of vitamins, this substance also depends on the way broccoli is cooked, since it loses up to 85% of its potential when it is cooked. Therefore, more and more there is a line that encourages the consumption of raw or cooked broccoli at low temperatures.
If we are afraid of losing the full potential of this substance when cooking food, we can also use supplements containing the pure extract, and that it can be used for various ailments, as we will comment from here on in this article.
Scientifically proven properties of broccoli
We give way to comment on all the properties offered by broccoli, closely related to its antioxidant potential and, with it, to be able to prevent or reduce the effect of a multitude of ailments so present today, such as diabetes, cancer, autism, chronic inflammation, etc.
Contains powerful antioxidants that offer health-protecting effects
The first thing we have to comment on the properties of broccoli is its incredible antioxidant potential when well cooked.
There are many effects associated with its consumption, specifically for its ability to inhibit the action of oxidizing substances such as free radicals. [Study]
And not only is all this potential attributed to sulforaphane, but to others linked to this substance, such as glucoraphanin, precursor of this.
Likewise, this vegetable also includes other antioxidant compounds such as zeazantine and the lutein, which reduces short-term cell damage and benefits eye health. [Study]
Bioactive compounds may help reduce inflammation
The high presence of antioxidant substances is related to a decrease in symptoms of inflammation in tissues, muscles, joints and organs.
Another antioxidant substance that we have not mentioned so far, the kaempferol, acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory in various clinical trials conducted in animals, with certain advances in human health. [Study]
Several studies have shown that the properties present in broccoli manage to reduce markers of inflammation associated with serious diseases. [Study]
May protect against certain types of cancer
From here, clinical trials begin that try to relate the properties of these antioxidant compounds present in broccoli and their interaction with the formation of malignant tumors.
The first trials have focused on evaluating the ability to reduce cell damage of chronic diseases and cellular protection, with very promising results.
This opens a wide range of action against the development of different types of cancer, such as prostate, gastric, renal or breast.
Likewise, more conclusive data are needed to establish the potential of the bioactive compounds of this vegetable.
Antioxidants and fiber can help control blood sugar
The balance of the level in the blood and the problem of diabetes has been investigated for many years, since it is becoming one of the main diseases of the XXI century.
The antioxidants present in broccoli can offer a stimulus to promote an adequate level of blood sugar, as has been shown in some scientific studies.
The exact functioning of the active substances and the regulation of diabetes is unknown, but it works. Other trials have yielded advantageous results on insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes, consuming broccoli daily for a period of 30 days.
Can support heart health in a variety of ways
The cardiovascular health is significantly reLacquered with the amount of saturated fats, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol that we introduce into our body.
Therefore, foods high in fiber and low in this type of fat, protect the heart and the entire cardiovascular system.
For people who have high cholesterol, the properties of broccoli can encourage a noticeable reduction in triglycerides and LDL cholesterol versus HDL, which increases. This occurred with the consumption of broccoli extract.
The antioxidants present also have action on cardiovascular health, acting as a protector against possible heart attacks, as has been shown in scientific trials.
The origin of this benefit comes in the protective effect against cell death caused by oxidative stress, which appears in the heart tissue once the infarction has been suffered.
Promotes healthy digestion and reduced constipation
Broccoli and, in general, the consumption of all kinds of fruits and vegetables, promotes better digestive health.
This is related to the increase in fiber in our body, where 8 out of 10 people in the Western world do not consume the fiber that the WHO recommends.
Encouraging the presence of healthy bacteria in our stomach and intestines is key to the proper functioning of the digestive system, and in this, broccoli has a lot to say.
Scientific trials have obtained a reduction in inflammation levels and an increase in the number of favorable bacteria when we introduce broccoli assiduously into our diet.
May slow mental decline and support healthy brain function
Important studies conducted at prestigious universities have concluded that the healthy properties of broccoli can benefit mental and nervous tissue health.
This helps slow mental decline and improve brain activity.
The consumption of green vegetables, thanks to the presence of antioxidant substances and polyphenols, encourage the delay of mental deterioration and premature aging.
The substance responsible for this beneficial effect is the kaempferol and the sulforaphane. Therefore, we repeat the importance of consuming vegetables with the least possible cooking so as not to deteriorate their potential.
May help slow the aging process
Therefore, a reduced cognitive decline of which we have spoken in the previous point, it contributes to delay the processes related to aging and increases our quality of life.
Sulforaphane may slow down aging-related biochemical activity, increasing the functionality of known antioxidant genes present in the body.
However, the study of the aging process is very complex and more in-depth studies are needed to support the antioxidative response of the properties of broccoli.
Promotes the protection of the immune system
Talk about foods rich in vitamin C is to relate them to the activation of the immune system. It is the basis for preventing respiratory and viral diseases. This vitamin is very connected with orange, due to its high concentration, but there are foods, such as broccoli, that have a very high concentration.
The necessary daily intake of vitamin C is intimately related to the prevention of diseases that cause infection.
Only the consumption of 200 grams of broccoli (just under half a piece), far exceeds the recommended daily needs, so it is a food to take into account.
May promote healthy bones and joints
Bone health and proper muscle and joint function is related to the amount of minerals we take in our diet.
In addition, the sulforaphane has been mentioned in several scientific investigations for its role as a preventive against osteoarthritis.
Although more information is needed, it is an initial key piece to improve the strength of our bones and joints.
Nutrient content can help a healthy pregnancy
The folate is an essential nutrient related to pregnancy, so in dThis period it is advisable to increase the intake of foods that provide us with this element.
It is known as vitamin B9, and promotes the formation of the brain and spinal cord in the developing fetus.
Broccoli provides, per 100 grams, 22.5% of the recommended daily amounts. Therefore, half a piece of medium broccoli, the equivalent of one serving, gives us 50% of the daily needs.
Something to keep in mind at the stage of pregnancy.
Can protect your skin from sun damage
When we are exposed to the Sun’s ionizing rays and ultraviolet, we increase oxidative stress and the presence of free radicals. This can lead to the well-known skin cancer.
The habitual intake of foods rich in antioxidants favors the prevention of this type of diseases, reducing damage to exposure by ultraviolet rays.
The main element within the properties of broccoli is the antioxidant sulforaphane.