04 Sep 2021: #HealthBytes: From strong bones to healthy heart, benefits of broccoli
Agreed that broccoli isn't our go-to vegetable owing to its flavorless crunch and bland taste, but the nutrient-rich profile of this cruciferous veggie makes it impossible to omit it from the diet. If you are unsure about eating a broccoli salad, here's a quick brief to convince you that it is indeed a savior, which you should eat more of.
Bone health: Contains several nutrients that are crucial for bone health
Broccoli contains several nutrients that support healthy bones and prevent bone-related disorders. It is a rich source of Vitamin K and calcium, both of which help in strengthening bones. Further, broccoli also has phosphorus and other vitamins that are necessary for healthy bones. To top it all, a recent study has found that the sulforaphane present in it may help in preventing osteoarthritis.
Skin health: Has several bio-active compounds that protect skin from UV rays
Increased exposure to UV radiations is one of the leading causes of skin cancer and skin damage. Broccoli may help reduce this risk as studies suggest that it exhibits a protective effect due to the presence of bioactive compounds. Laboratory studies conducted on mice with UV radiation-induced skin cancer also support the fact that broccoli helps in significantly reducing the tumor size.
Blood sugar: Its rich antioxidant and dietary fiber helps regulate blood sugar
Studies attribute the rich antioxidant and dietary fiber content in broccoli for regulating the blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. One such study observed that participants with Type-2 diabetes, who consumed broccoli sprouts daily for one month, showed a decrease in insulin resistance. A laboratory study also showed reduced pancreatic cell damage along with improved blood sugar levels.
Heart: Has a significant impact on heart health
Several studies conclude that broccoli has a positive impact on heart health. Firstly, regular intake of broccoli is known to significantly reduce the markers of total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels. The antioxidants present in broccoli are also found to improve overall heart health. In addition, a laboratory study proves that it can prevent heart tissue damage post-cardiac arrest.
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