A floret a day keeps the doctor away

Broccoli, along with cauliflower and cabbage, belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. Broccoli is a source of phytochemicals, anti-oxidant vitamins and dietary minerals.

Published: 21st June 2018 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2018 10:13 PM   |  A+A-

Broccoli, along with cauliflower and cabbage, belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. Broccoli is a source of phytochemicals, anti-oxidant vitamins and dietary minerals. Broccoli helps regulate enzymes, controls apoptosis and cell cycle, as well as acts as an anti-oxidant.

The specific components in broccoli are organosulfur chemicals such as glucosinolates and s-methyl, cysteine sulphoxide, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, zinc and selenium polyphenols, kaempferol, quercetin glucosides and isorhamnetin, which are responsible for the various health benefits of broccoli, as mentioned below.

Glucosinolates: Glucosinolates are responsible for the aroma and flavor of the vegetable and show anti-cancerous effects. They protect the cells from DNA damage and inactivate carcinogens, as well as provide anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects. They also help eliminate toxins and regulate inflammation, metabolic functions and stress.

Polyphenols: Polyphenols treat digestion issues, weight management problems, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Polyphenols also give colour to the vegetable and help the beneficial micro-organisms found in our digestive system.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E defends the body against free-radical damage. It keeps the skin and scalp healthy by protecting the cell membranes and building red blood cells. It also maintains healthy levels of glutathione, which has important anti-aging effect.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C promotes the production of collagen and elastin which are the structural components of the skin. This helps keep the skin toned and firm. It acts as a major anti-oxidant defender. With a healthy metabolism, it helps regenerate vitamin E in the body.

Vitamin K: Vitamin K is important for the healthy clotting of our cells. It strengthens the blood vessels to reduce dark circles and prevents varicose veins. Along with calcium, vitamin K helps maintain healthy bones, teeth and nails.

Iron: Iron helps in the production of red blood cells which are important for the transportation of oxygen in the blood and for overall energy. It also strengthens nails and gives strong and shiny hair.
Zinc: Zinc is important for collagen formation and tissue health. It regulates oil production, fights inflammation and reduces redness.

Selenium: Selenium helps the skin maintain elasticity and protects it from free-radical damage. All these factors together contribute to the major health benefits of broccoli. Try to include the vegetable in your salads and pastas or as a side dish with your main course.

Divya Purushotham


The writer is founder and chief nutritionist at Sano Holistic Nutrition Clinic


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