If cancer fighting vegetables were superheros, I’d consider broccoli Superman. Of all the amazing green vegetables, broccoli may be my favorite. These nutrient-attractive members of the cabbage family are packed with more long term benefits than your 401K plan. Ok, no more word play, let’s get serious and discuss why I love broccoli so much! Here’s the list of vitamins, minerals, and cancer fighting chemicals packed into broccoli:
- Beta-Carotene – A known immune booster, antioxidant, and cancer fighter that also reduces risk of heart disease.
- Vitmain C – Another immune boosting antioxidant that promotes wound healing, and develops connective tissue strength and collagen growth. Vitamin C helps high cholesterol, allergies, asthma, cataracts and diabetes.
- Calcium – Strengthens bones, protects cardiac muscles, prevents colon cancer obesity, and kidney stones. Calcium also improves blood pressure and contributes to a healthy alkaline pH level.
- Folate – Helps produce and maintain new cells. Also prevents DNA changes that may lead to cancer. Maintains normal red blood cells and prevents anemia.
- Potassium – Acts as an electrolyte, required for keeping heart, brain, kidney, muscle tissues and other important organs of human body in good condition.
- Sulphoraphane – Reduces DNA mutation, slows down the increase of neoplastic cells, increases apoptosis in cancer cells, helps prevent benign tumors becoming malignant, prevents metastasis- the spread of cancer, reduces the growth of blood vessels which supply tumors with food and oxygen, boosts the immune system.
- Indoles – Phytonutrient that boosts production of enzymes which inhibit malignant tissue formation, block DNA mutating carcinogens, neutralize effects of ‘evil’ estrogen, and prevent free radical damage. Indole-3 contains some great weight loss abilities.
- Loads of Fiber – Besides reducing the glycemic effect of meals and contributing to colon health, fiber seems to help lower cholesterol. Fiber may also prevent ulcers, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
- Carotenoid – Immune boosting antioxidant that may guard against certain cancers and heart disease, as well as promote clear vision.
Broccoli also contains the ability to help you shed weight very quickly from the indole-3-carbinol. I3C provides powerful antioxidant protection, maintains healthy hormonal balance, and supports the liver’s detoxification process as well as normal cellular reproduction. From what you have learned from our previous posts, you know that hormonal balance and liver detoxification are very helpful in burning fat and maintaining weight loss.
All leafy green vegetables are absolutely amazing for you, and should be eaten as often as possible. The real debate on green leafy and cruciferous vegetables is whether or not cooking them destroys their nutrients and health benefits. Julian Bakery blog nation, the answer isn’t so black and white. Comparing the health differences of raw and cooked food is complicated, and there are still many mysteries surrounding how plant molecules interact with the human body.
It turns out that cooked broccoli is the Superman version of this superfood, while raw broccoli is its Clark Kent alter ego. It seems that while cooking vegetables destroys vitamin C and reduces sulforaphane levels, it actually increases the amount of lycopene, beta-carotene, and indoles. A report in the January 2008 Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry concluded that boiling and steaming vegetables preserves antioxidants, particularly carotenoid in carrots, zucchini and broccoli. Furthermore, an organic compound called indole is formed when cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, are cooked. According to research in The Journal of Nutrition in 2001, indole helps kill precancerous cells before they turn malignant.
Once again, nutrition has proven that balancing our intake is ideal. By eating both raw and cooked broccoli, you will receive all of the great nutrients that broccoli has to offer. Most importantly, you should eat broccoli no matter how it’s prepared. If you enjoy it more cooked than raw, then cook your broccoli so you’re more likely to eat it. If you can manage to eat a mixed variety of cooked and raw broccoli throughout the week, your chances of getting cancer drastically decrease.
For those of you who are juicers, broccoli juice is one of the best vegetables to juice from a nutritional and health point of view. Pick fresh florets that are purple in color, and try to avoid having more than a quarter of your juice consisting of broccoli juice. Before juicing, broccoli should be blanched in boiling salted water to remove possible germs and bugs.
On the other hand, if you don’t like eating green vegetables for whatever reason, hope is not lost. Quantum Nutrition is here to save the day yet again! The Premier Greens Mix will allow you to get the benefits of eating your healthy greens, without actually having to eat any healthy greens.