Broccoli Helps You Fight the Effects of Pollution
Our old friend (or casual acquaintance) broccoli is back in the limelight. Its detoxifying properties can offer your body some relief from the ravages of urban pollution.
Broccoli is one of the best-selling vegetables in the United States. Few vegetables actually have the ability to aid in detoxifying your body, but broccoli is one of them. More about that below.
Don’t like broccoli? Try serving it a different way! When roasted in the oven with garlic and a bit of heart-healthy olive oil, the florets develop a sweet, nutty flavor. Add a serving to your favorite fruit smoothie, or drink a cup of broccoli sprout tea. You can enjoy it on-the-go with hummus or your favorite low-fat dip. Even broccoli and cheese, the old cafeteria standby, has a place in a healthy diet as long as you enjoy in moderation—and use more broccoli than cheese!
Some of the Many Benefits
- • Reducing Allergy Reaction and Inflammation. Broccoli is a particularly rich source of kaempferol and isothiocyanates (ITCs), both anti-inflammatory phyto nutrients. Research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. Broccoli even has significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are well known as an anti-inflammatory. It’s also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that also act as anti-inflammatories. Studies have also shown that kaempferol can lessen the impact of allergens on the body. The Vitamin A within broccoli helps your retinas to absorb light and thus maintain proper vision.
- • Powerful Antioxidant. Broccoli stands out as a concentrated source of vitamin C, plus the flavonoids necessary for vitamin C to recycle effectively. Also concentrated in broccoli are the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, other powerful antioxidants.
- • Bone Health. Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.
- • Heart Health. The anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane, one of the ITCs in broccoli, may be able to prevent, or even reverse, some of the damage to blood vessel linings that can be caused by inflammation due to chronic blood sugar problems.
- • Keep a Healthy Weight. Broccoli is a smart carb and is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Furthermore, a cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.
- • Lower Your Cholesterol. Like many whole foods, broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body. Broccoli may also help to lower blood cholesterol. At the U.S.D.A's research center in Philadelphia, researchers discovered broccoli contains a certain fiber called calcium pectate that binds to bile acids, holding more cholesterol in the liver and releasing less into the bloodstream. They found broccoli equally as effective as some cholesterol lowering drugs.
Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin, which are special phytonutrients that support all steps in the body’s detox process, including neutralization and elimination of unwanted contaminants. Broccoli also helps control the detox process at a genetic level.
Sulforaphane, mentioned earlier, may also increase the ability of cells to adapt to and survive a wide range of environmental toxins. In a recent study, participants exhibited a 61% increased rate of excretion of the carcinogen benzene right from day one of the study, and this continued during the following 12 weeks.
Moreover, the rate of removing the irritant acrolein increased by 23%, compared with the placebo group who didn’t have broccoli.
Because of its potent nutritional benefits that include beta carotene, vitamin C, calcium, fiber, and phytochemicals, broccoli may help in boosting certain enzymes that help to detoxify your body. These enzymes help to prevent diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.
Some of these chemicals are found in common household products such as toothpaste, soap and plastic toys have a direct impact on human sperm which could help explain rising levels of male infertility.
One in three "non-toxic” chemicals used to make everyday items significantly affected the potency of sperm cells, which may account for the high incidence of unexplained infertility in the human population, research has shown.
Because of broccoli’s many detoxifying properties, it can help keep your prostate in good working order. Prostate problems affect most of men as they age.
Early symptoms of prostate problems may take many years to become bigger problems. In most cases, these symptoms may point to an enlarged prostate, but they may also be a sign that other, more serious conditions that require prompt attention. If you are experiencing these early symptoms, it is a good time to see your doctor.
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