Whatever diet you follow, with the exception of the carnivore diet, you’ve got to eat your veggies. Vegetables are nutritional superfoods. They’re low in calories, contain fiber, and are your primary source of vitamins, minerals, and other plant-based compounds. A diet that includes plenty of vegetables is probably a healthy diet!
Vegetables come in all shapes, sizes, textures, and tastes, from starchy potatoes to brightly colored carrots to sweet-tasting peas, and almost every one of them is good for you. One of the healthiest vegetables is broccoli.
Looking not unlike small trees, you can boil or bake broccoli, and young broccoli florets can also be eaten raw. In this article, we reveal some interesting broccoli nutrition facts and discuss how this special vegetable could help you lose weight.
Broccoli Nutrition Facts
Despite being a nutritional powerhouse, broccoli is very low in calories, some protein. That’s because 90% of its weight is water, and it’s also high in calorie-free fiber. The nutrition facts for one cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli are:
- Calories: 31
- Protein: 2.5 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Sugar: 1.5 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
Broccoli is very nutritious and is an excellent source of the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K1
- Vitamin B9
In addition to these better-known vitamins and minerals, broccoli also contains a host of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds, including sulforaphane, carotenoids, and quercetin. Antioxidants help fight off free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage your DNA, cause cancer, and are responsible for aspects of the aging process.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Broccoli?
Like all vegetables, broccoli is good for your health. The benefits of eating broccoli include:
Reduced inflammation – inflammation is a leading cause of disease. Inflamed tissues swell and redden, causing pain. The antioxidants in broccoli may help reduce inflammation, leading to fewer chronic diseases.
Protection from cancer – broccoli contains numerous cancer-fighting compounds, including vitamins and antioxidants. It’s especially useful for the prevention of colon and bowel cancer.
Lower blood glucose – high fiber foods like broccoli help delay gastric emptying, which is the time it takes for a given food to digest and leave your stomach. The slower this process is, the lower and more stable your blood glucose levels are likely to be. High blood glucose can contribute to diabetes and weight gain.
Improved heart health – the fiber in broccoli can help soak up excess dietary cholesterol, leading to improved heart health. In addition, broccoli is very low in fat, and a low-fat diet may also contribute to better heart health and a lower risk of coronary heart disease.
Better digestive health – fiber gives bulk to your digestive waste, making it easier to eliminate. This means less stressing and straining to pass stools. The fiber in broccoli can also increase good intestinal bacteria because digesting it forms prebiotics.
Healthy brain function – the antioxidants in broccoli are good for your brain. Eating broccoli may reduce your risk of strokes and age-related mental decline. Its anti-inflammatory effect is also very good for brain function.
Better oral and dental health – broccoli is high in vitamin C and calcium, which are two nutrients linked to reduced periodontal disease. The antioxidant sulforaphane is also linked to a reduced risk of oral cancers.
Healthier bones and joints – broccoli contains vitamin K and calcium, both of which are linked to better bone health. In addition, the anti-inflammatories in broccoli can help reduce joint pain.
Protection from sun damage – some studies suggest that broccoli may protect your skin from sun damage, including tumors and skin cancer. That’s good news as skin cancer is on the rise due to a degraded ozone layer and an increase in ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Healthier pregnancy – broccoli contains a wide range of healthful nutrients, including vitamin B9 (folate), which is especially important during pregnancy. Folate plays a critical role in the formation of the fetal brain and spinal cord.
Hormonal balance – cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are good for mopping up excess estrogen. Elevated levels of estrogen can cause weight gain in men and women. High estrogen can also increase the risk of certain cancers, especially breast cancer.
Does Broccoli Burn Fat?
No food burns fat. That’s a dietary myth. However, broccoli can help you lose weight because it’s very low in calories.
That means, if you replace high-energy foods like French fries with broccoli, you’ll ingest fewer calories, which will force your body to burn more fat for fuel. Broccoli is also very filling and can help regulate your blood glucose, both of which will contribute to faster fat loss.
Broccoli is a very nutritious vegetable that offers a wide range of health benefits. Eating broccoli can help reduce inflammation, lower blood glucose, boost immunity, and improve heart health.
Broccoli is also a proven cancer-fighter, and it could also help you lose weight. However, it’s important to remember that you need to eat more than just broccoli to make your diet healthy; you also need an abundance of different foods to ensure all your nutritional bases are covered.
Broccoli is an undeniable superfood, but even this mighty vegetable is not a cure-all. Also, it’s important to understand that while eating broccoli could make your diet healthier, if the rest of your diet is mainly processed, any benefits will be minimal.
After all, you are what you eat, and if that’s more junk than healthy food, even regular servings of broccoli won’t help much. Eat broccoli as part of a balanced, healthy diet.