Broccoli Health Benefits
With that powerful nutritional profile, broccoli provides a wide range of health benefits to those who partake.
One of the ways broccoli appears to strengthen so many different bodily systems is through its antioxidant effects on cellular health. There are high concentrations of antioxidants in the florets, but also in broccoli leaves and stems, so don’t throw those out when you chop your broccoli for a stir-fry or side. And while raw broccoli provides the biggest hit of glucosinolate, steamed broccoli appears to deliver more bioavailable antioxidants.
Does Broccoli Help You Lose Weight?
Possibly. For those looking to shed weight and keep it off, the high water and fiber content of broccoli can help promote satiety and reduce overeating. (Besides, when was the last time you heard of someone diving into a tub of broccoli after a breakup?)
But broccoli also promotes healthy weight in more subtle ways. Obese mice who were given broccoli microgreens juice lost a significant amount of body fat compared to controls — an outcome possibly caused by positive changes in the makeup of their gut microbiota. (Our view on the use of animals in medical research is here.)
Broccoli and Blood Sugar
A 2013 literature review found that consuming broccoli sprouts improved around a dozen different metabolic and oxidative stress markers in people with type 2 diabetes. A 2012 clinical trial out of Iran showed that broccoli sprout powder decreased insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics, which is thought to be one of the root causes of the disorder. Glucoraphanin appears to be one of the heroes here, reducing obesity-caused inflammation and accelerating the burning of white adipose tissue (that’s fat to you and me).
If you don’t have access to broccoli sprouts (they’re actually quite easy to grow on a windowsill in your kitchen — see our sulforaphane article for step-by-step instructions), don’t despair. Regular old broccoli is still a blood sugar-balancing superstar, possibly thanks to its fiber that may help regulate blood sugar levels and speed food through the digestive system.
(Excerpt taken from The Food Revolution Network)