New Delhi: Broccoli’s reputation as a superfood continues to ring with more and more research studies supporting the health claims related to this verdant vegetable. Low in calories, these mini trees are a powerhouse of nutrients you need for maintaining a healthy life. The cruciferous vegetable is reputed to help with weight loss, cardiovascular system, digestion, inflammatory problems among many other. Antioxidant-rich broccoli is also famous for its ability to prevent certain types of cancer. So, if you’re watching your weight and trying to eat healthier, broccoli should be at the very top of your menu list. In fact, a recent study suggests that having dietary fiber like broccoli, peas, raspberries, blackberries, coconut, and figs daily can help prevent obesity.
The study, published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe and carried out by the Georgia State University researchers, indicates that adding dietary fiber in your daily diet prevents obesity, metabolic syndrome and adverse changes in the intestine by promoting the growth of ‘good’ bacteria in the colon. Eating a high-fat diet is linked to an increased risk of developing obesity and conditions related to metabolic syndrome — a cluster of symptoms that can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Broccoli and weight loss
Broccoli is a brilliant choice for a weight loss diet because it is very low in calories. The versatile vegetable is high in fiber, which is a key nutrient that helps you fight fat and lose weight. Truth is fiber can help reduce appetite and contribute to satiety, helping you eat less without trying. This fiber-rich vegetable also improves digestion and prevents various stomach disorders, including constipation. Of course, the vegetable is extremely rich in vitamin C, vitamins A and B6, calcium, potassium, selenium, and several micronutrients are known to support weight loss. The presence of these nutrients makes broccoli a very good natural detoxifier. The phytochemicals in broccoli show potential for breaking down fats.
The vegetable has a good amount of protein, an important nutrient for weight loss. Protein can effectively help you fight the bulge and stubborn belly fat by working on several different mechanisms. A high intake of protein boost metabolism curbs appetite and changes several hormones associated with weight regulation. This happens because protein reduces levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, while it promotes the appetite-reducing hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin. This leads to a reduction in calorie consumption. Also, a high protein intake has been shown to increase the amount of calories burned by about 80 to 100 per day.
Other health benefits of eating broccoli
As mentioned above, the health benefits of broccoli are not limited to weight loss. For instance, while the concentrated sulforaphane – a chemical found in broccoli – can reduce blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes, the phytochemicals in broccoli are good for the immune system. Broccoli also contains significant amounts of beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and other compounds that help reduce bad cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and keep the heart healthy.
According to the American Cancer Society, broccoli’s isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, boost detoxifying enzymes and act as antioxidants, which in turn, may affect estrogen levels and help reduce breast cancer risk.
Usually consumed boiled or steamed, broccoli can also be eaten raw. So, start adding broccoli to your diet for a healthier, happier you.