Aside from the fact that it’s remarkably delicious and kids think it’s cute (it looks like little trees!), there are lots of good reasons to eat broccoli, some of which you already know, but others which may surprise you. So what are all these health benefits and reasons to eat broccoli? Keep reading.
1. It’s an anti-inflammatory
If you suffer from painful chronic inflammatory ailments, such as arthritis or gout, then one of the best reasons to eat broccoli is that it contains a flavonoid called kaempferol, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
2. It Helps with Allergies
Along with combating inflammation, that kaempferol also helps prevent allergies. Hungry for more foods rich in kaempferol? Try other members of the cabbage family, like cabbage (ha!) as well as strawberries, tomatoes, and grapes.
3. It’s Loaded with Fiber
Broccoli is a dieter’s friend, loaded with fiber (2 grams per serving). Fiber, as we know, keeps us feeling fuller, longer. One small mid-afternoon broccoli snack only contains only 30 calories, and will keep you feeling full and satisfied til dinner.
4. It Helps You Absorb Vitamin D
Another of the reasons to eat broccoli is especially important to anyone who suffers from a vitamin D deficiency. Why? Because broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins A and K, which aid in the healthy absorption of vitamin D.
5. It’s Good for Your Eyes
Broccoli is also rich in two carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are good for your eyes. You might have heard of lutein before — your ketchup might have a label that boasts of better eye health, citing lutein content as the reason. But while ketchup might be loaded with sugar, broccoli is not!
6. It Gives You Gorgeous Skin!
Yet another reason to eat broccoli: it makes you beautiful on the outside! That’s right. One of the chemicals in broccoli, called glucoraphanin, is converted to another chemical during digestion, which in turn encourages healthy skin cell regeneration.
7. It Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Aside from improving eye health, the lutein in broccoli also helps prevent heart disease. It works the same as it works in eyes, keeping arteries open and blood flowing properly.
8. It’s High in… Protein?
Who knew? Another one of the reasons to eat broccoli is that it’s a good source of low-fat, lean protein. One serving contains 3 grams of protein, and zero grams of fat. Amazing!
9. It Helps with Muscle Cramps
I used to eat a banana each morning before a run, but now, I eat a small serving of broccoli to get my dose of potassium. Potassium is important because it helps prevent muscle cramps… and it also helps combat high blood pressure.
10. It’s Good for Your Bones!
Did you know you can get 4% of your USDA recommended amount of bone-strengthening calcium in just one humble serving of broccoli? This is especially important to us women, who suffer most from bone ailments like osteoporosis.
Who knew the humble little broccoli was so healthy in so many ways? Next time you need a side dish or a snack, I hope you’ll reach for a little bunch of these crunchy little trees. Which of these reasons to eat broccoli might inspire you? Or do you have another health benefit of this cabbage cousin to share?
Top Image Source: weheartit.com