The Health Benefits of Broccoli

The Health Benefits of Broccoli: Healthy Living with Broccoli

broccoli health benefits

Broccoli, a vegetable related to cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress, and radishes, is informally classified as a cruciferous vegetable and offers many health benefits. Cruciferous is the nickname for vegetables in the mustard family because the four petals that most of these veggies share resemble a cross. Broccoli is native to the Mediterranean region and was often cultivated in ancient Italy and Rome. Around 1720, broccoli was introduced into England, and is now a crop common to most American consumers. Today, the United States is the world’s largest producer of broccoli. 

Broccoli can be prepared and enjoyed in a variety of ways, and this veggie is full of health benefits. Whether you prefer to eat broccoli raw, cooked, or steamed, you’ll benefit from several key nutrients – although steamed broccoli offers the highest nutrient retention. Broccoli is even known to prevent cancer, high cholesterol, and poor eye health. 

Key Nutrients Found in Broccoli

broccoli health benefits

Broccoli is packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K1, folate, potassium, manganese, and iron, that offer strong health benefits. Vitamin C is broccoli’s antioxidant vitamin, which is important for immune function and skin health. Vitamin K1 helps the body with its blood clotting abilities, and it also promotes bone health. Meanwhile, folate helps promote normal tissue growth and cell function, making broccoli an especially beneficial vegetable for pregnant women. Potassium and iron are essential minerals found in broccoli, and they provide health benefits like blood pressure control, heart disease prevention, and the transport of oxygen in red blood cells. Manganese is found in high amounts in many fruits and vegetables, and it helps the body form connective tissue and clot blood. 

Illness Prevention with Broccoli

broccoli health benefits

Broccoli is filled with compounds that are known to prevent cancer. Eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli is linked to a reduced risk for many cancers including lung, colorectal, breast, prostate, pancreatic, and gastric cancers. The compound sulforaphane, which is abundant in broccoli, can be credited to this health benefit. 

Cholesterol is important to many functions of the body, and luckily eating broccoli helps promote lower cholesterol levels. Substances found in broccoli bind with bile acids in your gut, for example. This increases their excretion and prevents them from being reused in the body, allowing for the creation of new bile acid from cholesterol. This ultimately reduces the total amount of cholesterol in the body, which helps reduce heart disease. 

Broccoli contains beta carotene, which when consumed, turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A is linked to better eyesight, especially in people whose body may not produce enough vitamin A on its own. Compounds in broccoli such as plant pigments like lutein and zeaxanthin, protect against age-related eye diseases. 

Smith’s Farm Broccoli

Find fresh, delicious, and sustainably grown broccoli at Smith’s Farm! Choose from your preference of greens including domestic broccoli crowns, short cut crowns, Asian crowns, and florets. Plus, in states like Florida, Georgia, Maine, North Carolina, California, and Arizona, Smith’s Farm can deliver broccoli straight to your front door. Visit our website to learn more about our fresh produce and delivery services.