Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. Cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, rutabaga, kale, bok choy, Brussels sprouts and mustard greens are the other nutritiously elegant members of its family.
The health benefits of broccoli, in its rightly cooked form, are vast. It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Broccoli plays a place of prominence in the diet prescribed to obese people since it is high in dietary fiber. Other major nutrients present in broccoli are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Manganese, Protein, Vitamin E, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium. Broccoli helps a person in maintaining optimum health, by bringing down his weight. Apart from possessing immense nutritional value, broccoli results in the addition of only minimal calories.
Broccoli is packed with beta carotene, B vitamins especially B3 and B5, chromium and zinc. Another great health benefit offered by broccoli is that it is rich in carotenoids. These carotenoids acts as antioxidants and are believed to be helpful in weight loss.
Broccoli is also found to be capable of fighting the cancerous cells. It is found to be especially helpful in protecting the body from breast, lung and colon cancer. Broccoli is also famous for the immunity boost it provides to the body. It also supports coronary health and reduces the risk of heart attack. People who are under constant stress are also advised to make broccoli an indispensable part of their diet.
Broccoli is also found to be effective in lowering the incidence of cataracts. Since the vegetable is abundant in calcium, broccoli makes our bones stronger. However, over-cooking and micro-waving of broccoli results in the drainage of almost all these beneficial elements. It is always advisable to expose broccoli only to light steam for a couple of minutes. Broccoli should be removed from fire when it turns a bit firm. Broccoli and its sister-vegetable, cauliflower can be used to make excellently nutritious stews, salads and soups.