We’ve been inundated with it since we were children. It is the subject matter of several dinnertime fights, the punchline of many family commercials and sitcoms, and often the lone survivor on an otherwise spent vegetable tray. Of all the reviled foods in the world, for some reason, it gets the worst rap – and it is doing us harm.
Broccoli is one of the world’s true superfoods, and despite what you have been lead to believe, it is also one of the most flavorful and tasty treats in nature. With a variety of beautiful deep hues, broccoli is the beautiful balance of sweet and bitter that most chefs spend years in culinary school trying to recreate. Beyond the beauty and deliciousness of this power-punch of a vegetable, the scientific research delivers a very compelling snapshot of why we don’t just need broccoli in our lives to fill our bellies – we need it to feed our minds.
Green Means Great
Let’s get down to brass-tacks: Broccoli is among the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, but exactly why is broccoli good for you. Mother nature has created a color chart of sort, with certain foods retaining specific colors in order to signal our primal brains that foods are safe or beneficial to eat. Typically, a robust and luscious green is nature’s way of letting the consumer know that this is a food that is filled to the brim with vitamins and minerals such as A, C, K, and folate.
Broccoli not only contains these typical deep green heavy hitters that improve and protect soft tissue, bones, skin, teeth, blood, as well as prevent birth defects, but also boasts a huge number of other minerals and vitamins to promote healthy living. With one of the highest concentrations present in a single vegetable, boasting B1, B6, E, magnesium, protein, zinc, iron, niacin, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and choline, broccoli also packs a punch with healthy dietary fiber to keep everything in the body running smoothly.
The Science is Clear
But chances are that you already knew that broccoli is a health food giant packed full of nutrients, and it is far more than likely that you’re already well aware of what it can do for your waistline. The fact that broccoli is good for you is certainly not a secret, otherwise why would our mothers be trying to force us to eat it as children, but the average person doesn’t realize just how good it really is. Science has proven again and again that broccoli is one of the best and most versatile health foods available.
Did you know…
- Broccoli can prevent or fight cancer. In multiple studies, Sulforaphane has proven to kill cancer cells and inhibit the growth of potential tumors in the future.
- Broccoli can help repair the heart and cardiovascular system after a traumatic heart episode or stroke. Enzymes within the vegetable have been shown to reduce the number of damaged cells after an incident by up to 73 percent, according to the American Diabetes Association.
- Broccoli can be as effective in reducing or eliminating common allergy symptoms as over the counter medicine. Kaempfeol, a compound found naturally occurring in broccoli, is tremendously effective in reducing allergy symptoms and reducing inflammation.
The Best Benefits Are In Your Mind
Beyond simply being a disease fighting machine, broccoli has an entire other side of health benefits that are rarely discussed when trying to convince finicky eaters to throw some green goodness on their plate. Perhaps you knew those quick scientifically supported health benefits for your body, but broccoli has proven recently in studies to be even more beneficial for your mind.
The researchers at World Health have long been touting the many physical health benefits for their readers for years, but in more recent studies, they have been pushing broccoli as more than a cancer fighting vegetable to help you lose weight: They want you to start eating broccoli every day to protect your mind.
The Journal of Neuroscience has concluded overwhelmingly that the vitamins and nutrients found in broccoli can protect and repair the brain after a traumatic injury, specifically by creating “cytoprotective proteins”. The same study showed that a regular diet of broccoli could greatly reduce the potential deadly effects of brain edema.
Vitamin K and Choline, both heavily present in broccoli have been shown to improve cognition and memory in subjects. Studies have been done by multiple researcher in multiple labs over the last two decades, and the consensus is clear: Broccoli improves and retains memory making abilities.
In a 2005 study done by King’s College in London, the glucosinolates heavily found in broccoli have proven to halt the decline of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that regulates and controls the central nervous system. What does that mean for your mind? Low levels of acetylcholine are associated with and a marker for Alzheimer’s Disease.
A Truly Super Food
The media might make it the butt of many jokes, and children might have been conditioned to reject it, but the reality is that broccoli is beyond just a reviled side dish: It is a small green masterpiece of health happy nutrients that can reduce and kill cancer, prevent heart disease, and keep our mind sharp into our golden years. Perhaps it is time we switch the story up on this megafood.
As always, let me know what you think and thanks for reading…