Protects us from the toxins
Isothiocyanates play yet another important role in constituting the health image of broccoli. Namely, according to a study published in Clinical Immunology in March 2009 found they contain sulforaphane, a molecule capable for protecting us from respiratory inflammation. This in turn can greatly reduce the risk many respiratory conditions such as asthma.
The study found that human subjects exhibited increased the production of antioxidant enzymes under the influence of sulforaphane. This increases the ability of our body to fight of the free radicals inhaled from the polluted air and cigarette smoke. Having in mind that broccoli are one of the best natural sources of sulforaphane bearing isothiocyanates, they also make one of the best protections against environmental toxins.
Full of fiber and other nutrients
In addition to the above mentioned antioxidants and vitamins, broccoli provides a great source for other healthy nutrients, such as fiber. Dietary fiber is crucial in maintaining our gastrointestinal system healthy as it helps in cleansing the waste accumulated in our colon, regulates the bowel movement, and absorbs the sugar from the intestines.
And having in mind that just one cup of chopped broccoli can cover up to 9% of our RDA of dietary fiber, we can see where broccoli fits in this scheme. To continue this impressive list of health benefits brought to you by broccoli, let’s just mention that it is also packed with such essential minerals as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium and potassium.
In addition it has a high concentration of vitamin A, and helps in keeping our eyes healthy. Lastly, broccoli are not just health bombs, they are also perfect when you want to lose weight. Their high concentration of fiber makes them highly satiating, while at the same time they contain very few calories and fat, and almost no glycemic load.
As a final advice, broccoli are best consumed raw. According to a research conducted by the Linus Pauling Institute, exposing them to heat hinders the work isothiocyanates releasing enzyme, thus reducing the health effect of this magical ingredient.