Broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables all over the world and it is used in a variety of dishes and cuisines. Why do bodybuilders eat broccoli traditionally? Why does the majority of bodybuilders prefer to eat broccoli over other vegetables? Is there a reason as to why they pick that specific vegetable as the better choice? Broccoli has been a staple in bodybuilding diets for obvious reasons: it’s low carb, rich in fiber and antioxidants.
Is broccoli good for building muscle ?
For year bodybuilders have been singling out broccoli as the one vegetable above all others. If you skimmed over a few sample meal plans made for trainees by bodybuilding gurus, made for both cutting weight and building muscle, you will most definitely see more than a few mentions of broccoli.
However, it is singled out for a great reason! Broccoli is an amazing nutritional powerhouse in the form of a vegetable, while also being rich in so many other things that are good for your body.
Broccoli nutrition facts
It’s a rich source of vitamin A, it contains about 100 mg per 100 g – the 100 g quoted are for cooked weight only, and not for raw values which are lower because of the greater bulk, while also, judging by it’s dark green color, being full of carotenoids and vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin.
That same amount of 100 g provides about 39 mg of folic acid, 35 mg of calcium, and 58 mg of vitamin C, while also supplying you with around 2 g of protein, 2 g of fiber, AND vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 as well as minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium.
While many people prefer to only eat the floret and leave the stem and leaves in the trash, it’s recommended that you try to eat them too. They might have a bitter taste, but the leaves are an amazing source of vitamin A, and by eating the stems you can have an influx of thiamine, riboflavin and niacin, on top of the benefits already present in the florets.
Although if you only like to eat the florets, which is most of the contents in bags of frozen broccoli anyway, then you’ll be very happy to find out that you will get about 35 % more beta carotene from it than regular fresh broccoli.
Other than the nutrition values we mentioned above, broccoli is also particularly rich in chromium which is an element that may work to help the production and work of insulin in individuals with a slight glucose intolerance.
Adding on top of all of these benefits it also contains sulforaphane which is a compound that stimulates enzymes that are known to fight cancer and promote further beneficial actions of good compounds such as aromatic isothiocyanates and indoles that have been associated with better health in relation to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and most important of all – cancer.
One more positive about this vegetable is that, alongside carrots, onions, and cabbage, it contains calcium pectate which is a pectin fiber, that actually binds to the bile acids to hold more cholesterol in the liver, which in turn means that less of it gets released into the bloodstream.
By reviewing all of the information compiled above you can safely conclude that broccoli is a super veggie indeed, and it’s worthy of inclusion in your diet plan. However, that doesn’t mean it should be the only vegetable singled out, many if not all green vegetables have many of the benefits of broccoli, each with their own unique characteristics.
Broccoli is low in calories, which makes it a good addition to your bodybuilding diet if you’re trying to cut fat, lower your carbohydrate intake, or both.
Broccoli Bodybuiling Benefits:
- Broccoli can also be called “a natural defender” of testosterone because it’s loaded with phytochemicals known as indoles ( indole-3-carbinol -I3C ). This chemical actually helps decrease the estrogen by helping the body convert it to a different or safer form. And since estrogen competes with testosterone for bodily receptor sites, reducing it is a major key to raising and maintaining testosterone levels.
- The presence of vitamin C, sulfur and certain amino acids make broccoli a very good detoxifier. It helps eliminate free radicals and toxins like uric acid from the body.
- Broccoli is also is high in calcium. Healthy calcium levels are essential for suppressing calcitriol – a hormone that causes the body to produce fat and inhibit fat breakdown.
- The high content of soluble fibers can prevent constipation, maintain blood sugar at normal levels and prevent overeating – a valuable benefit when it comes to cutting the excess fat.
Other Health Benefits of Broccoli include:
-Boosting the immune system
-Reduction of heart disease risk
-Ant cancer and anti aging properties
This vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked, but the best way is to steam them, because that way it gets softer while preserving the nutrients in it.
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In conclusion, it’s a good thing to include broccoli in your bodybuilding diet plan, but you shouldn’t worry too much if it’s not your cup of tea and can’t stand the taste of it, as you can still get many of the same great benefits of it by consuming a combination of other green vegetables every day.
One more important thing to note: No matter what people say, there isn’t one food item that you must have, if you simply dislike the taste of something, don’t force yourself to eat it. There is a plethora of other alternatives to pick and choose from, in the meantime you can also learn a few things about nutrition and what suits you specifically.
So, you should definitely read advice whether online or otherwise, but don’t let anything force you to do something you dislike. And most of all, foods meant for enjoyment, so simply enjoy it!