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Superfoods: Broccoli

When it comes to basic nutrients, broccoli is a mother lode. However, for some children, it is one of the most dreaded vegetables on their plate. There are many delicious ways to prepare it (without overcooking of course). Besides satisfying your daily requirements of fruits and vegetables, broccoli is power-packed with so many health benefits.

  • Contains powerful phytochemical antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin – beneficial for healthy eyes.
  • Along with spinach, helps to minimise risk of cataracts
  • Large amount of calcium in broccoli helps combat osteoporosis and build bone mass
  • Could undo the damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels
  • Ounce for ounce, boiled broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk
  • One medium-sized spear has three times more fibre than a slice of wheat bran bread. So fibre-rich that it can enhance the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and reduce blood cholesterol levels
  • May protect against heart disease. The potassium in broccoli aids those battling high blood pressure
  • The folic acid in broccoli helps women sustain normal tissue growth and is often used as a supplement when taking birth control pills and during pregnancies
  • Extremely strong in anticancer activity, particularly against lung, colon, prostate, bladder and breast cancers
  • Isothiocyanates – a powerful biochemical found in broccoli has shown to neutralise potential cancer-causing substances before they have a chance to damage the DNA of healthy cells

A word of caution: Broccoli is one of the leading intestinal gas producers and contains goitrogens, a naturally-occurring substance in certain foods that can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland. Individuals with already existing and untreated thyroid problems may want to avoid broccoli for this reason.

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