The Health Benefits of Broccoli
By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
Broccoli contains many vitamins and minerals – notably beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate (a B vitamin) and potassium.
It also provides two naturally occurring plant chemicals that have been linked to fighting cancer.
The first of these is sulphoraphane, a chemical that potentially hits cancer with a double whammy in laboratory studies!
Research shows this chemical destroys cancer-causing substances AND increases levels of antioxidant enzymes that help prevent cancer.
Research from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore has discovered that sulphoraphane is one of the most potent boosters of the enzymes that help to counteract cancer-causing chemicals before they get a chance to damage cells and initiate the development of cancer.
What’s more, sulphoraphane boosts levels of these enzymes for longer than other antioxidants and so provides cancer-fighting powers for longer, too.
The second cancer-fighting chemical in broccoli is indoles.
Research shows these plant chemicals help the body to metabolise oestrogen, which in turn may have an impact on developing breast cancer.
Finally, broccoli contains lutein, an antioxidant important for healthy eyes.
Broccoli Nutritional Value
Just two spears (80g) of broccoli counts as one of your 5-a-day and provides just 19 calories and 0.6g fat.
It also contains a tenth of your daily fibre needs, making it a great choice for filling you up.
You can track what you're eating with WLR's online food diary. Try it free for 24 hours.