Broccoli- The Veggie Powerhouse

Broccoli is a powerhouse cruciferous vegetable. It has the power to protect your brain, work against lung cancer, protect against breast cancer, fights pathogens and pollutants, protect eyesight, and has shown to improve some aspects of autism. How can broccoli do all of that and it's just a little baby tree!?


Broccoli is chocked full of vitamins and minerals: vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, fiber, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids from the color in plants), potassium and copper. All of these elements work together to benefit the body in a multitude of ways. 


The way that broccoli fights against cancer is because it has sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a chemical in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Sulforaphane is used for the prevention of prostate cancer and other types of cancer. It does this by inducing enzymes which deactivate carcinogens and free radicals. It enhances the body's own defense system against cancer-causing chemicals. 

Sulforaphane also reduces the behavioral symptoms of autism such as, the ability to relate to others, communication skills, and sociability.


According to Autism Speaks, in the study where random children with severe autism were chosen 46 percent of those who received the active treatment had significant improvements in social interaction. 42 percent had significant improvements in verbal communication. 54 percent had substantial decreases in abnormal behaviors. All of that from ingesting cruciferous vegetables- broccoli, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower (to name a few).


Broccoli also contains glucoraphanin. Glucoraphanin and sulforaphane work together to stimulate enzymes that fight and detox the body of pollutants and pathogens that enter the body from the air and the environment. These same elements are also able to protect and repair your DNA if it's jeopardized. 


What is the point of all of this? EAT YOUR BROCCOLI! I recommend getting at least 1 cup of broccoli a day in your diet. The best way to prepare broccoli is to chop the florets from the large stem and then let them sit for 40 minutes. That way they will not lose any of the elements that make them so powerful. Then steam, eat them raw, or roast them in the oven!

Sources: https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/broccoli-sprout-extract-shows-promise-easing-autism-symptoms

https://learn.allergyandair.com/broccoli-and-air-pollution/

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/best-foods-for-autism/

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/second-strategy-to-cooking-broccoli/

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/best-food-to-counter-the-effects-of-air-pollution/

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-broccoli-receptor-our-first-line-of-defense-2/

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fruits-vegetables-boost-dna-repair/

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