Cruciferous vegetables aren’t exactly popular among the masses. But one of them, broccoli, seems to be the most popular, but due to the wrong reason. It’s one of the most hated vegetables. There may be a scientific reason why.
Many people taste bitterness in broccoli because of the glucosinolate compounds it contains. Those with variations in the gene hTAS2R38 may have their taste perceptions altered and will find broccoli unbearable to eat due to its bitter taste.
In retrospect, many foods don’t really taste that good. But people need to consume them anyway for the sake of their health. Broccoli needs to be one of those foods that people learn to eat, even though they don’t want to, based on this vegetable’s many health benefits.
Improves Your Bone Health
Our bones are made of collagen. And calcium works to strengthen them. Thus, the combination of collagen and calcium can help in improving your bone health.
Broccoli is a good source of calcium and vitamin C. The latter can boost collagen in the body. The vegetable is also rich in vitamin K. And among its many benefits is also strengthening the bones. Given all these nutrients, regular consumption of broccoli will help you get the nutrients you need to have healthy bones. It can also help you avoid certain bone diseases, such as osteoporosis.
Having strong bones improves your mobility as you age. So just think of broccoli as an investment for your health to convince yourself to eat it.
Improves Your Dental Health
One good way to improve your dental health is to eat broccoli regularly. And if you ever need to visit an orthodontic doctor or a dentist, they will have an easier time helping you out.
Like the bones, the teeth also need calcium and vitamin C, which are abundant in the cruciferous vegetable. Broccoli also has kaempferol and sulforaphane. These nutrients help in preventing periodontal diseases and reduces the risk for certain oral cancers.
Boosts Your Digestive Health
Poor digestion is never okay. It can lead to several problems, such as constipation, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and more. You can avoid these problems by eating broccoli. It’s rich in fiber, which is important in keeping bowel movement regular.
Also, the sulforaphane in broccoli can inhibit the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. This bacteria can stay on one’s digestive tract and cause ulcer. Further infections can even lead to stomach cancer. As such, eating broccoli regularly will help you keep your digestive tract healthy and get rid of the H. pylori bacteria.
Speaking of cancer, broccoli is one of the many foods you can take to prevent it. With the effects of broccoli on your digestive health, the vegetable can lower your chances of developing colon cancer. The vitamin C in broccoli can improve skin health and prevent skin cancer. The regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, can also prevent breast cancer.
Improves Your Heart Health
A balanced diet is important, especially to maintain good heart health. There are certain foods that you can consume but only in adequate amounts.
When you eat a lot of food rich in saturated fat (e.g. red meat) and trans-fat, you will increase the LDL cholesterol in your body. LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, forms plaque on the walls of the arteries. If not addressed immediately, the plaque buildup can cause atherosclerosis. It can lead to more serious problems like stroke, heart attack, or even death.
Broccoli will help you keep your heart healthy. One study found that regular consumption of green/leafy vegetables, including broccoli, lowers the risk of heart disease. This vegetable can reduce your LDL cholesterol levels by around 6%.
Adding Broccoli to Your Diet
Even if you don’t like broccoli, there are ways to add it to your diet in a way that you can enjoy it. One way is to add it to foods with ingredients that you already like. For instance, you can toss it into your salad. You can add it to your chicken salad. The meat can help balance out the bitter taste of the broccoli so that you don’t notice it too much.
You can also add steamed broccoli chopped into tiny pieces to your favorite fritters, mixed with other good ingredients. Or if you like pasta, you can make a creamy pasta sauce with broccoli bits.
If you like broccoli and already eat it regularly, you’ll be happy to know that you’re already doing your body a favor. But if you don’t like the vegetable, making the sacrifice to eat broccoli, though you don’t like how it tastes, will do you good.