Broccoli may be one of the most popular vegetables on the market, but many people – including both home caregivers and seniors – do not eat enough of this cruciferous vegetable. So, why shouldn’t you skimp on broccoli? The green stalky vegetable is loaded with phytochemicals, fiber, antioxidants, and super-nutrients. In short, it’s good for your health!
Doctors and scientists associate broccoli with the following benefits:
- Lower cholesterol. Watching cholesterol is crucial to continued health. When “bad” cholesterol levels become too high, numerous health problems can follow. How does broccoli help? Broccoli contains plenty of fiber, and once this fiber enters the body, it can capture cholesterol, so that when the broccoli is excreted the cholesterol that it has captured goes with it.
- Improved cardiac health. Broccoli helps to remove a particular amino acid associated with red meat consumption, and thus lowers the risk of coronary artery disease. In addition, broccoli helps to keep the blood vessels strong and flowing.
- Arthritis relief. In arthritis, anti-inflammation is the name of the game – and broccoli is one excellent anti-inflammatory. Ingredients in broccoli are thought to help mitigate joint destruction brought on by osteoarthritis.
- Cancer prevention. Cruciferous vegetables are associated with reduced risk of some cancers, including prostate cancer. This is thought to be due to chemicals that help to reduce oxidative stress.
- General health benefits. Consuming broccoli may improve eye health, digestion, and detoxification.
Some people find that eating broccoli (or too large a quantity of broccoli) may cause gas or may irritate the bowels. Because broccoli is high in vitamin K, too much of it may also cause blood thinners to be less effective.
There are scores of recipes involving broccoli. Home caregivers may want to investigate some new ways of incorporating this wonderful vegetable into the diets of their loved ones.