Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family (also known as cabbage family) along with kale and bok choy. It packed full of precious nutrients – antioxidants, carotenoids, fiber, calcium, folate, protein, vitamin A, niacin, and vitamin C – that are highly beneficial to the body.
Powerful Anticancer Effects
Broccoli contains many phytochemicals that can prevent and fight cancer. Indole-3-carbinol, a compound in broccoli, has been known to reduce the risk of breast, ovarian, and cervical cancers by acting on a precursor to estrogen and breaking it down to produce a harmless form of the hormone.
Protection for the Eyes
Broccoli is rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, and sulforaphane which protect the eyes from harmful blue light and reduce risk of cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Lutein and zeaxanthin act as antioxidants in the eyes, helping to protect and maintain healthy cells against age-related eye diseases. Experimental studies have shown that sulforaphane can reduce light-induced retinal damage and protect human retinal pigment epithelial cells against oxidative damage.
Myth: don’t eat broccoli because it contains goitrogens.
Goitrogens inhibit iodine uptake by the thyroid gland. But many other vegetables and fruits also naturally contain goitrogens, for example, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, sweet potatoes, strawberries, peanuts, and soybeans. Does this mean we should avoid all of these foods entirely? That is not the case. Even if goitrogens inhibit iodine uptake in isolation, they may yield a different effect when in combination with other compounds in a fruit or vegetable. There is no scientific research that proves eating fruits or vegetables in the usual amounts will cause a goiter. Rather, research published in the International Journal of Epidemiology shows that eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet is hugely beneficial for health! Instead of looking at the big picture, people focused on a tiny detail, which fueled their incorrect conclusions.