New broccoli varieties bring benefits

08/27/2013 10:23:00 AM
Eve Pearce

Packing a nutritional punch

Broccoli is packed with vitamins. For instance, just half a cup meets your full quota for vitamin K needed for blood clotting and a similar quantity of broccoli provides 84% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which plays a role in everything from immune function to maintaining the strength of the skeleton. This vitamin is also a powerful antioxidant, which help to protect the cells of the body from damage and are linked to a reduced risk of conditions such as heart disease, cancer, dementia and macular degeneration. Take circulatory disease. It’s the nation’s biggest killer and significantly impairs quality of life, and while the condition can be successfully managed, ideally we should aim to prevent its development by increasing our intake of cardio-protective foods; besides the antioxidants in broccoli, it is also rich in potassium, magnesium and soluble fiber, which promote heart health. Broccoli also shows promise as part of a nutrient rich diet that can protect against cancer; diindolylmethane, glucoraphanin, indole-3-carbinol and selenium, all present in this green vegetable, have been shown to have anti-cancer properties in the lab, though further research is needed to confirm their benefit in humans.

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