A vegan diet on the surface can appear very limited. In reality, there are a number of superfoods that vegans can eat that provide all the beneficial nutrients they need.
Broccoli is one of those superfoods that can be easily added to any meal. You were told as a youth to always eat your greens, and this was for a good reason. Green vegetables, like broccoli, are full of essential nutrients to boost the health of anyone, including vegans.
Broccoli is packed full of important vitamins and minerals to boost your health. In addition, there are several essential compounds to protect you from serious diseases.
The top health threats facing men today include prostate cancer, low testosterone levels, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Adding broccoli to a few meals a week can reduce your risk of these serious health conditions.
Prevent Oxidative Damage
Free radicals are highly reactive molecules produced naturally through the metabolic processes. Too many of these can cause damage to cells and tissues, which increases the risk of disease.
Free radicals can interfere with testosterone production, causing a loss of sex drive and energy. By reducing these harmful molecules, broccoli can help maintain the appropriate testosterone levels. Broccoli contains powerful antioxidants such as glucoraphanin, which scavenge these free radicals and protect your health.
Kaempferol is a flavonoid in broccoli that works to reduce inflammation. Reducing inflammation is a key factor in preventing serious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
Inflammation is commonly associated with the development of dementia and brain function impairment. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have been found with higher inflammatory markers in their blood and brain. The anti-inflammatory effects of kaempferol reduce this damaging inflammation and protect the brain against neurodegeneration.
Protect Against Cancer
Two of the most common cancers among men are prostate and colon cancer, and the risk increases with age. Studies have found that the plant compounds in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables possess anti-cancer properties.
Research is currently being conducted on whether or not these compounds will be effective in cancer treatment, but results for prostate and colon cancers are promising.
Promote Healthy Digestion
Broccoli is a high-fiber food that supports digestive health. It also helps to support the bacterial community in your gut. The fiber in broccoli serves as an ideal food source for these bacteria, leading to favorable changes in the community as well as a healthier gut.
In addition to this, fiber helps to promote regular and healthy bowel movements, which prevent intestinal issues and common problems like constipation.
The risk of developing diabetes increases with age, and diet can contribute to this risk. A healthy and balanced diet that contains nutritious vegetables like broccoli can reduce the risk of diabetes. Compounds in broccoli can also help maintain healthy blood glucose levels to more effectively manage to manage diabetes.
The high antioxidant content in broccoli is linked to reduced insulin resistance in individuals with diabetes. In addition to this, the high fiber content of broccoli helps to slow digestion, reducing the rate at which sugar is moved through the blood. As part of a healthy diet, broccoli supports the management of diabetes.
Boost Heart Health
The same oxidative damage that can interfere with testosterone production and cause cancer can also damage the heart. Oxidation in heart cells and tissues increases the risk of heart disease, which is a top health concern for men. The antioxidant activity of compounds in broccoli can prevent this and protect your heart.
LDL (bad) cholesterol is also a threat to heart health and elevated levels in the blood cause arterial blockage and reduced circulation. Compounds in broccoli reduce LDL cholesterol and boost HDL (good) cholesterol. High-fiber foods like broccoli are recommended for heart-healthy diets, as they slow digestion and lower blood sugar levels that cause heart disease.
Boost Brain Health
Alzheimer’s disease impacts men and women alike, and there is no cure. Some memory loss is natural with aging, but neurodegeneration can have a negative impact on your quality of life.
The plant compounds in broccoli reduce inflammation and oxidative damage associated with the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. When consumed regularly, these compounds result in reduced brain inflammation and reduced oxygenation, which protects the brain and supports the healthy function.
Most people turn to oranges when they want to boost their immune system. Vitamin C is the go-to resource for strengthening immunity, and surprisingly, broccoli is an abundant source of this vitamin too. When included as part of your regular diet, the vitamin C in broccoli supports immune system function, which allows you to better fight infections.
2 bunches broccoli
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
1 russet potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Remove and discard the lower stalk of each broccoli and peel the remaining stalk. Finely chop the stalk and florets (you should have about 4 cups). Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat until soft and translucent, which will be about 10 minutes. Add stock and potato and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, which should be about 12 minutes. Stir in the chopped broccoli florets. Simmer until potato and broccoli are very tender, which will be about 10 minutes. Remove soup from heat and purée in a blender until smooth.
4. You can season to taste with salt and pepper as desired.
Broccoli is a nutritious vegetable that is versatile and tasty too. Regularly consuming broccoli provides you with essential nutrients and protection against a variety of diseases.
By improving your immunity, fighting inflammation, reducing oxidative damage, and protecting against cancer and heart disease, broccoli is a valuable food. As part of a balanced diet, this green superfood can help you achieve your health goals, so go green today.