I was asked the other day, “is broccoli good for you? I know it’s a vegetable, but I’ve heard not all vegetables are healthy for you – let me know doc?”
Good question and you’re right – not all vegetables are good for you or good for SOME people. For example, nightshade vegetables – such as tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers – don’t do well for some people. They contain an alkaloid known as solanine, which is also a mild toxin. They also contain lectins.
Granted, some people are fine with them, no issues at all.
And how you prepare and eat them also makes a difference. If you want me to do an article about this topic, what vegetables to avoid and so forth, let me know.
Benefits Of Broccoli
Now, getting back to broccoli… I’ll discuss the pros, cons, how to cook them, and which type of broccoli is best. In fact, there’s one that contains 10x the benefits and you can eat much less of it as well.
Here’s a quick summary of some of the benefits:
- Contains lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, especially when eaten raw or steamed
- Help reduce inflammation1-3
- Help protect against certain cancers, such as breast, prostate, stomach, kidney, and bladder4-8
- Good for your heart by improving lipid levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides9-11
- Good for your blood sugar levels12-13
- Slow cognitive and memory problems and it’s good for your brain14-15
- Good for your colon, gut, digestion, and healthy source of fiber16-17
- Good for your joints and bones18-19
- Good for your skin and UV damage20-21
- Even good for oral health
So as you can see, broccoli has lots of benefits. Of course, there are also some negatives as well.
Negatives with Broccoli
- Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and, like most cruciferous veggies, can cause excess gas, bloating, flatulence, and possible digestive discomfort for some people.
- Can decrease thyroid production, especially with those who are hypothyroid or are on thyroid medication22
- Non-organic forms are loaded with pesticides, which are obviously not good for your health, especially your gut health and immune system. So, always buy organic if possible.
How To Prepare Your Broccoli
Raw is always ideal, but for some, it does cause digestive issues. Steaming is the next best method and cooking is the least ideal method because it can kill a lot of the nutrients and benefits.
Healthiest Form/Type of Broccoli
Most people haven’t heard of Broccoli Sprouts, however, this is probably one of the healthiest forms of broccoli … and healthiest foods you can eat.
This is because broccoli sprouts are high in sulforaphane, which has all the benefits I’ve mentioned today, x10. It’s like broccoli on steroids.
Thus, if you don’t like to eat broccoli, you can just eat a much smaller quantity of broccoli sprouts and get all the benefits and more.
Finally, when eating your broccoli or any vegetable, please do NOT use salad dressings and so forth. Just use some salt, pepper, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar. You can even put some extra virgin olive oil – just be mindful of the total calories of the oil.
And that’s it.
Eat broccoli. Steam it or eat it raw. And broccoli sprouts are the best type of broccoli.