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The Health-Boosting Benefits of Broccoli

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Feb 14, 2023

    The Health-Boosting Benefits of Broccoli

    It’s no secret that green, leafy vegetables are some of the healthiest foods to add to your diet. Broccoli—a member of the family of cruciferous vegetables that includes cabbage, kale, and cauliflower—is one vegetable that’s packed with numerous health-boosting benefits. Read on to learn more about the benefits of broccoli.

    What are the Best Benefits of Broccoli?

    1. Broccoli is rich on fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other bioactive substances

    Whether raw or cooked, broccoli possesses a variety of nutrients. One great example is vitamin C. Just half a cup of broccoli can provide over 80% of our daily recommended intake. Other vitamins and minerals that can be derived from this wonder vegetable are vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and folate.

    It’s important to note, however, that various cooking techniques may diminish some of broccoli’s nutrients. So far, steaming is the best option for those who want to retain its full benefits.

    2. Broccoli can help fight inflammation

    Because of its bioactive substances, broccoli has been found to lessen inflammation. Flavonoid, in particular, has been found to reduce inflammation. And broccoli has high amounts of sulforaphane, which an antioxidant that helps decrease inflammation. However, more research is required to support these findings.

    benefits of broccoli

    3. Broccoli possesses antioxidants that promote cell health and prevent diseases

    As mentioned, broccoli is packed with sulforaphane, which not only helps fight inflammation, but can also help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol. It can also help prevent chronic diseases when consumed long-term.

    Its strong antioxidants can help boost the body’s cells and tissue health, as well as protecting the eyes from future damage.

    4. Broccoli may help prevent certain types of cancer

    The bioactive substances in broccoli, along with other cruciferous vegetables, may lessen the cell damage caused by some chronic conditions.

    What’s more, these leafy greens may lower the risk of certain types of cancer, such as:

    However, we still need further studies to fully understand the role of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables in preventing cancer. 

    5. It may support blood sugar regulation

    For those with type 2 diabetes, in particular, one of the benefits of broccoli is that it may aid in blood sugar control. This is likely due to its antioxidant and fiber content. Studies have found that regular consumption can reduce insulin resistance in those with diabetes. And so a regular meal with broccoli can help those living with diabetes manage their condition.

    6. Broccoli can help control cholesterol and keep your heart healthy

    Broccoli can help lower levels of LDL, also known as “bad cholesterol”, and triglycerides, which contribute to the risk for heart disease. And some research has found that certain antioxidants and fiber found in broccoli can lessen the risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease in the future.

    7. Promotes healthy digestion and relieves constipation

    Want to have a healthier digestive system? It’s on the list of the many benefits of broccoli. Because it’s rich in fiber, broccoli can encourage healthy bowel movements and help you maintain a healthy gut. Including broccoli in your diet can also help reduce colon inflammation.

    8. Broccoli can promote healthy cognitive function 

    Aside from improved gut and heart health, broccoli can help prevent cognitive decline or mental deterioration due to aging.

    It can also help promote healthy nerve and brain function.

    9. May reduce the effects of aging

    Though aging is a natural process that should be embraced, there are certain age-related changes that could adversely affect our health. Two of these are decreased metabolism and oxidative stress.

    The bioactive ingredients in broccoli can help increase antioxidants, which can slow the effects of aging and the emergence of age-related disorders.

    10. Boosts the immune system

    Because it’s rich in vitamin C, broccoli is a good immune booster. As previously mentioned, a half-cup of broccoli is sufficient for us to meet over 80% of our recommended vitamin C intake.

    11. Broccoli may support oral health

    Broccoli can keep our teeth and gums healthy, too! this is because it’s abundant in calcium as well as vitamin C. It also contains kaempferol, a flavonoid that can help protect against periodontitis.

    The sulforaphane in broccoli may also protect against mouth cancer.

    12. Broccoli can help us maintain strong bones and joints

    This leafy green is rich in both calcium and vitamin K, a great combination for those who want strong, healthy bones. Broccoli’s zinc, phosphorus, vitamin A, and vitamin C content are also essential to keep the bones and joints healthy. It may even help prevent joint diseases and osteoarthritis in the future.

    Reminders for Adding Broccoli to Your Diet

    When choosing broccoli, go for produce that are dark green, with leaves and stalks that are tight and firm. Skip broccoli that’s yellowing or limp. Remember to wash before consuming it to prevent mildew growth. Store it in the crisper of your refrigerator.

    Despite its many health benefits, caution must be taken by the following:

    • Those on blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (coumadin)
    • Those who have a thyroid condition, to prevent its effects on the absorption of iodine
    • Those who are prone to bloating and gas, such as those with IBS, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease.

    If you have any concerns or questions, consult your doctor prior to making any sudden dietary changes.

    Key Takeaways

    Broccoli is popular for many reasons. It’s a nutrient-packed leafy, green vegetable that may benefit your health in a number of ways, including by lowering inflammation, increasing immunity, promoting heart health, and keeping blood sugar at healthy levels.

    Though essential and beneficial, one must not only rely on the benefits of broccoli and other similar vegetables to achieve overall health. A balanced, varied diet as well as exercise and healthy lifestyle choices are the perfect recipe to achieve optimal, sustained health.

    Learn more nutrition facts here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jezreel Esguerra, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Feb 14, 2023

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