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Broccoli Can Protect Your Heart, Too!

Posted Jul 21 2008 10:19am
“Broccoli is good for our health!” I am quite sure no one would deny this statement. This is because broccoli is not only rich in calcium but also has anti-cancer properties. Now, this famous vegetable is found to have the ability of protecting the heart against ailments such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, as revealed by a group of researchers at the University of Connecticut.

In the study, rats that were fed with broccoli had decreased blood pressure and inflammation in the heart, comparing to the control group that was fed regular rat food. When oxygen-deprivation test was performed on the rats, those on the broccoli diet were found to have better blood-pumping ability, less heart damage and higher levels of heart-healthy chemicals.

It is believed that broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that would trigger the body's production of the protein known as thioredoxin, which protects against cell damage in the heart.

In addition to its ability to protect the heart, broccoli is beneficial for the entire body, too.

Being high in vitamins A and C, folic acid, calcium and fiber, broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants that help protect against cancer and a good source of calcium for people who do not take dairy products.

Having high vitamins, broccoli contains twice the amount of Vitamin C that spinach has. Therefore, saying broccoli is a great immune-booster is not exaggerated. Meanwhile, its high mineral content (potassium, iron, magnesium and folic acid) makes it a good stress-buster. The sulphurous compounds and high-fiber content in broccoli places it high in the list of good cancer-fighting food. Both the soluble and insoluble fibers can be found in broccoli, a serving of which provides one's daily need for both types of fiber.

Although broccoli has a higher uric content than most vegetables, it is still less than that of meat and seafood. Thus, people with gout can still consume broccoli in moderation, say half a cup per week.

There is no fix rule on how much broccoli one should have; but having 2 to 3 servings each day seems acceptable for normal healthy persons. If possible, broccoli should be one of the greens to include in daily servings.

Varying types of vegetables consumed is always recommended. This is because different colored vegetables provide different vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals needed in your diet.
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