GAA-Blog-BroccoliBenefits-031314

Getting in the Green: The Benefits of Eating Broccoli

March is the month of green. When it comes to our diet, most of us could use more “green.”

One of the best green vegetables you can eat is broccoli. Those “little green trees” are easy to add to meals and snacks and every bite is packed with a nutritional punch.

Why should we be having more bites of broccoli? The top five reasons:

1. Super inflammation fighter. We already know that inside our digestive tract, broccoli is able to lessen the impact of allergy related substances. It also provides our bodies with omega 3-fats, something that helps balance our inflammatory system’s activity. Current studies are looking at the way that compounds in the vegetable may also prevent the body’s inflammatory systems from unnecessarily kicking into gear.

2. Great source of fiber. A cup of steamed broccoli has about 5 grams of fiber – a good way to help get the 25 to 35 grams a day that the average adult requires. Getting enough fiber not only helps keep your digestive system healthy, but also allows you to maintain proper blood sugar levels throughout the day.

3. Helps your body absorb vitamin D. The nutrients in this vegetable help our bodies retain more vitamin D, which is essential to bone health, and scientists say that may also be key to preventing cancer and play a role in cardiovascular health.

4. Good for your skin. Broccoli is high in antioxidants, which aid in collagen production, keeping your skin soft and supple. The vitamin E in broccoli helps guard against UV radiation damage and protects the actual cell membranes of your skin.

5. Better eye health. Your mom may have told you to eat your carrots to improve your vision, but perhaps broccoli would have been a better choice. The vegetable is high in lutein and zeaxathin, antioxidants that appear to help protect against age-related eye diseases.

Whether you eat it raw, steamed or stir-fried, add this healthy “green” to your daily diet and your body will thank you.