I’ve occasionally mentioned my desire expand, and more importantly, round out my diet to something that would appear to be slighly more proper. Reaching FDA recommended levels of vegetable and fruit intake aren’t an impossible feat, but considering where I started from I will take baby steps to a healthier diet. Fruit isn’t a big barrier of entry for me but the side of the equation, those silly vegetables are a tough cookie. Or something like that.
Here’s the thing, I don’t hate broccoli. Steam it, put a pinch of salt on it, and I’m good to go. Bell pepper and green beans leave something to be desired and peas are forbidden under Snider lore. But broccoli I’m cool with. But there has been a big question lingering with all of this vegetable-dom: what’s the benefit?
Broccoli is high in vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber; it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and small amounts of selenium. A single serving provides more than 30 mg of Vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of Vitamin C. The 3,3′-Diindolylmethane found in broccoli is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity. Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, though the benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled. Broccoli is also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Broccoli has the highest levels of carotenoids in the brassica family. It is particularly rich in lutein and also provides beta-carotene.
A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Broccoli consumption has also been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease.
Honestly, I don’t know what I just pasted up there, but I do understand that vegetables are a necessity for a healthier version of me.
So I ask you, my eager-reader, do you really care how good broccoli and its cousins are for you? Or is life better knowing that you’re doing good, but not how much?