If you love broccoli (and even if you hate it) science serves up a compelling reason to it it. The everyday vegetable contains a natural compound packing a potent energy-related anti-aging punch on mice that “could be translated to humans, ” according to a team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN), a compound that plays a key role in energy metabolism, found in broccoli, had a Benjamin Button like effect when added to drinking water of normal aging mice. The rodents’ metabolism was boosted, age associated weight gain lowered, eyesight improved and blood sugar levels improved. Studies show that the NMN related improvements suggest that the boosts would extend longevity. Not bad for a veggie that has been dissed by the likes of presidents and preschoolers. But there’s more good news: That the fountain of youth like compound is also in cucumbers, cabbage and edamame. In addition to the anti-aging benefits described above, here are some additional benefits to regularly eating broccoli.
- Cancer prevention: Broccoli shares cancer fighting and immune boosting properties with other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
- Cholesterol reduction: Broccoli is packed with soluble fiber that draws cholesterol out of your body, like many whole foods.
- Powerful antioxidant: Broccoli is deeply concentrated with vitamin C, making it great for the immune system.
- Bone health: Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, which are vital for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.
- Heart health: One of the isothiocyanates (ITCs) in broccoli have anti inflammatory properties, which help to prevent and even reverse some of the damage to blood vessel linings that can be caused by inflammation due to chronic blood sugar problems.
- Diet aid: Broccoli is a carb and high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar and curbs overeating.
- Skin care: Skin care isn’t only about glow, but also immunity. The antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin C, and the minerals copper and zinc, help to maintain healthy skin.
- Eye care: Broccoli contains beta carotene, vitamin A, phosphorous and other vitamins such as B complex, vitamin C and E. These are all rich nutrients that help with eye health, protecting the eyes against muscular degeneration, cataract and repairs damage.