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Broccoli, Brassica oleracea var. italica / Brassicaceae
Benefits for the health
The broccoli is rich in vitamins and provides great amounts of other compounds known for their protective aids against some diseases. It has numerous properties to fight against cancer, among which are included vitamin C, betacarotene and fiber.

A stem of broccoli of average size accounts for 20% of the daily vitamin C recommended and 15% of vitamin A, in betacarotenes. Both vitamin C and betacarotene are antioxidant, a substance that can reduce and prevent the damage that free radicals cause in the human cells. Free radicals play an important role in the aging process: cataracts, heart diseases and cancer.

The broccoli is rich in phytochemicals indole-carbinol and sulphoraphane. Indole-carbinol causes the estrogen breakdown, an hormone that seems to stimulate the development of some types of mammary tumors. Some researchers think that a ration of broccoli a day provides enough indole-carbinol to reduce the risk of tumors. Sulphoraphane increases the activity of the protective enzymes against cancer.

Due to its high fiber content, the broccoli helps fighting diabetes. The fiber improves the control of sugar in the blood, thus diminishing the need to resort to the insulin or other medicines. The potassium has an important role in the control of blood pressure. 100 g of broccoli contain 15% of the recommended daily potassium consumption. This vegetable also carries out a role in preventing heart diseases. The broccoli is low in fat and calories and rich in vitamins, fiber, calcium and potassium, that help the development of the heart’s functions.
Popular tradition
The broccoli consumption can help people who suffer from stress or nerves. It is an important iron source for women during menstruation and helps to lower the blood pressure.

The broccoli is useful for people under stress, since it helps to control the nerves, bad temper and sleep disorders.

This vegetable is recommended during the winter months to prevent the colds and flu infections.

It is also recommended for sedentary people or for those who consume too much salt, since it helps to lower the blood pressure.
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