Broccoli Is the Poor Man’s Doctor

Cauliflower and broccoli are the poor man's doctor.
Cauliflower and broccoli are the poor man's doctor. (Image: Eleni Seitanidou via Dreamstime)

Broccoli is the “poor man’s doctor,” and not only is it commonly available in grocery stores, but it is also easy to prepare. Cauliflower shares the same health benefits, so if you prefer to eat cauliflower, you can apply this article to that cruciferous vegetable, too. Broccoli and cauliflower are very rich in vitamins C and K and provide a wide variety of health benefits.

Vitamin C in broccoli is the crown of cruciferous vegetables as it contains 90 percent of the daily value. It is also a good source of beta-carotene and vitamin B6. These components are water-soluble, so they do get lost easily when heated. This makes broccoli and cauliflower not suitable for high-temperature cooking.

Broccoli, the ‘poor man’s doctor’

It is cheap and has a significant impact on one’s overall health. It is native to the Mediterranean coast. In the middle of the 18th century, there was a medicinal liquid called “Buhalf syrup” in Europe, which was later replaced by cauliflower juice and honey. It was very effective in treating tuberculosis and cough, and as a result, it saved many poor people’s lives. This is how it got the reputation of being “the poor’s doctor.”

Reduces inflammation

According to this study, broccoli is a good source of flavonoids that protect against inflammation. Chronic inflammation gradually damages healthy cells, tissues, and organs. This condition can lead to illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and diabetes.

There are some people whose skin quickly turns black and blue when it is bumped. This indicates the blood vessels under the skin are rupture easily. Causes of this can be that the body is lacking vitamins C and K. Eating more broccoli can relieve this condition.

Cooking pot with green romanesco and broccoli soup and ladle on dark rustic kitchen table .
Among many vegetables and fruits, cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, are shown to have anti-cancer effects. (Image: Victoria Shibut via Dreamstime)

Potential preventer of certain cancers

Among many vegetables and fruits, cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, are shown to have anti-cancer effects.

Breast cancer: More research is indicated, yet studies such as this one show eating broccoli and cauliflower can inhibit breast cancer.

Prostate cancer: This study points to a decreased risk of prostate cancer. Because of the limited number of studies, further prospective studies are needed to explore the protective effect of cruciferous vegetables on prostate cancer.

Gastric cancer: The serum selenium level in gastric cancer patients decreases, and the concentration of vitamin C in gastric juice is also lower than that of ordinary people. Broccoli can not only supplement selenium and vitamin C, but it can also provide rich carotene, which can prevent precancerous lesions and the growth of cancerous tumors, which is very effective for people with gastric cancer.

Promotes healthy digestion

Broccoli is rich in fiber and antioxidants, which support healthy bowel function and digestive health. Eating fiber and antioxidant-rich foods can play a role in maintaining a healthy gut function.

Woman's hands on her stomach.
Eating fiber and antioxidant-rich foods like broccoli can play a role in maintaining a healthy gut function. (Image: Alicia_Harper via Pixabay)

Supports healthy brain function

Some of the nutrients and bioactive compounds in broccoli may slow mental decline and support healthy brain and nervous tissue functions.

A study of 960 older adults reveals that one serving per day of dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, may help resist the mental declines associated with aging.

Cooking tip: soak in salt water

Anyone can eat broccoli and cauliflower as they are healthy for everyone. It can be eaten alone, or it can be fried with seafood or meat. Before eating or cooking, it is advised to soak it in salt water for about 10 minutes and then rinse it repeatedly. This will remove hidden insects and residual pesticides. This is an easy tip to make this and many other vegetables safer to eat.

Translated by Patty Zhang

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