You sure heard it time and time again from your mom: “Eat your vegetables. It’s good for you”. Although not as often repeated, but should be – is “rub the veggies on your skin”, if you want to have glowing skin that is.
Glowing skin means different things to different people. For some, healthy skin imparts a glow from within. For others, it may just be the skin that’s not dull, dry, unevenly textured, or even flaky.
In fact, the one doesn’t exclude the other. And there are foods that help with both and are good for both inside and out. Take broccoli. It’s been known for a long time that it’s a superfood. It’s probably the most famous for its anti-cancer benefit.
Broccoli with its scientific name Brassica Oleracea Italica belongs to the cruciferous family. Belonging in this family are also cabbage, kale, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts. Its a branched, green vegetable and can have green and more seldomly purple flower buds. It’s the flower buds that we’re eating. Its nutritional health benefits are manifold.
The broccoli buds are a good source of fibre and proteins. They’re also full of vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Even so, a cup of raw broccoli contains just 25 calories.
The group of plants in the cruciferous family contain contains natural compounds linked to cancer prevention. One of these is sulforaphane. As its name suggests, this compound contains sulfur and it’s what gives these veggies their bitter taste.
Broccoli helps improves bone health since it contains a range of nutrients essential both for bone formation and the prevention of bone density loss. These are vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Eating broccoli keeps the blood vessels strong that is, it protects them from hardening. As a result, heart health is improved.
In short, broccoli is shown in many studies to help reduce the risk of cancer by reducing inflammation, protecting from oxidative damage, and helping your body deactivate potentially damaging chemicals or flush them out more speedily.
Raw or cooked?
How should you eat broccoli? While boiling or steaming will make vitamin A and E more available, it will destroy vitamin C. But if you want to reap the benefits of sulforaphane, then eat it raw. Why not try raw broccoli salad on one day and steam it on a different day? Both raw or cooked, broccoli is great for a healthy diet.
And for your skin?
Broccoli contains a range of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals essential for skin health. These not only improve your skin health but also slow down ageing.
Slow down ageing
Not only does broccoli contain vitamin A, but it also contains vitamin C. Vitamin A is the queen of skin care ingredients. It helps with increases the turnover of your skin cells and reduces the appearance of fine lines.
Your body needs vitamin C to produce new collagen and elastin. While collagen is what gives your skin its structure and scaffolding, elastin is what makes it bounce back when stretched. Both are powerful antioxidants, protecting your skin from free radicals.
Broccoli is also a good source for a known anti ageing compound: Q10.
Glow from within
As a rich source of essential nutrients, broccoli also contains a compound called glucoraphanin. Together with vitamin E, they promote skin repair. As you know, broccoli is a good source of vitamin C which is known to brighten and even out your skin tone.
When you feel a spot coming, apply a product with broccoli as an ingredient. A zit is when oil and dead skin cells block the pores in your skin and then get inflamed. As you know, one of the health benefits of eating broccoli is reduced inflammation. It has the same effect when applied to your skin.
Broccoli also contains vitamin A, which is often used to treat spots. Both work hand in hand to effectively fight acne. As an added boon, you can also use broccoli to soothe irritated and sensitive skin.
Protect against UV radiation
When you apply sulforaphane on your skin, it helps protect your skin against UV damage. Research has shown that this compound reduced the redness and inflammation caused by exposure to the sun.
How to add it to your routine?
More and more products are cropping up containing broccoli. You can find it in cleansers, toners, essences to moisturisers.
If you enjoyed reading about how broccoli benefits your health and your skin, I’d be hugely grateful if you could share it on social media. And please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.