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Some people love broccoli and some people hate it, but there’s no denying that broccoli is a nutritional wonder.

Here are 10 reasons why broccoli should be an essential part of your diet.

Nervous System
Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promotes regular muscle growth.

Blood Pressure
Along with a high amount of potassium, Broccoli also contains magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure.

Vitamin C
One cup of broccoli contains the RDA of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for fighting against free radicals. Moreover, vitamin C is an effective antihistamine for easing the discomfort of the common cold.

Bone Health
Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.

Good Skin
Broccoli is helpful in repairing skin damage thanks to the glucoraphanin it contains which helps the skin to detoxify and repair itself.

Immune System
One cup of broccoli bolsters the immune system with a large dose of beta-carotene. Trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium, further act to strengthen immune defense actions.

Cancer Prevention
Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which with the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Furthermore, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function.

Diet Aid
Broccoli is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Furthermore, a cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.

Eye Health
Studies have shown that the carotenoid lutein helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as possesses anti-cancer effects. Additionally, broccoli is a good source of vitamin A that is needed to form retinal, the light-absorbing molecule that is essential for both low-light and color vision.

Heart Health
The carotenoid lutein may also slow down or prevent the thickening of arteries in the human body, thus fighting against heart disease and stoke. The B6 and folate in broccoli also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

Most of us know broccoli as a relatively boring side dish — when it’s just steamed or boiled, it can be bland and mushy, and surely nothing to get excited about. But there are different ways to cook broccoli that bring out its incredible flavors — if you’ve ever tried roasted broccoli, for example, you’ll never think of broccoli the same way again. It’s nutty, robust and delicious. No time is better than the present to start experimenting with some new ways to cook broccoli, because it’s in season and looking better than ever.

Even if you’ve always hated broccoli, these ideas may convince you otherwise!

Mushroom and Broccoli Omelette
Broccoli Soup
Broccoli and Cheese Flan
Broccoli and Egg Bake
Broccoli Pie
Broccoli, Mushroom and Walnut Lasagne
Broccoli with Bacon and Pine Nuts
Broccoli with Basil Mushrooms
Lemon and Garlic Broccoli
Pasta with Broccoli In Garlic Sauce
Broccoli with Tomatoes
Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Breadcrumb Topping
Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Broccoli and Almond Stir-Fry
Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Pasta
Broccoli Spears with Parmesan Bean Dip
Broccoli and Pasta Bake
Broccoli with Lemon & Parmesan
Pasta with Broccoli and Chickpeas
Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
Zesty Chicken and Broccoli