A simple vegetable for some and an enemy for others, broccoli is touted as a real superfood. And for good reason. Belonging to the family of cruciferous vegetables, this green cauliflower lookalike is loaded with essential nutrients and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and low-fat and high-fibre content.
Broccoli helps fight allergies, strengthens immunity, promotes good cardiovascular health, and even prevents certain cancers. It has a low glycemic index, making it an excellent food for people with diabetes.
How does broccoli help control diabetes?
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, an antioxidant that studies have shown to limit the glucose production in the liver in people with diabetes . This green vegetable can also help improve glucose tolerance regulate fasting blood glucose, especially in obese diabetic patients.
In addition, a study suggests that it may also help improve insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and prevent oxidative injury to pancreatic tissue[3,4]. These “mini trees” are low in calories and low in carbohydrates, and thus ideal for people who have diabetes or those who want to eat light.
How should you cook broccoli?
It is important to choose broccoli with firm stems, green leaves, and tight bouquets.
Steaming preserves the nutrients. The antioxidant power can vary depending on the freshness of the vegetable. A yellowing of the florets indicates lesser nutrients.
To preserve its nutritional qualities and enjoy the best of its benefits, consume it raw, for example in a salad with olive oil. You can also have stir-fried or steamed broccoli with your meals.
- Axelsson AS, Tubbs E, Mecham B, Chacko S, Nenonen HA, Tang Y, Fahey JW, Derry JMJ, Wollheim CB, Wierup N, Haymond MW, Friend SH, Mulder H, Rosengren AH. Science Translational Medicine Journal. 2017 Jun 14;9(394). pii: eaah4477. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aah4477.
- Science Translational Medicine, DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aah4477
- Sithara Suresh, Mostafa Ibrahim Waly, Mohammad Shafiur Rahman, Nejib Guizani, Mohamed Abdullah Badar Al-Kindi, Halima Khalfan Ahmed Al-Issaei, Sultan Nasser Mohd Al-Maskari, Bader Rashid Said Al-Ruqaishi, and Ahmed Al-Salami. Preventive Nutrition and Food Science Journal. 2017 Dec; 22(4): 277–284. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2017.22.4.277
- Bahadoran Z, Tohidi M, Nazeri P, Mehran M, Azizi F, Mirmiran P. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2012 Nov;63(7):767-71. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2012.665043.