5 reasons why broccoli is the ultimate brain food

5 reasons why broccoli is the ultimate brain food

Compounds in broccoli can help children's brains grasp better.

Written by Sandhya Raghavan |Published : January 5, 2018 6:11 PM IST

It's green and looks a lot like a cauliflower. When it was first introduced into the Indian markets, people were understandably confused by the broccoli. But today, the green cruciferous vegetable has found its way into the Indian kitchen and has been routinely starring in pulaos, subzis and stir fries. Broccoli has high levels of vitamins, antioxidants, anticancer compounds and fibre. Its rich reserves of nutrients also make it one of the best foods for your brain. Here's why!

1 It helps preserve memory

If you are battling forgetfulness and absent mindedness on a daily basis, here are some reasons to chow down on broccoli. The green cruciferous veggie is known to have antiamnesic properties, which means it works towards preserving your memory. Here are some great memory-boosting foods you should try.1

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2 It improves learning

Children aren't known for their love for greens, especially broccoli. They may hate the sharp taste and the texture of the vegetable. But here's why moms and dads should convince their tots to eat broccoli. The brain-loving compounds in the vegetable facilitate and enhance learning. Read why pomegranates are good for the brain.1

3 It promotes brain healing

A chemical known as sulforaphane, which is found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, can help improve cognitive functions after a traumatic brain injury. When it is administered into the body, the chemical helps in reducing swelling or oedema in the brain.2

4 It can help rebuild your brain

It's the stuff science fiction is made of, but broccoli can actually help rebuild your brain. Study suggests that sulforaphane in the broccoli, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, can help rebuild damaged neural cells in the brain.3

5 It can sharpen your reasoning ability

Intelligence can be categorised into two types: fluid and crystallised. Fluid intelligence is your ability to solve new problems without help any from prior knowledge. Crystallised intelligence, on the other hand, is your problem-solving ability stemming from years of experience. Study says that Lutein, a pigment found in green vegetables like broccoli, helps in preserving crystallised intelligence, by protecting the neurons in the brain.4


1. Park, S. K., Ha, J. S., Kim, J. M., Kang, J. Y., Lee, D. S., Guo, T. J., ... & Heo, H. J. (2016). Antiamnesic Effect of Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) Leaves on Amyloid Beta (A ) 1 42-Induced Learning and Memory Impairment. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 64(17), 3353-3361.

2. Dash, P. K., Zhao, J., Orsi, S. A., Zhang, M., & Moore, A. N. (2009). SULFORAPHANE IMPROVES COGNITIVE FUNCTION ADMINISTERED FOLLOWING TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY. Neuroscience Letters, 460(2), 103 107. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2009.04.028

3. Han, Z., Xu, Q., Li, C., & Zhao, H. (2017). Effects of sulforaphane on neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation. genesis, 55(3).

4. Zamroziewicz, M. K., Paul, E. J., Zwilling, C. E., Johnson, E. J., Kuchan, M. J., Cohen, N. J., & Barbey, A. K. (2016). Parahippocampal Cortex Mediates the Relationship between Lutein and Crystallized Intelligence in Healthy, Older Adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 8, 297. http://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2016.00297

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