Broccoli is sometimes referred to as one of the cruciferous vegetables. This is because the botanical family to which it belongs used to be called the Cruciferae on account of its flowers looking like a crucifix. It’s now known as the Brassicaceae (pronounced ‘brass-i-case-ah-ee’) and includes the following close relatives: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips and – here’s a few that might surprise you: watercress, canola, radish, horseradish and wasabi!
It’s pretty well known that these vegetables are awesome for general health and you should be eating these daily if there’s a family history of bowel cancer.
These vegetables are also great for skin. They’re extremely rich in Vitamin C, an essential component of Pro-Collagen (which is then synthesised into Collagen). They’re also rich in Vitamin E and a range of other antioxidants, which protect our cells from free radicals.
BTW, if the whole free radical discussion seems a bit confusing, we have a simple explanation of free radicals here.
The normal functioning of our bodies creates free radicals. For example, the function of mitochondria in our cells is to generate energy, but in doing so, they also release free radicals. And a hot tip for my running friends – exercise will result in free radicals!
We also get bombarded by free radicals from our environment: sunlight, cigarette smoke, air conditioning, heating, ozone, radiation, things we apply to our skin, chemicals in the air, water and on the food we eat.
It’s great that we tend to eat lots of healthy foods to fuel our bodies, and we definitely need to keep eating our broccoli and other fresh food, but studies indicate that only a small fraction of the antioxidants we consume reach our outer skin cells. And the bad news is that these outer skin cells are typically be hit by thousands of free radicals a day. They’re at the front-line. Hence – ageing. So the perfect complement to an antioxidant-rich diet, is antioxidant-rich skincare. Protection from the inside-out with a healthy diet and from the outside-in with Y natural.
And just in case you’re wondering, the catalyst for this post was me packing half a kilo of raw broccoli for snacking on during an 8-hour road trip. Apparently that’s an unusual thing to do. The picture is of the broccoli on my passenger seat when I set off yesterday. 🙂