Broccoli- Superfood or Not?
Broccoli’s reputation as one of the world’s most healthiest vegetable still rings true!
Broccoli is one of the most hated and yet the most well-loved vegetables in the nation. Nutritionists talk about it, presidents and other celebrities tell their experiences with it, but through it all, broccoli maintains the royal status of being one of the most popular and the most nutritious foods available. In fact,. broccoli is full of so many vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that is is hailed as one of the top 10 super-foods.
Broccoli gets a lot of flack for being “yucky”, tasteless, or difficult to chew. Some people can’t stomach it raw as a crudité, others can’t stand it cooked, while many say it has a strong flavor and therefore a strong odor as it is cooking.
I used to be one of those who fell into the camp that cooked broccoli was too strong and too mushy. I refused to even touch the vegetable, until one day, I tasted bright-green broccoli that was tender and succulent, yet still maintained some crispness, and had a mild, almost sweet, addictive flavor. I was hooked. It was upon research and experimenting that I discovered the secret to why so many people, and children refuse to eat this tasty vegetable.
The secret to getting your children and family members (and maybe you!) is NOT to overcook this beauty. Broccoli should NOT be pale green in color, but bright green and appealing to the eyes. Broccoli should only be cooked 3-4 minutes as overcooking can greatly diminish nutrients.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
Broccoli is truly a super-food based on it’s many nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Broccoli is high in Vitamins A, D, K, C, B6, folic acid, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium zinc, magnesium, manganese, fiber and even protein. Pound for pound broccoli contains more protein than a steak. It is also rich in beta-carotenes, which aids eye health, and anti-oxidents which fight aging.
Many studies and journal publications hail broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables as a superfood that not only prevents cancer, but also supports those with osteoporosis and bone loss. Broccoli contains many of the bone-building nutrients essential for replenishing the body of bone, such as calcium, magnesium, several B vitamins including Vitamin B6, and Vitamin K which is essential in the formation of osteocalcin, the protein found in bone.
There are numerous journal publications showing a diet rich in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are not only cancer-protective but can also support the body while undergoing cancer treatments. In fact, a large study involving nearly 5000 Chinese breast cancer survivors found that those women who ate approximately 1 cup of chopped cruciferous vegetables a day were 42% less likely to have died from breast cancer. These women were also less likely to have their cancer come back.
Another powerful compound found in broccoli called sulforaphane, a powerful phytochemical with many health benefits that include reducing inflammation and toxins, It also protects DNA, slow tumor growth, promotes bone formation and reduces bone resorption.
Just some of the main benefits of broccoli:
- prevents disease and sickness, and even some cancers
- improves immune system (Vit. C)
- lowers blood pressure (potassium)
- aids nervous system and brain function (potassium)
- improves health of the eyes (lutein)
- weight loss – (anti-oxidants which help fight inflammation, and fiber, which is filling)
Broccoli can be eaten raw, steamed, grilled, roasted, pureed. You name it, and you can eat that way (almost). It can be served as a snack, side dish, vegetable, salad, main dish, soup, dessert (okay, am not sure about a dessert).
You can even eat broccoli sprouts, which are known for their cancer fighting properties. My favorite way is lightly steamed until crisp, tender, with a dollop of butter and salt and pepper . See below.
Steam broccoli for 4-6 minutes until bright green in color, and just tender crisp. Top with a slab of butter, or coconut oil before serving. My family eats it up with none left! I always make sure broccoli is on our dinner table 3-4 times a week! For my Spicy Thai Broccoli, go here: https://veronicashealthyliving.com/spicy-thai-broccoli/ and Broccoli Salad with a Twist, go here: https://veronicashealthyliving.com/broccoli-salad-with-a-twist/.
You can also check out my Broccoli Stem Slaw Recipe here: https://veronicashealthyliving.com/broccoli-stem-slaw/
“The American Cancer Society recommends eating broccoli similar cancer-killer cruciferous vegetables several times a week for the best protection. Broccoli consumption improves the body’s ability to fight cancer in a variety of ways, including providing antioxidants, regulating enzymes, and controlling apoptosis and cell cycles.” (Dr. Axe)
So eat up and enjoy the many health benefits. Be creative and learn new ways to serve broccoli. I dare you!
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