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a giant broccoli tree

Eat Broccoli!

Broccoli has notoriously been known as the least favorite food of many a child, and dare I say, many an adult as well? Luckily around here, it’s a family favorite. Chock full of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, it is the perfect veggie for any meal!

What are the health benefits of broccoli?

Broccoli has a lot of nutritional value and health benefits.

Antioxidants

Broccoli is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are believed to be cancer-fighting agents as they attack free radicals in the body that can lead to health problems. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, also contain glucosinolates which are also believed to have cancer-fighting properties.1

Fiber

Fiber is such an important part of any healthy diet. Think of it as a toothbrush for your insides, keeping things clean and helping them move along. One cup contains two grams of fiber. Fiber eaten with carbohydrates can help lower the rate in which the carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream. This is always helpful when you have diabetes as avoiding blood glucose spikes is a great goal.

Protein

Some people are unaware that vegetables can contain protein. It’s true! One cup of broccoli contains three grams of protein aiding in satiety after the meal. The great thing about broccoli is that one cup provides many wonderful nutrients with minimal calories. So they leave you feeling full and satisfied without having to overeat. Pro tip: When out at a restaurant, ask to switch your french fries for steamed broccoli. You will be surprised at how delicious and satisfying that crunch is with your favorite restaurant meal!

Other nutrients

Broccoli is high in vitamin K, which is helpful in blood clotting, as well as folate, which aids in cell division. It is also high in potassium, which regulates the balance of fluids in the body.2 As you can see, broccoli has no shortage of important nutrients that our body thrives on every day.

What are the best ways to eat broccoli

Some people may have difficulty digesting raw broccoli. If that is the case for you, try slowly increasing your raw broccoli intake to build up a tolerance. You can also cook it slightly to enjoy the benefits without the added gas or discomfort. Try steaming your broccoli over boiling water or in a rice or vegetable steamer. Place the stems down and steam for four minutes so the broccoli is still slightly firm and crunchy, leaving many of its health benefits intact. Another option, and one of my favorites, is roasted broccoli. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Season broccoli with some salt, pepper and cumin and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until broccoli tops are slightly browned and crispy. They are a great addition to salads, stir frys, soups and as snack options. Try roasted vegetables for a snack. You will be surprised at how filling they are with their fiber and protein and how satisfying they can be with that flavor and crunch!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Robinson, Jo. Eating on the Wild Side. New York: Little Brown and Company 2014.
  2. Time Magazine “ 100 Healthiest Foods to Satisfy Your Hunger.” PP 22.

Comments

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks Katie!! I love this article. As a child I didn’t eat broccoli. Don’t recall seeing it to be honest. I didn’t start eating it until many years later. Someone was eating some raw with ranch. Told me to try it and I kept saying no. He insisted and broke off a stem, dipped it and made me eat it. Found out I liked it.

    Started buying it on my own and eating that way and then started eating it other ways at restaurants or in can soups etc. Really love it now. Still haven’t gotten the nerve to try the cauliflower yet though. 😉 But really do love the article. Made me think back to when I had first tried it.

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