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.
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 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.
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!
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!
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