Meet the Ingredient: Broccoli

In Health, Nutrition by Eleni Simos, INHC0 Comments

Eleni Simos, INHC

Eleni Simos, INHC

Health Coach at The Clean Eating Chick
Eleni Simos is a certified Holistic Health Coach and graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Known as "The Clean Eating Chick," she is dedicated to educating people on the importance of healthier habits, self-love and a positive mindset for optimal health. Eleni shares her recipes, healthy lifestyle tips and coaching services through her blog TheCleanEatingChick.com
Eleni Simos, INHC

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Meet..BROCCOLI!

Now, we all remember when we were younger our parents, grandparents, every elder around us told us until they were blue in the face to eat our broccoli. And us, as children..did not want to listen to authority or really care to eat broccoli.

However, perhaps our elders were on to something. It turns out, this simple versatile green is really powerful and an excellent source of so many essential nutrients and vitamins we need to be our utmost healthiest selves!

The Top Four Benefits of Broccoli:

1. ANTI-CANCER PROPERTIES!
Yes, you read that right. It’s true. Your diet can directly effect your body’s chances of developing a disease. Increased consumption of broccoli can impact cancer cells. There is evidence everywhere (when you dig a little deeper past mainstream media) that a whole, plant based lifestyle can decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Please read The China Study – a perfect example with TONS of scientific studies to back up its claim, plant based lifestyles are essential for optimal health. Broccoli (along with many other veggies – isn’t nature so powerful! And cool?!) contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and assists in the body’s detoxification process. All of that combined allows scientists to draw the conclusion that incorporating the veggie into your diet can eliminate cancer and other inflammatory conditions, “connections between cancer development and oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and inadequate detoxification are so well-documented in the research that any food improving all three of these metabolic problems would be highly likely to lower our risk of cancer. In the case of broccoli, the research is strongest in showing decreased risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, and
ovarian cancer.” WOW!

2. Broccoli is HEART healthy!
Our hearts an essential part of our body, right? It is imperative to keep our hearts healthy so they can perform all the necessary functions to keep our bodies healthy. Did you know that our diets directly effect the impact of each and every organ of our body and how they function? Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. This potent compound activates a protein that prevents plaque build up in the arteries. According to
NaturalNews.com, sulforaphane also prevents platelets from clinging to blood vessel walls. Sulforaphane was discovered to also cease the creation of a new layer thickening within the walls of blood vessels flowing to the heart. sulforaphane’s ability to prevent blocks in blood vessels and inflammation of existing plaque was also found in another study highlighting these facts. This action helps prevent blockages in the arteries that lead to several heart complications. Best to keep your heart pumping and healthy!

3. Contains vitamin, after vitamin, after vitamin!
Pulling in a small 30 calories per cup (for those that believe counting calories is beneficial!), broccoli contains just about essential vitamin and nutrient to achieve optimal health. I can’t stress enough how important is to incorporate this little green into your day to day! Just one cup of broccoli contains 150% of the recommended daily amount (RDA) of Vitamin C. WHOA! Not only that but about 21% of the RDA of Vitamin A per cup. Rich in folates, carotenoids, Vitamin K, and B-complex group vitamins. Broccoli is also good for bone health and helps detoxify the blood. See, literally every important vitamin and nutrient known to mankind!

4. POWERFUL Detoxification Properties!
Broccoli contains powerful compounds that aid in the body’s detoxification process. According to WHFoods.org, “glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are three glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in body’s detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants,” detoxifying the body regularly and making sure you are ridding the body of toxins is extremely important. Regularly cleaning out the body (a little maintenance) will help your body run better, be healthier and overall YOU will feel better!

Okay so, who’s eating broccoli tonight?! ME!

There are so many ways to prepare this delicious vegetable. However, what is the best way to use it while still maintaining its potent and beneficial compounds?

How To Cook Broccoli:

The best part about broccoli is that you can eat it raw OR cooked. Raw broccoli is served up in those vegetable platters you find at holiday parties – just dip it in some hummus or your favorite clean sauce and you’re good to go!

-Sautee it!
In either a tofu scramble, coconut oil and garlic, or in your breakfast omelette. Incorporating as many veggies as you can in your morning meal can really maximize your energy throughout the day. Plus, with the added fiber to your morning it will prevent any snacking, or overeating!

-Juice it!
I know, sounds crazy..but it’s not! Depending on the type of juicer you have, I have the Breville Ikon Juice Fountain  and it is prettyyy powerful. All you have to do if slice it up and push it down the shoot. If you have a juicer on the smaller side, it would best best to juice the pieces at about 1″ cubed pieces. Juicing broccoli ensures all of its compounds are intact, and your body absorbs the nutrients fully from juice as opposed to regular digestion.

-Spiralize it!
YESS! For anyone that knows me, knows I am a SUCKER for spiralizing vegetables. Why have pasta when I can have ZOODLES?! Well, why have pasta when you can have..BOODLES?! Okay, maybe it doesn’t sound as cute, but I’ve seen it done! If you have this spiralizer here you can most certainly make broccoli noodles! I’m investing that ^ spiralizer pretty soon! The beauty of making “noodles” out of your vegetables is that it eliminates any unnecessary refined carb from the meal. As opposed to having processed wheat or white pasta, make the plant ultimately plant based and make the noodles from vegetables!

I hope you all begin to incorporate this versatile and deliciously beneficial vegetable into your daily diet, remember..it’s all about ADDING in to naturally crowd out the bad!

Start slow and ease into it, and always be kind to yourselves.

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