Why and How to Eat Broccoli
By Kat Gal
Broccoli is one of those vegetables that – along with carrots – gets a negative reputation in cartoons, not to mention among children.
I’ve never understood this. Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables. It looks fun, tastes great, is excellent for your health and can be prepared in so many different ways.
Yet, a lot of people don’t think of broccoli as a “cool” vegetable. Besides its bad reputation, many people only know the overcooked broccoli in college cafeterias. Others only use it as a quick side dish, microwaving cheap, frozen bags. Both versions are mushy and flavorless.
But believe me, eating fresh broccoli is absolutely delicious when it’s served cooked or raw.
But what are the health benefits of broccoli?
1. Broccoli is very alkaline, keeping our acid-alkaline balance stable. Our bodies need to be in a slightly alkaline state in order to ward off disease. Disease cannot exist in an alkaline environment so eating alkaline foods, like broccoli is crucial for your well-being.
2. Broccoli is an excellent source of protein. A cup of broccoli has as much protein in it as a cup of rice. Proteins are the main building blocks of the body used to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin. Though many people worry that it is difficult to get enough protein on a plant-based diet, it is not true. Broccoli is, for example, one of the great vegetable protein sources available.
3. Broccoli is full of antioxidants, including vitamin C, carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and many more. Antioxidants play a crucial role in our overall health because they neutralize free-radicals that attack fats, protein and the DNA in our cells. Antioxidants protect you from cancer and other diseases.
4. Broccoli is excellent for bone health due to its high levels of calcium and vitamin K.
5. Steamed broccoli has powerful cholesterol-lowering qualities.
6. Broccoli is important for heart health because of its sulforaphane content and its anti-inflammatory properties.
7. Broccoli supports all steps of the detoxification process through its phytonutrients, like glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin.
8. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin K, keeping our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Vitamin D is important to absorb calcium therefore promote bone health. Vitamin D also aids proper immune function, decreases your chances of heart disease and reduces your risk of certain diseases.
9. Broccoli is high in fiber and therefore helps digestion.
10. Broccoli looks beautiful and tastes amazing, making your mind and soul happy too (and remember, health is all about the mind-body-soul connection!).
What are some delicious ways to make broccoli? There are so many options to enjoy broccoli, you can literally eat it every day and never get bored. Maybe that’s just me. 🙂
1. You can enjoy broccoli raw. You can eat it as a snack, perhaps with dips like hummus or artichoke dip.
2. You can add broccoli – especially broccoli stems – to your green juice. It will give a nice, sweet flavor to it.
3. You can lightly steam broccoli, keeping it slightly crunchy, but still bright and colorful. It is an excellent side, but can also be a main course.
4. Broccoli is a great addition to stir-fries. Don’t overcook it, but keep it crunchy.
5. Broccoli is awesome for salads, both raw and steamed.
6. Broccoli can serve as an excellent topping on pizzas or stuffing in tortillas (both raw and cooked).
7. Dehydrated broccoli can also serve as an excellent snack in replacement of unhealthy potato chips.
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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