You are capable of amazing things, but your body and your mind needs the
right nutritional fuel to perform at their peak. Broccoli may not be the
first thing that comes to mind when you think of superfoods, but it’s
the perfect produce for the boost you need.
While kale is the vegetable darling of the moment, broccoli is a contender
for the title of all-time nutrient champ. This over-achieving cruciferous
- Full of vitamins C, B, E and K and other healthy minerals, and micronutrients
that have many cancer-fighting properties. Broccoli has even more vitamin
C than an orange! And as we know, vitamin C is an excellent vitamin for
your hair, skin, teeth, fighting infection and maintaining your red blood
- A wonderful source of dietary fiber and protein, containing 2.6 grams of
the former and 2.82 grams of the latter in every 3.5-ounce serving.
- A promoter of enzymes that aid in detoxifying the human body. These same
enzymes also help to prevent diabetes, certain forms of cancer, heart
disease, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.
- A “mother lode” of basic micronutrients that are thought to
combat depression, improve bone strength and aid in digestion.
The best tasting broccoli will have firm, tight, dark green florets. The
stalks should be slightly lighter in color. Yellowing broccoli is a sign
that it is old and will taste strong; a whitish stalk will be tough and
woody. If you refrigerate broccoli in a plastic bag, it should keep up
to five days.
Broccoli is a variety of cabbage that has been cultivated by human beings
for thousands of years, but it is a relative newcomer to America. Native
to the Mediterranean, broccoli was first introduced to the United States
by Italian immigrants but did not become widely known here until the 1920s. The word
broccoli comes from the Italian for "the flowering crest of a cabbage",
and is the diminutive form of
brocco, which means "small nail" or "sprout."
You can fix broccoli in so many ways that you never need become bored with
it; however, the most popular way to eat broccoli is raw by itself or
as a crudité, which are assorted raw vegetables served as hors
d'oeuvres, typically with sauces into which they may be dipped. Some
of the healthier sauces that pair well with broccoli include hummus, salsa,
guacamole, and tahini.
Enjoying broccoli raw will provide you with the most nutritional benefits.
On the other hand, many people prefer the milder taste and softer bite
of steamed broccoli over that of raw. Whatever the cooking method, it’s
important not to overcook broccoli. The steaming process may cause some
of the vitamins to be lost, but it preserves broccoli’s nutrients,
color, and texture better than boiling.
You can mix broccoli with other vegetables, cover it with melted cheese,
or toss a finely-dice handful over a baked potato. Chop and stir it into
salads and brown rice bowls. On its own, it is a classic side for nearly
any type of beef, pork, poultry, or fish dish. Or for something truly
unusual, try adding broccoli as a topping for veggie pizza.
Whether you're focused on feeling better, or you wish to gain muscle
and lose body fat, broccoli is the vitamin-filled and protein-rich vegetable
that will boost both your mood and your workout.
Share your favorite broccoli tips in the comments below.