How many of you grew up hearing “Eat your broccoli!”
I hated broccoli.
Oh, if only I knew then what I know today about this powerful vegetable.
First cultivated in Italy, broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable from a flowering plant family that includes cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
Broccoli is good for:
- bone health
- cancer prevention
- immune system support
- protection against the effects of smoking
- helps heals cuts and wounds
- heart health
- eye health
Broccoli is considered a powerful antioxidant and a superfood because it is a great source of:
- vitamin K
- folic acid
- vitamin A
- vitamin C
- sulforaphane (a very powerful antioxidant)
Sadly in today’s polluted world, you want to eat organic broccoli if you can because broccoli absorbs pesticides sprayed on it when growing in the field.
Broccoli sprouts are 3- to 4-day-old broccoli plants, harvested before the plant matures. They look like alfalfa sprouts, but they have the poignant taste of a radish.
These sprouts are concentrated in nutrients – they have up to 50 times the amount of phytonutrients than a mature head of broccoli.
Diabetes and Autism
Sprouts contain an abundance of myrosinase, which is an enzyme needed to form sulforaphane, which is a primary chemical that aids your immune system.
Sulforaphane suppresses the genes associated with Type II diabetes, and according to research by the National Academy of Sciences, sulforaphane improved verbal communication and social interaction in autism patients.
Sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol are two chemicals found in broccoli that boost digestive enzymes, and they are considered antioxidants. They have a positive effect on estrogen levels, so researchers believe that broccoli may help reduce prostate and breast cancers.
Digestion and Detoxification
Broccoli stimulates digestion in many ways, and good digestion promotes detoxification.
The phytochemicals glucoraphanin, gluconasturtin, and glucobrassicin are the components that work together to aid detoxification, and these phytochemicals are particularly concentrated in broccoli sprouts.
Broccoli is good for your eyes because it contains both lutein and the antioxidant zeaxanthin. Both of these chemical nutrients help protect the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts.
As always, it’s best to eat your veggies raw, or as raw as possible, which includes steaming your broccoli. I recommend eating broccoli sprouts raw, however.
Remember, the closer to its origin, the more nutrients will be in place – ready for your body to capture and release.
My Mom’s Broccoli Salad Recipe
This is a pretty standard broccoli salad recipe, and you can add veggies to it, or remove some ingredients, like the bacon or cheese. You can also use any type of dressing that you prefer.
This recipe is a basic landing page for you to modify to your liking.
- Combine broccoli florets, cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, bacon, sunflower seeds, and onion in a large bowl.
- In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together mayo, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until smooth and well-combined. (My mom made her own mayo.)
- Pour dressing over broccoli combination and toss / stir well.
- Serve cold.
And there you have it. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.
Before taking vitamins, consult your doctor; pre-existing medical conditions or medications you are taking can affect how your body responds to multivitamins.