Beautiful. Beneficial. Broccoli.

broccoli

Here’s another ex-nemesis-now-best-friend in the nutrition department: broccoli. I never cared for it and until recently, happily skipped past it in the produce section. Parents of picky eaters know all to well how challenging meal time can be when it comes to getting their tykes to down these little green clusters of nutritional goodness because quite frankly, they can come up short in the taste department. But if you could dress up its palatability without sacrificing its substance, you would enjoy the best of both worlds – taste and nutrition – and even win the approval of even the most culinary-prejudiced at your table. Before I share this delicious recipe, here are some of the invaluable benefits of broccoli.

Broccoli isn’t called a “super food” lightly. Studies have found that the cruciferous vegetable packs a serious nutritional punch with amazing disease-fighting properties. Loaded with vitamins, folate, fiber, calcium, antioxidants and iron, it’s a staple on my shopping list.

  • Cancer-fighting properties. It turns out that there are chemicals in broccoli that contain sulphur, which give it and similar vegetables their bitter taste. But those same not-so-tasty chemicals break down during food preparation, chewing, and digestion to form the compounds and enzymes that ward off cancer, rid the body of toxins and strengthen the body’s resistance to colds. Add some spicy foods like mustard, horseradish and wasabi to give broccoli’s cancer-fighting powers an extra boost. The recipe below does just that!
  • It can help fight depression. Studies show that poor folate-intake can increase the risk for mood-related problems like depression, bad memory, or fatigue. Packed with vitamin B folate, broccoli can boost your mood if made a regular part of your menu.
  • Vitamins galore! Broccoli boasts a vitamin list so extensive that eating it is like going vitamin shopping and being able to check most off your list! Here are a few.
    • Vitamin A: Helps fight cancer, is essential for good vision and for fending off eye diseases like glaucoma, promotes healthy glowing skin, strong bones and teeth.
    • Vitamin C: Improves the immune system and fights off infection. It also supports healthy gums and teeth, heals cuts and wounds, and aids in the absorption of iron. Actually, just one cup of broccoli has as much vitamin C as an orange, and satisfies your daily requirement!
    • Vitamin K: Also helps to prevent certain cancers, osteoporosis, and heart disease, and has antioxidant properties.
    • B-vitamins: Vitamin B6 along with folate can help prevent heart disease and stroke.
  • Filling fiber for digestion: Broccoli has both soluble and insoluble fiber which helps in digestion and prevents constipation by cleaning the digestive tract. It is also very filling, and being low in calories is a perfect go-to for those wanting to lose weight, and a healthy low-carb choice for diabetics. Dietary fiber also helps lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.
  • Good news for nerves and blood pressure! Thanks to its potassium content, eating broccoli can stabilize your blood pressure and preserve a healthy nervous system and brain function.
  • Iron for teeth: An excellent source of iron, broccoli has been proven to protect tooth enamel from the eroding acids in foods.
  • Nutrients for the whole body. With lutein for eye health; calcium for strong bones and teeth; anti-inflammatory compounds to aid in slowing down the decomposition of joint cartilage and fight arthritis; broccoli is an essential part of eating and staying healthy.

When I tried this Broccoli Salad with Sweet Vinaigrette recipe for the first time, I knew the nutritional benefits, but wasn’t sure how its taste would stack up. I was pleasantly surprised, and now I eat this salad a couple times a week. Check out this colorful and healthy broccoli salad the whole family can enjoy.

  • 3 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezedbroccoli salad
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard (remember? cancer-fighting booster!)
  • 1 teaspoon 100% fruit orange marmalade preserves
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion

In a plastic storage container, whisk together the juice, yogurt, mustard, and preserves. Add the broccoli and onion. Toss to coat. Cover the container with the lid. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day before serving.

Makes 1 serving

Per serving: 85 calories, 5g protein, 18g carbohydrates, less than 1g fat (trace saturated), less than 1 mg cholesterol, 3g fiber, 177 mg sodium

If you like this recipe, let me know! I would love to see some of your own culinary creations that turn healthy foods into healthy AND delicious delights!

Thank you for being tuned in parents. I welcome your comments, suggestions, and tips! There’s more for you, too, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

-Wendy-Tricia

References:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes-photos/superfoods-for-your-diabetes-diet.aspx#06

http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health-pictures/eat-your-way-to-whiter-teeth-with-these-foods.aspx#02

http://www.everydayhealth.com/cancer/cancer-and-diet-questions.aspx

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/build-a-better-body-with-broccoli.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/03/24/vitamin-k-part-two.aspx

Alexander, Devin.(2006) The Biggest Loser cookbook: more than 125 healthy delicious recipes adapted from NBC’s hit show/Chef Devin Alexander and The Biggest Loser experts and cast;foreword by Bob Harper and Kim Lyons.

image: BROCCOLI by whologwhy – Creative Commons

About Yari

Yari is a TiP Team author, writer, and aspiring journalist hailing from the sunny, twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Although she first came to the States to pursue her love and passion for journalism, she enjoys using words to express herself beyond the discipline of just news.

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