Ever since we were younger, tv shows depicted broccoli as a gross food that we should be hiding under napkins or feeding our dogs when our parents aren’t looking. At best it was the vegetable we needed to eat in order to qualify for dessert or get up from the table. This negative stigma on one of the most important vegetables is something we need to get rid of stat.
The health benefits of broccoli are no joke, and one you’re aware of them you shouldn’t need any more convincing to add broccoli to your weekly meal plans. On top of that, the older you get the more likely you are to enjoy the taste of broccoli, and with all the ways to cook this vegetable you can implement a fair amount of variety in how you prepare it.
5 Beautiful Broccoli Benefits
Let’s jump right into why this miraculous vegetable should be a staple of your eating.
- Broccoli is full of fiber. Fiber has been proven to normalize bowel movements, lower cholesterol, control blood sugar, and assist in maintaining a healthy weight. On top of that, fiber slows digestion, which helps you to feel more full for long after you’ve finished eating, reducing the risk of falling victim to constant snacking between meals. If you’re looking to cut calories and drop some weight, broccoli can help you tremendously.
- Broccoli shortens recovery periods. What you may not realize about broccoli is that it actually has more vitamin C than oranges, bananas, and other sources you’d expect to best broccoli. A serving of broccoli actually has over double the daily recommended dosage! This vitamin C is vital to repairing muscle tissue in the body, and studies have shown that consuming plenty of vitamin C helps individuals recover faster from strenuous exercise. And it doesn’t stop at muscles! Vitamin C helps produce cartilage, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and skin.
- Broccoli reduces inflammation. Sulforaphane and kaempferol, two common and easy to pronounce words I’m sure you use all the time, are found in broccoli, and help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation, which occurs when blood and fluid gather in an area as a defense mechanism, not only lengthens recovery times for soreness or injuries, but can have negative lasting effects such as arthritis if left unchecked. Broccoli fights that inflammation for you to keep your joints and muscles healthy.
- Broccoli combats diseases caused by obesity. Getting back to the vitamin C offered in broccoli, this food is able to help reduce vessel constriction for your vascular system, which in turn prevents vascular disease. Keep in mind, however, that while it helps, you should still exercise daily in order to take care of your vascular system even more and prevent obesity and its related diseases.
- Broccoli even fights cancer. Broccoli is possibly the most effective food you can find for cancer prevention. To quickly get scientific on you, broccoli is in a genus of plants categorized as brassica. This category included kale, cauliflower and cabbage. Studies have found that foods in the brassica category effectively decrease the risk of certain cancers such as stomach, lung, colon, and ovarian cancers, just to name a few! Additionally, broccoli’s high fiber and vitamin C lowers the risk of colorectal cancer and potentially esophageal cancer as well.
The benefits of broccoli are pretty impressive. Consuming one food throughout the week can not only get you your daily dose of fiber and vitamin C, but reduce inflammation, combat disease, and even reduce the risks of a variety of cancers. If that doesn’t convince you to put more broccoli in you diet then I don’t know what else to say!
3 Ways to Cook Broccoli
Right off the bat, there are more than 3 ways to cook broccoli. However, these are the three easiest ways that don’t take a lot of time and give you 3 different tastes and feels.
- Roasting. Probably my favorite method, and incredibly easy. Slice up broccoli, toss it with olive oil, throw some salt on it, and put it in the oven. Tastes great and the florets get a nice little crisp to them that really adds to the flavor and feel.
- Sauteing: This is the best method for combining broccoli with other vegetables. Get a large pan, put a bit of olive oil in the pan and then your broccoli. Be sure to stir but not too frequently, or else you won’t get the nice browning of the broccoli that you want.
- Boiling: This is the fastest, albeit most boring of the methods I’m sharing. Boil water in a pot and throw in the broccoli. That easy. Once it’s cooked, throw the broccoli onto a backing sheet so that it can cool.
You’re Ready to Go
You’ve got your benefits. You’ve got your cooking methods. You’re ready to start adding broccoli to your weekly diet regime. With all the great things broccoli can do for you, and how easy it is to make, you’re going to be wondering why you haven’t been eating broccoli a couple times a week for years now.