When was the last time you ate broccoli? When was the last time you got excited about eating broccoli? Well now’s the time to gorge on your greens! If the following facts about broccoli don’t get you excited to chow down, then hopefully Gordon Ramsey and the two recipes I’ve included will!
What makes Broccoli a super food?
When it comes to nutritional content, “Broccoli is the mother lode!” After researching the following stats, broccoli has become much easier to swallow!
- Ounce per ounce broccoli has more vitamin C in it than oranges
- Broccoli contains more calcium than a glass of milk
- One medium spear has more fibre than a slice of wheat bran bread
- Out of all produce, broccoli is the highest source of vitamin A
- What catapults broccoli into the stratosphere of a super food is its cancer fighting properties, namely isothiocyanates .
How Broccoli prevents and fights cancer
Broccoli contains an abundance of isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates stimulate the production of “Phase two enzymes”. These enzymes are our bodies own cancer fighting cells. They neutralize potential cancer causing substances before they have a chance to damage the DNA of our cells. The more of these we have the more protected we are from cancer. For example, studies have shown that these isothiocyanates are particularly powerful in blocking the growth of melanoma skin cancer cells.
Experiments using broccoli have shown dramatic results. At the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, they did a study on Broccoli’s cancer fighting powers with rats. They exposed these rats to a carcinogen that is known to stimulate breast cancer. One group had been fed broccoli for a few days before whilst the other group had not. The results of this study where very clear. The broccoli munching rats were half as likely to develop cancerous tumors, and even if the ones who did get cancer developed much smaller tumors and less of them.
What if you don’t like broccoli?
Never fear, there are options. Broccoli sprouts are the tender shoots of broccoli are delicious in salads or sandwiches. They have actually been shown to have even more potent cancer fighting substances than the broccoli itself! Many supermarkets now carry broccoli sprouts.
If you really can’t stand broccoli other produce in the cancer fighting cruciferous family include cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy. They also contain powerful cancer fighting substances. Studies done on these vegetables have been shown to reduce cancer including tumors of the stomach, oesophagus, lung, oral cavity and pharynx (throat), endometrium (lining of the uterus), pancreas, and colon. Why don’t you make it your challenge to have at least one of these vegetables every single day of your life?
Two easy ways to add broccoli into your diet.
Watch the 5-minute clip above of master chef Gordon Ramsey preparing what is the easiest dish in the world. I replace the goats cheese with a dollop of low fat yoghurt or a shaving of Parmesan cheese. A soup that can be used at dinner parties or slurped in a cup on the couch!
Broccoli (of course!)
Goats cheese or Low fat yoghurt or a shaving of Parmesan
Blender or stick blender
Broccoli and tuna salad
1 tin tuna in oil (even this health freak doesn’t recommend using tuna in brine for this one, too bland! Try adding your own oil or a squeeze of lemon if you are really fat conscious)
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add a pinch of salt, then your chosen amount of broccoli cut into its florets. Broccoli is ready when a kitchen knife can easily cut through a floret without much resistance. Drain and transfer broc to serving dish. Pour the tin of tuna in oil aver the broc and stir through. Season with salt and pepper. Eat hot. Great snack or light meal.
Do you have any other broccoli variations that you like to eat? I bet you’re glad your parents forced you to eat those greens when you were a kid!