Nick and I get about 50% of our fiber each week from broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower. No joke (ok, I’ve never done the math, but that’s my guess). Since we like broccoli so much it’s imperative that I continue coming up with new ways to prepare it (although, we’d eat it in any form, really).
- Vitamin C for collagen repair (especially good for the small capillaries that help with circulation, and for gum health). Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, and works with other compounds in broccoli to increase it’s ability to act as an antioxidant.
- Fiber for heart health and a healthy GI tract.
- Folate for heart health and for DNA synthesis (especially important for young women who may become pregnant, or who are currently pregnant.)
- Phytonutrients that act to bolster antioxidant defenses, and some of which actually act as antioxidants.
- Phytoestrogens, which are “plant estrogens”. They act similar to human estrogen, but instead of binding to estrogen receptors on cancer cells, and helping to replicate the cancer, it binds to the receptor and prevents the binding of human estrogen, thus preventing the growth of hormone sensitive cancers (prostate and breast cancer are two examples).
- Beta-catoene, lutein, xeaxanthin (all carotenoids), which can help prevent numerous types of cancer (especially colon and bladder) and which help protect the eyes, and the skin from UV rays.
(Adapted from a recipe in Nutrition Action)
Makes ~ 4 cups
1 head of broccoli
2 T garlic olive oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. salt
** If you want to use actual garlic cloves, you can, just use regular olive oil and 5 cloves of thinly sliced garlic **
Add the garlic oil to a hot pan (set on medium) and saute the red pepper flakes for about 30 seconds (this is when you would saute garlic, if you choose to use garlic). Stir in the broccoli and saute until hot. Season with ~1/8 tsp. salt.
Serve hot, if you can.
QUESTION: What’s your favorite way to eat broccoli? Or if you don’t like broccoli, what’s your favorite immunity-boosting green veggie?
Need some ideas for adding more cruciferous veggies to your holiday dishes? Check out this article from USAToday.com.
One more thing, I really appreciated all of your comments (positive and negative!) on my last post about the Dean Ornish Program. I read each one of them and appreciated what I learned from your honest opinions.