Who needs “probiotic yogurt” to stay regular when you’ve got thousands of vegetables to choose from, which can get you regular in no time?
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).
Here are some of the reasons why I make sure to eat at least 1/2 cup of broccoli (or other cruciferous vegetable), everyday:
- 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.
- Fiberfor 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
- 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 preventsthe 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.
Spicy Sauteed Broccoli
(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 **
Rinse and chop the broccoli (including the stem, if you’re like me and you like it!). Plunge the rinsed and cut broccoli into a pot of boiling water (enough water to cover the broccoli) for 3 minutes, then rinse under cold water.
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.
So, if you are not feeling “regular” these days, grab some broccoli instead of “special yogurts” (or in addition to, if you want). You’ll save some money and get some serious nutrients while you’re at it! And if you take probiotics for immunity, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that a nice dose of green veggies can help with immunity too.
Check out these other ways to enjoy the benefits of broccoli;
Roasted Broccoli with Curry
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
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.
Enjoy your weekend everyone!!