Remember when you were little and you used to think the broccoli florets on your plate were little trees? I still remember how much my brother loved to eat broccoli for this very reason!
My brother absolutely loved dinosaurs when he was younger. So when dinner time rolled around and broccoli was being served, he would pretend that he was a plant-eating dinosaur, like a Brachiosaurus, and eat the “dinosaur trees”. It was the cutest thing!
Actually many studies show that kids really do like broccoli. Maybe it’s because they see them as little trees… or maybe it’s because broccoli just tastes so good!
One thing is for sure, you definitely don’t want to overcook your broccoli. You can really lose out on the health benefits and on the flavor when it’s overcooked. It becomes soft, mushy, and loses it’s vibrant green color, making it way less appealing.
Broccoli is most nutritious when it’s lightly steamed, microwaved, or eaten raw. When it’s baked, boiled, fried, or just plain overcooked, it loses more of its nutritional value. Broccoli packs in so many wonderful nutrients for a very low cost and for very few calories!
Eating more cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, has been associated with a lower risk of cancer, especially cancer of the lung and colon. This association is mainly because of broccoli’s active ingredient called sulforaphane. Studies suggest that sulforaphane may help ward off damaging free radicals to help prevent cancer!
Dairy products aren’t the only foods that promote good bone health. Broccoli provides about 43 milligrams of calcium in just one cup. It also contains more than 100% of your daily needs of vitamin K. Adequate vitamin K intake improves calcium absorption, reduces urinary excretion of calcium, and is also linked to lower rates of bone fractures.
Out of all its cruciferous vegetable relatives, broccoli is the most concentrated in the wonderful antioxidant, vitamin C. Just one cup of broccoli offers more than the amount of vitamin C you need in an entire day! When vitamin C is consumed in it’s natural form (like in fruits and veggies), as opposed to supplement form, it may help prevent and even treat skin damage caused by the sun and pollution! Who needs anti-aging creams when you can simply just eat your way to having healthier, younger skin?
Broccoli clearly has a wealth of health benefits associated with it, so why not reap from those benefits… Try adding them to you next meal!
Ashley is a registered dietitian and a licensed dietitian in the state of Texas. She graduated from Framingham State University, majoring in nutrition and dietetics and she completed her dietetic internship at the University of Connecticut. (more)