Have you been eating your broccoli? No? Tsk tsk…
We’ll spare you the parental lectures and let our favorite dietitian spell out why it’s so important:
“Broccoli is a lean green fighting machine,” says Andrea Hardy dietitian and owner of Ignite Nutrition. Here are four very important reasons you should be eating broccoli on the regular:
1. Cause Nobody Wants Cancer
Broccoli is a great tool for preventing cancer. Although, it doesn’t cure it, the rich green veggie helps your body lower its chances of getting the disease. “There is some positive evidence to support that intake of cruciferous vegetables (think crunchy – broccoli, cauliflower) may help lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions,” Hardy explains. “The exact role these veggies take in preventing disease isn’t entirely established, but it’s likely that it’s a combination of many of the vegetables nutrients, including its phytochemicals and antioxidants. – Potentially protecting cells from damage, as well as the fiber.”
2. It Lowers that Cholesterol
Since broccoli is a rich source of soluble fiber you can let out a sigh of relief that all the cholesterol building up from the red meat you’re eating can be counteracted (maybe that’s why beef & broccoli are such a match made in heaven). Broccoli can also help in “reducing risk of colon cancer, promoting good gut health, and helping to reduce cholesterol reabsorption in the gut.” The reaction of binding with the soluble fiber and cholesterol in the blood allows the cholesterol in our bodies to be easily excreted. This is turn lowers our cholesterol levels. Phew!
3. The Heart is a Terrible Thing to Waste
On top of lowering your cholesterol, broccoli helps maintain strong blood vessels that aid in maintaining a healthy heart. Sulforaphane, which is found in broccoli, is an anti-inflammatory, which reverses damage in blood vessels created from chronic blood sugar issues. The B-complex vitamins also help prevent any pesky blood clots. When you don’t have enough B-vitamins in your system the amino acid build-up (from all those burgers and steaks) ends up increasing your risk of coronary artery disease.
4. You Want to Be Able to See Things When You’re Older, Right?
“Broccoli is a source of lutein, an antioxidant that may be beneficial in maintaining eye health as we age,” Randy states. This is also found in carrots which have the same benefits for the eye. In addition, zeaxanthin is also found in broccoli creating a double boost for protecting against macular degeneration. This condition blurs your central vision and causes cataracts, which form a clouding over the eye’s lens. Then when you’re ninety and living in an old-age home you won’t be able to tell which one of the nurses keeps taking your money!
5. Should I Eat it raw or steamed?
In the words of O.D.B. ‘Oh baby I like it raw!’ so we know how Ol’ Dirty liked it but how about the rest of us? Should we be cooking our broccoli or eating it raw?
“There are benefits to both, because different micronutrients will be more bio-available & ready for the body to absorb and utilize, depending on how it is prepared.” It really doesn’t make a difference in your preparation, “the reality is that most people don’t get enough vegetables a day. So I say, eat it however you like it. As long as you’re eating it, your dietitian will be happy!”
For your enjoyment we thought we’d let the rap legend himself inspire you to get back on the broccoli train!