Mom Was Right about Broccoli’s Health Benefits

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Mom Was Right about Broccoli’s Health Benefits

Growing up, your mother might have often said, “Eat your broccoli!” When you asked why, she might have responded, “Because it’s good for you!” While Mom didn’t have the research to back up her command, as it turns out, she was very right about broccoli’s health benefits. Hopefully, over the years, you learned to love broccoli, perhaps with some help from Mom. For many, though, a taste for broccoli may never have been cultivated. However, now the health benefits of broccoli might be of more importance to you. So, learning about why broccoli is so good for you and tasty ways to cook with it might give you reasons to incorporate it into your diet more often.

Moms Love the Health Benefits of Broccoli

It almost seems as if moms just know what foods have the best health benefits. While it may just be instinct, broccoli is often a staple for parents who want to help their children create good eating habits. Additionally, many know green vegetables to be great sources of vitamins and minerals essential to good growth and development. Therefore, it makes sense that broccoli contains some of the highest percentages of some of the world’s most important vitamins, like B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc (1).In addition to vitamins, broccoli also can help reduce the risk of high cholesterol, inflammation, and indigestion (2).

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To begin, B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc all have varying yet equally important health benefits. For example, potassium is a mineral and electrolyte compound that is required to help nerve function and heart contraction (1).  Alongside crucial vitamins and minerals, broccoli is also very high in fiber. Fiber helps stimulate metabolic processes and balance the bacteria found in the intestinal tract. Therefore, fiber is important for good digestive health (2).  In the average 2000 calorie a day diet, 10 grams of broccoli is recommended. Eating only 250 calories worth of broccoli would fill your recommended daily fiber intake (2).

Mom’s Secret Broccoli Recipes

As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to incorporate broccoli into your diet more often. However, when presented with the idea, many people think, “Broccoli, yuck!” To help get yourself out of this mindset, it is important to find recipes that appeal to your taste buds. Think of how most moms get their kids to eat vegetables: simply mask the taste or appearance of broccoli!

For instance, frying food often makes it a little more appealing. For this reason, broccoli fritters are a great way to get the benefits of broccoli without getting the taste of broccoli. In order to reduce fat intake associated with frying food, consider swapping your butter or vegetable oil for extra virgin olive oil. That way, you can still get the health benefits of broccoli and the great taste of a pan fried fritter (3).

Another favorite among broccoli haters is broccoli and cheese soup. This classic broccoli standard has made believers out of many who say they don’t enjoy eating broccoli or broccoli based meals (4).  In fact, broccoli and cheese soup is a great way to sneak those vitamins and minerals into a lunch time or dinner meal because both flavor and appearance are often camouflaged. Also, if you are concerned with the high levels of fat in cheese or cream used in most broccoli and cheese soup recipes, try swapping them out for vegan versions, which tend to be lower in fat content (5).

Make Mom Proud

For most moms, it is a proud day when their children begin to actually enjoy green vegetables like broccoli. Remember though, eating broccoli has more benefits than just making mom proud. Between the vitamins, minerals, and overall health benefits of broccoli, you’d be hard pressed to find a more vital vegetable on any dinner table. To help you bring broccoli to the table more often, try some recipes for broccoli haters, and see if you can become one of broccoli’s biggest advocates.

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References

  1. http://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/All-Star-Foods/Vegetables/Article-Viewer/Article/91/health-benefits-of-broccoli.aspx
  2. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9
  3. http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/5-ways-to-serve-broccoli-if-you-dont-like-broccoli-dont-worry-its-still-a-good-post/
  4. http://www.girlsgonechild.net/2012/01/eat-well-broccoli-or-bust.html
  5. http://zachspuckler.com/vegan-creamy-cheesy-broccoli-soup/
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