Lately I’ve been enjoying broccoli. I’ve desired it regularly since having my last son and it’s in most of our meals. Broccoli actually is a versatile vegetable. We’ve had it at every meal. A simple tip is that you can enjoy the stalk in different meals and use the head in others. It makes a great part to a curry or even breakfast dish. When you start to read about all the goodness in broccoli it’s no wonder that it is something I have been craving after childbearing and nursing for such a long time!
I recently did a cooking demonstration and was asked to find something suitable for sickle cell and prostrate cancer. I decided to further look into broccoli and here is what I discovered. Of the known phytochemicals and polyphenols Broccoli contains the most abundant quantities.
Phytochemicals are chemicals or compounds found in plants that help plants to thrive, protect them from predators or ward off pathogens. They are considered non-essential but they are certainly beneficial for humans.
Polyphenols are compounds found in plants, including flavonoids and phenolic acid, these greatly benefit the human body and help fight disease. They possess anti-inflammatory qualities and have an anti-oxidant potential. Phenols are also known to help protect us from metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease including diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
There is growing literature on Sulforaphane which is found in cruciferous vegetables especially, broccoli, broccoli sprouts and purple headed broccoli.
Sulforaphane: Sulforaphane is a chemical found in certain kinds of vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Sulforaphane is can be used for the prevention of prostate cancer and other types of cancer including breast cancer. You can read more about it here. Researchers have found that there are greater amounts in the sprouts rather than older heads.
Here are some of the vitamins found in broccoli:
Vitamins: A, C, K
Here are some of the benefits of the above vitamins:
A – Antioxidant and aids in the prevention and reversal of cancer
C – C is another anti-oxidant, supplementing with (vitamin E) and C halves the risk of having a heart attack.
Vitamin C supplementation can reduce blood pressure and Vitamin A supplementation can reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
K – is good for blood clotting, wound healing, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels.
Broccoli also contains the following minerals:
Minerals: Iron, zinc, phosphorous, potassium and calcium.
Iron – Iron is good for building healthy blood, it helps to form red blood cells and carries oxygen to organs and muscles. Women who have low iron may recognise some of the following symptoms: increased hair fall or breakage, tiredness, pale skin.
Zinc – Zinc is good for hair, skin and nails. It is helpful for the growth and regeneration of skin health and wound healing. It is also important for the development of the sex organs.
Phosphorous – Phosphorus helps support the skeletal system, it also helps with the metabolism of other nutrients. It is needed for cell activity and helps to release oxygen and energy into cells. It is also important for our hormones.
Potassium – Potassium is important for normal growth and for building muscle. It is also a part of what we cal; the electrolyte balance which helps cells to absorb water and regulate body fluids. As well as regulating the fluid balance it helps to regulate the heart’s rhythm and supports the nerves.
Calcium – Calcium is good for building healthy bones and teeth. It is also useful for the muscles, as it helps with their function as well as is necessary for blood clotting amongst other things. Breastfeeding mother should eat a diet that include calcium rich foods. Calcium works well with vitamin D, and magnesium. Acidic conditions in the body can cause the body to draw calcium stored in the bones so it’s important to eat foods that keep the body healthy.
Phytochemicals – Help to fight cancer, Sulforaphane is one of those: Sulforaphane is a chemical found in certain kinds of vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Sulforaphane is used for the prevention of prostate cancer and other types of cancer.
Don’t throw away the stem.
Here are some more useful properties of broccoli:
Phytonutrients and polyphenols in broccoli:
Bioflavonoids – potent antioxidants, they bind to toxic metals and help escort them out the body. Some foods include melon, tomatoes, broccoli and cucumber. Anti-cancer.
Chlorophyll – wound healer, protect against cancer, protect against some forms of radiation, kill germs.
Dithiliothiones – helps prevent cancer, and chemo-protective, helps to detox the liver.
Glucosinolates – anti-cancer effect, helps detoxify the liver from carcinogens and some drugs, highest in tenderstem broccoli.
When seeing the amount of goodness in just broccoli alone it’s no wonder why a new mum, a tired mum or anyone in need of a dietary boost would benefit from including this wonderful food. Here is a serving suggestion:
First of all fry 1 chopped red onion and 1 chopped clove of garlic. Take a punnet of cherry plum tomatoes and wash. Once the onion and garlic are soft add the tomatoes and any seasoning of your choice. I used sea salt paprika, cayenne pepper and a little bit of mixed spice. You could simply use some boullion. Also when you add the tomatoes you want to add the stem portion (chopped) of the broccoli as this will take longer to cook than the head, place a lid on the pan so it can steam in the juice of the tomatoes. Once everything is nice and soft add the head of broccoli- again chopped to your own preference just not too small and let it steam in the heat and juice of the tomato.
*Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended to replace medical advice. It is also not suitable to use ingredients if you are allergic to them or have experienced a sensitivity.
Written by Natasha Smith from Eden’s Script.