I recently worked with someone on healthy ways to prepare her body for pregnancy. Broccoli kept coming up as one of the healthiest vegetables to get a lot of her necessary nutrients in. They are packed with vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, K and B complex, zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium; perfect for our bodies whether you are pregnant or just wanting to maintain a healthy body.
Yes broccoli and other vegetables in the cruciferous family such as brussels sprouts and cauliflower can cause bloating and gas, and if that is you read here about ways to ease gas and bloating.
Here are some of the benefits of eating broccoli:
- Broccoli is high in protein so if you do not eat any animal products then this is a good way to get your daily protein requirements in.
- It has anti-cancer compounds such as sulforaphane which helps with the prevention of liver, colon, skin, breast and stomach cancers.
- Broccoli is high in vitamin K, folate, iron, vitamin C, choline, all minerals required for a healthy pregnancy.
- It has antihistamine properties which helps with fending off seasonal allergies, sinus infections, watery eyes and colds and flu.
- It is high in fibre and low in calories so it helps with keeping you full therefore stopping you from over eating and then aiding in weight loss.
- Due to its high vitamin A content it is known to be really good for eye health, lowering your risk of macular degeneration.
- Increase in broccoli intake can aid in the reduction of the LDL-cholesterol
Steaming broccoli is one of the healthiest ways to cook it as it leaves a lot more of the nutrients intact.
I like to boil water and add my broccoli in for about 4-5 minutes or when it just starts to change colour and get a little bit softer. This way it also retains a lot of its nutrients.
I then sprinkle a little bit of rock or sea salt and lemon over it as it enhances the flavour beautifully.
One of my absolute favourite ways to consume broccoli is in its sprout form.
Gram for gram the sprouts have way more nutrients than when fully grown and are a lot easier to digest.
You can add these to just about any meal such as salads, soups or your main dish.