I hated broccoli as a kid. To me it was right up there with liver, well, almost. I avoided broccoli like the plague. When I was given a choice to eat my broccoli or go without dinner, I went without dinner.
When I turned fifteen years of age I started to read articles on health. This was mainly due to the pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno hanging on my wall. I wanted to know not only how these guys got so huge, but stayed so lean while doing it. The bodybuilding magazines were full of articles on nutrition and even though most of it was crap, I read through every article I could get my hands on.
For me, like Arnold, it was just a matter of time before I reached my goal of being on the cover of Muscle Builder. So began my journey into all things nutritious and other things not so nutritious. But for now, we’re going to concentrate on the nutritious.
I resisted as best I could against all of the evidence for broccoli, but it was overwhelming. My Mom tried hard to get me to eat it as a kid, telling me it was “good for me”, but now came proof after proof through my research. At seventeen years of age I bit the bullet and started eating broccoli. I’m sure as heck glad I did. It’s been twenty seven years since then and I lost count of how many studies on the benefits of broccoli there are now, close to three billion I think.
But when you take a closer look at this vegetable it’s not hard to believe broccoli could be the king of them all. Some of the nutrients found in broccoli include vitamins C, K, A, B1-3, B5&6, E, Zinc, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Phosphorus, Tryptophan, Folate, Protein and Dietary Fiber among others.
Broccoli works against prostate cancer, breast cancer, multiple myeloma, lung cancer, colon cancer, and even cancers of the organs like liver cancer.
It also speeds up the removal of estrogen from the body, helping to suppress breast cancer.
Broccoli is rich in cholesterol-reducing fiber and has anti viral and anti ulcer activity. It is a super source of chromium that helps regulate insulin and blood sugar. Broccoli also fights anemia, and lessens the risk of spina bifida.
Because of its high levels of vitamin C, beta carotene, and fiber, broccoli is a powerful antioxidant that helps to prevent damage to cells caused by free radicals, believed to be a factor in cancers, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, arthritis, and in the aging process itself.
The high fiber content of broccoli is also of benefit in cases of diabetes. Broccoli also has as much calcium as milk; this is a good source of nutrition for those with osteoporosis or calcium deficiencies. Broccoli is the miracle which the drug makers seek to package and sell.
In short, eat you broccoli, your body will reward you. And keep in mind that boiling broccoli or cooking it with any method that immerses it in water while it cooks removes many of the valuable nutrients. Steaming or even stir frying broccoli does a far better job of preserving the healthy effects.
Of course, eating it raw is great. I almost always eat it raw in salads, but before I do I like to give it a spraying over with either hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to remove pesticides.
Also, when you’re shopping for broccoli, look for it to have fresh looking light-green stalks of consistent thickness. The bud clusters should be compact and dark green, and may have some purple tinge.