Commonplace Superfoods: Broccoli

You don’t have to buy exotics foods from a far way land to experience major health benefits. There are plenty of highly nutritious superfoods waiting to be discovered, at your local grocery store.  Let’s begin by taking a look at broccoli.

 

 

Broccoli? Yes broccoli. Your mom was right, it really is good for you.  For starters, broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of plants. Consumption of these mighty plants are associated with a lower risk of colon, breast, mouth, esophageal, and renal cancers[1]. Certain components in broccoli are thought to protect against inflammation[2]. One interesting study even showed that 10 days of broccoli consumption reduced DNA damage[3]

Broccoli is also rich in vitamin C and vitamin K. In fact one cup of broccoli will provide more than the daily recommended intake of both vitamins.  These two vitamins are crucial for maintaining good health. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, keeps the lungs functioning, helps wounds heal, prevents infection and acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting, which is a good thing. Your body needs a way to stop the bleeding if you ever get cut. It also plays an important role in bone and brain health[4].

Luckily this super veggie is relatively inexpensive. Two servings of fresh broccoli cost around $2.00, but you can also buy it frozen for about $1.50. PLUS It’s easy to prepare! 

  • Try raw broccoli with a side of hummus or a ranch. You can even toss some into your salad or prepare a salad with broccoli instead of lettuce! Click here for a delicious broccoli salad recipe.
  • Try steamed broccoli with some squeezed lemon on top before serving as a simple side dish. Side note, broccoli makes a delicious addition to loaded baked potatoes.

In summary, broccoli contains lots of nutritional benefits, it is easy to find at your grocery store, and there are SO many ways to serve this super veggie. Try it today!  

 

Written by University of Idaho Coordinated Program in Dietetics Student,

Cierra Neiwert 

 

[1] C. Bosetti, M. Filomeno, P. Riso, J. Polesel, F. Levi, R. Talamini, M. Montella, E. Negri, S. Franceschi, C. La Vecchia (2012) Cruciferous vegetables and cancer risk in a network of case-control studies Annals of Oncology
[2] Guerrero-Beltrán, C. E., Mukhopadhyay, P., Horváth, B., Rajesh, M., Tapia, E., García-Torres, I., & … Pacher, P. (2012). Sulforaphane, a natural constituent of broccoli, prevents cell death and inflammation in nephropathy. Journal Of Nutritional Biochemistry, 23(5), 494-500. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2011.02.004
[3] Riso, P., Martini, D., Moller, P., Loft, S., Bonacina, G., Moro, M., & Porrini, M. (2010). DNA damage and repair activity after broccoli intake in young healthy smokers. Mutagenesis, 25(6), 595-602. doi:10.1093/mutage/geq045
[4] Mahan, L., Escott-Stump, S., Raymond, J. (2012) Krause’s Food and Nutrition Care Process 13th ed St. Louis, Elsevier
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