George Bush Sr. was quoted as saying, “I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m the President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”
C’mon, how can you not like broccoli? It is an innocuous vegetable. Broccoli is my favorite green vegetable of all time. We eat broccoli so frequently in my house that one argument between my kids erupted when my three-year old daughter said to her brother, “Nuh, uh. Dinner is not ready. We don’t have broccoli on our plates yet!” Her brother won that argument because dinner was indeed ready, but broccoli was not on the menu that night.
So you can imagine my delight when Dr. Jonny Bowden describes broccoli as “vegetable royalty,” renowned for its’ cancer fighting ability. Broccoli is a member of the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables. Other members of the family include swiss chard (which I tried for the first time & blogged about a couple of weeks ago,) bok choy, cabbage and kale. The secret cancer fighting ingredients in these guys are called isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates fight cancer by neutralizing carcinogens. Isothiocyanates help prevent lung and esophageal cancer, while lowering the risk of other cancers. Broccoli actually contains a particularly powerful isothiocyanate that is an inhibitor of mammary tumors.
The American Cancer Society recommends eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, in part because of the powerful compound – indole-3-carbinol.
Women: Listen up!
Indole-3-carbinol is particularly important to women because it reduces the risk of breast and cervical cancer. Indole-3-carbinol also increases the ratio of good/benign estrogen metabolite (2-hydroxyesterone) to the potentially harmful ones (16-alpha-hydroxyestrone and 4-hydroxyestrone.) Indole-3-carbinol is a strong antioxidant, stimulator of detoxifying enzymes and protects the structure of DNA.
Broccoli also has high levels of sulforaphane, which also helps fight carcinogens, particularly those associated with prostate cancer.
Broccoli is also great for dieters because one cup has only 30 calories, but has a whopping 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 288 mg potassium, 43 mg calcium, 81 mg of vitamin C, plus folate, magnesium, phosphorus, beta-carotene, vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin. Talk about bang for your buck! You get a ton of vitamins and nutrition for very little calories.
I prefer the Bird’s Eye Broccoli Florets steamed in the microwave. I also love to order steamed shrimp and broccoli at our favorite Chinese restaurant, Golden Palace. But, one of my favorite dishes that includes broccoli is my clean eating beef and broccoli. Try it out and let me know what you think!
Clean Beef and Broccoli
- Flank Steak
- Lite Soy Sauce
- Broccoli Florets
I simply stir-fry all of the ingredients together, starting with the flank steak (cut into thin strips), then adding the broccoli and carrots with the soy sauce. Dinner is on the table in minutes!
Do you have a favorite broccoli recipe? Please share!