FIT for Women, Health & Wellness, Superfood

Superfood spotlight: broccoli

By The Edith Sanford team

March 25, 2014

In honor of National Nutrition Month, we’re highlighting superfoods that benefit your health and prevent disease.

broccoliToday’s star: broccoli!

Like its cruciferous cousins, including cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, broccoli contains a phytochemical called sulforaphane that has been shown to have strong cancer-fighting properties. It’s also packed with high levels of vitamin C, K, A and folate.

We know broccoli’s not everyone’s favorite, but here are a few ideas that might help you fit more of it into your diet.

Full steam ahead!

(Or just steam a head… And maybe throw in some other stuff.)

To unleash broccoli’s nutritional wonders, try lightly steaming it for up to five minutes. Studies show that this is the best way to preserve the important sulforaphane compound.

For flavor, try a little olive oil, garlic (another cancer-fighting all star) and a dash of pepper. Lemon zest, pine nuts, slivered almonds or cranberries can also be tasty complements.

Take a dip

Eating broccoli raw is another great way to reap the most nutritional rewards. We know raw broccoli can be tough to swallow plain, but before you counteract all the healthy goodness by loading on the ranch, consider some other options.

Try experimenting with dips, like the one below, that are made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or sour cream. Hummus is another delicious option.

Veggie-Dip-1-of-2Greek Yogurt Vegetable Dip
by: a Couple Cooks
Makes: 12 servingsWhat You Need
18 ounce container 2% greek yogurt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large shallot (about 2 tablespoons chopped)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried dill
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper

What To Do
Finely mince a shallot.

Measure out 2 tablespoons of minced shallot, and mix together with all remaining ingredients.

 

Branch out

If you’re still not ready to join the broccoli fan club, explore some of the superfood’s other close relatives.

Ever heard of broccolini? A cross between broccoli and gai-lan, a Chinese broccoli, broccolini is like broccoli’s sweeter, skinnier, more delicate sister. It’s extremely versatile, a bit more kid-friendly and it packs a similarly powerful nutritional punch.

Broccoli sprouts are another great option. Crunchy and shaped like alfalfa sprouts, they’re easy to throw on top of a salad or sandwich.

Check out these other superfoods: