Like kale & cauliflower, broccoli belongs to the brassicas (cabbage) family. They are all part of what is called cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli is a nutrient-rich ingredient, full of vitamins (A, B9, C, K), minerals (calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, selenium) and fibre. It is also packed with antioxidants (sulforaphane, lutein, zeaxanthin), which reduce inflammation and thus are essential in the prevention of many diseases (heart diseases, cancer, cognitive health, oral health, skin health, bone/joint health).
Broccoli is very high in vitamin C which is known to support our immune system, allowing us to fight infections and prevent diseases.
As a rich source of fibre, broccoli support gut health (digestion, bowel movements, microbiome diversity) and can assist with reducing blood sugar levels, thus helping in the management of weight, insulin resistance and diabetes. It is also very low in calories.
It can be eaten raw or cooked but when cooked, it is best to use a gentle method such as steaming to reduce its nutrients’ loss. You can then toss it in olive oil, lemon & herbs & serve it with fish or meat, or if vegan/vegetarian, a bowl of brown pasta or rice. It is also delicious sprinkled with tamari soja sauce and sesame seeds for a really nice Asian flavour. If eaten raw, you can shave it over a salad or dip the small florets in hummus or guacamole for a healthy snack or starter.
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