Broccoli: Superhero of Superfoods
Shaped like green mini-trees, broccoli is a real superhero. It is loaded with a powerhouse of nutrients beneficial for digestion, heart health, and the immune system. It's also high in fiber vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A and B6 and research shows that these nutrients, along with other compounds in broccoli, have anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing properties.
Broccoli is packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants. These amazing substances influence cancer-fighting activity within our bodies, such as stimulating the immune system, stopping substances we breathe or eat from becoming carcinogens, reducing inflammation that makes cancer growth more likely, and even slowing the growth rate of cancer cells.
Broccoli's secret weapon is actually two chemicals: sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol (I3C). These chemicals boost the body's ability to detoxify, help moderate estrogen levels, and have been shown to slow the progression of tumors. In fact, sulforaphane is the most powerful antioxodant know to man according to a study at Johns Hopkins University and broccoli sprouts are the best source.
It's easy to add broccoli to your diet because you can enjoy it raw, steamed, in stir-fry, soups, slaws, and even in a green smoothie. A serving is one cup; aim for two to three servings per week. But don't eat that broccoli raw! You're actually better off steaming it lightly before eating it since raw cruciferous veggies can have thyroid suppressive effects. You'll also want to enjoy it with a little fat like organic extra virgin olive oil or grass-fed ghee to make sure that you get all those wonderful fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K).
Tips for buying the best broccoli: Choose organic broccoli with uniformly colored florets (dark green, sage or purple-green, depending upon variety) and with no yellowing. Store in a plastic bag, with no extra air trapped inside, in the fridge for up to a week