From sturdy stalk to bushy, flowery top, broccoli has been called a 'superfood' and rightfully so. Readily available year-round, this cousin of the cauliflower is chock-full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and even protein. Just one cup of the chopped, raw vegetable provides 135 percent of the recommended daily nutritional value for vitamin C.
The ABCs of broccoli's nutritional benefits
Some of the predominant nutrients of broccoli include:
Broccoli as aid in disease prevention
Although no one food is a medicine or vaccine against disease, good nutrition definitely plays an important part in maintaining good health, and some foods are better at it than others. When it comes to disease prevention, the nutritional make up of broccoli has been linked to preventing and controlling such conditions as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, calcium deficiency, stomach, rectum and colon cancer, heart disease, arthritis, some malignant tumors and lung cancer, especially in people younger than age 65 with a history of smoking.
Tasty ways to eat broccoli
You may agree that broccoli should be an important part of a healthy diet-it only has 31 calories per cup-but it may not be not high on your yummy foods list. Try adding some raw broccoli to a salad filled with vegetables that you do like. Likewise, stir-fry with a sweeter vegetable like carrots. Steam and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and eat with noodles or rice. Don't overcook it by boiling or all the nutrients will leach out.
You may be surprised and actually develop a liking for it.