In my article on "middle age nutrition" I mentioned that broccoli is a very special vegetable and is in a category of it's own.
All vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and more importantly "phytochemical" molecules that possess a wide variety of health promoting properties. Broccoli is no exception;
Health Benefits of Broccoli
- Excellent source of dietary Fiber; essential for good digestion and regularity, cholesterol regulation and immune function.
- Excellent source of vitamins; A, B, C and K
- Excellent source of minerals; Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Phosphorous
- Excellent source of the phytochemical molecule; Sulforaphane
Sulforaphane is what makes broccoli so special !
Health promoting properties of Sulforaphane
- Sulforaphane is a very strong (indirect) antioxidant. It activates the body's natural antioxidant defense system through a gene called Nrf2.
- Sulforaphane is a very strong "anti-inflammatory" molecule.
- Sulforaphane is the strongest natural "anticarcinogenic" molecule known to man.
With these properties Broccoli and Sulforaphane;
- Protects against Heart Disease
- Protects against Diabetes induced vascular and cardiac complications
- Protects against Cancer
- Protects against Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer
- Protects against Osteoarthritis
- Protects against UV Radiation and skin cancer.
Broccoli is a must in the "middle age nutrition" menu !!
A cup of steamed Broccoli a day is an insurance policy against many age related chronic diseases.
Mediterranean Broccoli Dressing
- 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves of crushed Garlic
- 1 tablespoon crushed mustard seeds
Drizzle dressing over steamed Broccoli !
For those of you who need an extra "bang" of Sulforaphane; "Broccoli Sprouts" are an excellent option. Johns Hopkins researchers found that the 4 day old baby sprouts of the broccoli seeds contain 20 to 50 times more sulforaphane ounce per ounce than the mature vegetable.
Broccoli sprouts also has the advantage of being easier to consume ( no preperation needed as it is eaten raw ) and does not have the aroma of broccoli that can be offensive to some individuals.
Broccoli and/or Broccoli Sprouts are a must for middle age nutrition and should be consumed at least 3-4 times a week !