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The Cheap, Accessible Superfood You’re Probably Skipping…

Today, we’re shining a spotlight on a true nutritional powerhouse that’s as nutrient-packed as it is affordable. Yes, we’re talking about broccoli — a superfood that’s readily available in supermarkets across the country.

Convincing you to incorporate broccoli into your diet is my mission, and I promise to make it worth your while. Not only will I unveil the exceptional health benefits of broccoli, but I’ll also share my top tips to make it delicious, kid-friendly, and an absolute staple in your meal plans.

The Nutritional Power of Broccoli

Vitamins and Minerals

Packed with 2.5 grams of protein per cup, broccoli challenges the common belief that only meat is a good protein source. Combined with its incredible fiber content- broccoli can keep you full for far fewer calories than nut or meat alternatives!

As well, broccoli is rich in Vitamin C! Surpassing oranges and other concentrated citrus, broccoli is a champion of Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that bolsters the immune system.

Thanks to vitamins K1 and B9 (folate), broccoli also supports bone health and plays a crucial role in cell and tissue growth.

In addition to vitamins, fiber, and protein — broccoli is a powerhouse for iron! Particularly beneficial for women, especially post-menopausal, Iron in broccoli helps transport oxygen throughout the body.

Last but not least, broccoli has high amounts of potassium and magnesium. Combatting common deficiencies, these are essential for fluid balance and healthy blood pressure. Even your mood can be improved by broccoli as magnesium is critical for stress management!

Antioxidant Properties

Broccoli is not just about vitamins and minerals; it’s a treasure trove of antioxidants, including:

  • Sulforaphane: Known for its cancer-preventing properties.
  • Beta-carotene: Promotes eye health. While usually associated with carrots, broccoli also contains high amounts.
  • Quercetin and Kaempferol: Boosts immune health while lowering blood pressure.

The Benefits

Now that we know what broccoli contains, we can go into how it can help you!

Thanks to being so rich in the various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants listed, there is practically nothing in the body that broccoli won’t benefit. For example…

  • Cholesterol and Heart Health: Broccoli has been proven to lower cholesterol levels and support heart health by aiding in fat digestion and preventing excessive cholesterol production.
  • Inflammation: Every bite of broccoli fights inflammation in the body, thanks to bioactive compounds like kaempferol.
  • Digestive Health: The fiber in broccoli eases digestion, while its nutrients feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, promoting a healthy microbiome.

Quick and Easy Recipe Ideas

Now, let’s dive into the fun part — making broccoli a delight to eat. Whether part of a four-course meal, or a simple snack when you come back home, here are a few quick and easy ways to get more into your diet!

  • Simple Dips: Pair broccoli with hummus or a healthier ranch dressing. It’s a crunchy, nutritious snack that even kids will love. If you’re not into ranch, other options are hummus, vinaigrettes, or even melted cheese- though be careful not to lose out on the health benefits by skyrocketing calories.
  • Steamed: If you’re not a fan of the crunch, steaming your broccoli helps soften the plant tissue, making it more pliable. This also reduces the flavor of raw broccoli, so if you’re a fan of more mild tastes, steaming is a great option. Try pairing it with steamed carrots for a classic combination.
  • Baked: Sheet pan dinners have been taking off for a reason. Drizzle with olive or avocado oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, and bake. It’s a simple, flavorful side dish.
  • Smoothies: Yes, I am serious. Broccoli is a fantastic addition to any smoothie! Add a few florets to your blender for a nutrient boost without overwhelming the taste.

Conclusion: Embrace the Superfood Next Door

The benefits of broccoli are undeniable, from fighting heart disease and cancer to reducing inflammation and supporting digestive health. It’s the most accessible superfood you can find, offering a wealth of health benefits that are too good to ignore.

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