Common Mistakes to Avoid When Consuming Broccoli

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Consuming Broccoli
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Nobody disputes the fact that broccoli is a great vegetable to have on your dinner plate. In fact, this plant is considered one of the best superfoods. Rich in vitamins A, C and E, broccoli is renowned for its cancer-fighting capabilities and it’s also one of the top cruciferous vegetables . Most people, however, consume only the florets, and they bin the stem and leaves without realizing that they are throwing away an abundance of health-promoting nutrients. Find out how to prepare and eat broccoli the right way and get the most out of your super vegetable.

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The Right Way to Consume Broccoli

Don’t throw away the stems

The stem is a much better source of fiber than the florets and has a delicious sweet flavor. To include it in your meal, peel off the outer layer and slice it into small cubes. It’ll need to be cooked a bit longer than the florets, so add it to the pot a few minutes earlier.

Eat the leaves

Broccoli leaves are the plants overlooked gem. They contain the most beta-carotene of all parts of the plant. This natural bright pigment has been recognized as a substance that can reduce the risk of breast cancer in pre-menopausal women, and it also decreases the chances of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Beta-carotene is also one of the top 9 antioxidants for great health.

Leaves also abound in vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, which plays an important role in the immune system function and protects your vision. Furthermore, they contain lots of vitamin C – another cancer fighter. 30 grams of leaves provides you with 43% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

Leaves can be used in a similar way to florets. Consider them just another leafy green vegetable to choose from. You can boil, sauté or grill them and enjoy their mild taste – but for the best cooking method, see below.

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Steam it

It’s not just about what you eat. It’s also about how you prepare it. This is especially true for broccoli. By using the right method of preparation, you can make a big difference to your health and I’ve already mentioned it in my post about the best cooking methods to keep the vitamins in the food.

If you want to enjoy the full spectrum of this veggie’s benefits, you should steam it. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Chemistry showed that steaming broccoli is by far the best method of preparing it. It’s the only method that preserves, as well as increases its cancer-fighting potential. Boiling and frying, on the other hand, have been found the most damaging to the broccoli’s health effects.

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A research presented in November 2013 at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) compared between regular cooking, microwave cooking and steaming broccoli and found that steaming broccoli for up to five minutes is the best way to preserve the enzyme myrosinase.

The enzyme myrosinase, which is found in broccoli, is essential for the formation of sulforaphane. If you destroy this enzyme while over-cooking broccoli, you also damage the anti-cancer properties of this vegetable.

The same research found that cooking and heating broccoli in the microwave destroyed most of its beneficial enzymes.

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If you do like your greens prepared in other ways and would like a break from steaming, not all is lost. A study from 2010 revealed that adding some spice to your broccoli enhances the anti-cancer properties. To get this effect, spice up your broccoli with mustard, horseradish, wasabi or chillies. So don’t shy away from all those green and red chilies, and enjoy a hot meal that will preserve broccoli’s goodness.

A quick word on which broccoli to buy

When selecting your broccoli, go for the plant with dark green, purplish-green or bluish-green florets. They contain more beta-carotene compared to their pale green or yellowish-green counterparts.

Broccoli sprouts and their health benefits

Broccoli is a an excellent vegetable that has great detox properties for the blood. However, broccoli sprouts are even better for cleansing toxins from your bloodstream. Broccoli sprouts are a rich source of detoxifying compounds that can help to keep your liver and kidneys in good working order.

A study from China found that extracts from broccoli sprouts helped to lower the damaging effect of breathing in pollutants. The study found that the broccoli sprouts helped to reduce the risk of lung cancer in people who lived in polluted environments. The study concluded that broccoli sprouts can help to reverse the effect of airborne pollutants and detoxify the body. 

Broccoli is a true superfood that is also featured in my e-book about superfoods which is part of the Natural Health Revolution Program. This program will help you to achieve your health, nutrition or weight loss goals.

Read my other related articles:
1. How Adding Coconut Oil to White Rice Makes it 50% Healthier
2. The Best Cooking Methods for Cancer Prevention
3. How Cooking and Heat Affect Turmeric and Black Pepper
4. The Amazing Benefits of Cooked and Dried Ginger

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6 Responses to Common Mistakes to Avoid When Consuming Broccoli

  1. Dr.Ibrahim Panambur says:

    Broccoli is goitrogenic,pls clarify that all the parts of broccoli like florets,stem or leaves are goitrogenic?

  2. rihsam says:

    Very Informative article. Thank you for sharing

  3. Broccoli and brassica vegetables in general increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity, and poor body growth in children. It used to be thought of as a super-food, but the latest research shows the opposite.
    Russell Eaton, author of “Don’t Eat Your Broccoli: The Shocking Truth”

  4. Beverly Duffy says:

    I didn’t know this about the broccoli stems and leaves and will begin utilizing your wonderful knowledge. Thank you very much!

  5. Donna Chamis says:

    I love broccoli ,but it’s a thyroid blocker, and so is califlower.
    I have a problem with mine.

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