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All About Broccoli

By Amy Silva

For many people, broccoli is one vegetable that you either love or hate. For those who hate the flavor, it might be because they haven't had it made in a way they found enjoyable yet. Boiling is a popular method but leaves it bland, limp and removes many nutrients. Trying other cooking methods and recipes, such as roasting and adding garlic, could turn you into a lover of broccoli. Broccoli is also good for your health and is packed with nutrients so it's worth adding to your diet.

About Broccoli

As part of the mustard, or Cruciferae family, broccoli is related to cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, kale, collard greens and other vegetables you might not consider similar in looks or taste. It's native to parts of the Mediterranean and Asia Minor and dates back to ancient times. Broccoli can grow up to 35 inches tall and will grow yellow flowers if not picked in time. More than 8 million tons of broccoli is grown in China every year and most of the broccoli in the United States is produced in California.

Health Benefits of Broccoli

Broccoli contains important vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin K, beta carotene, folate, potassium, calcium, Vitamin A, copper and zinc. It also has fiber, making it good for your digestive tract. A diet that includes broccoli may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke and could lower blood sugar in those with diabetes. For arthritis sufferers, eating broccoli could reduce damage to joints due to it having anti-inflammatory properties. It might also help lower cholesterol levels and is great for eye health. Broccoli could help reduce the risk of some cancers, such as breast, stomach and intestinal cancers.

Broccoli Recipe

There are many ways to eat broccoli, including raw, with your favorite dip by adding it to salads, turning it into soup, or mixing it in with cold or hot pasta dishes. Roasting it is a popular option too.  Here is a simple recipe for roasted broccoli with garlic from FoodNetwork.com:

  • 1 head of broccoli, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (or 3 cloves, sliced)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the broccoli pieces in a bowl with all other ingredients until combined and add to a baking sheet. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until they begin to crisp, then serve.

Adding broccoli to your diet is a great way to enjoy the vitamins, minerals and possible health benefits this vegetable offers. If you don't like it raw or plain, try new recipes and cooking techniques to find one you enjoy.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Cedar Hill, Tex.

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