What’s So Great About Broccoli?

26 06 2012

Article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on June 24, 2012

I had a hard time with broccoli as a child. Mom saying “it’s good for you” just wasn’t enough for me to choose to eat it. I guess I am the type of person that needs to know why. It wasn’t until I was older and started to focus on a healthier body that I realized how wonderful broccoli is. Now, I eat broccoli several times a week. Mom would be proud.

You may have read about cruciferous vegetables as must-have foods we should eat several times a week. The cruciferous vegetables have been linked to lower rates of cancer, containing phytochemicals that increase the activity of certain enzymes in our bodies that fight cancer-causing agents. Broccoli is in the cruciferous family. This is the kind of information I needed to include broccoli in my diet on a regular basis.

Anyone watching their weight may want to consider adding more broccoli to their diet. The fiber in broccoli helps with digestion and is filling, while low in calories and fat. Here is where you need to be careful! How the broccoli is prepared (sauces, other ingredients, etc.) can add calories and fat. It can be steamed, microwaved, stir-fried, eaten raw in salads, and baked in casseroles. Be careful not to overcook, which would result in lowering the nutritional value.

Broccoli is available year-round, but best in fall and winter. Look for sturdy, dark-green spears with tight buds, no yellowing. If broccoli tops have more purple, it indicates a higher level of carotenoids. The stems are edible, so don’t throw them away. Peel, chop, and serve with the florets. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Broccoli Slaw From Eating Well: Winter 2004, The Eating Well Diabetes Cookbook (2005). The original recipe has been lightened with reduced-fat may and yogurt. This makes eight servings, 3/4 cup each.

Ingredients:

4 slices turkey bacon

One 12-16 ounce bag shredded broccoli slaw or one large bunch broccoli (about 1-1/2 pounds)

¼ cup low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt

¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Freshly ground pepper

One 8 ounce can low-sodium sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and coarsely chopped

½ cup finely diced red onion

Preparation:

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning frequently, until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, microwave on high for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes.) Drain bacon on paper towels. Chop coarsely. If using whole broccoli, trim about 3 inches off the stems. Chop the rest into ¼ inch pieces. Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add water chestnuts, onion, bacon, and broccoli; toss to coat. Chill until serve time. You can also make ahead, cover, and chill for up to 2 days.
Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Try a new healthy recipe or make a favorite recipe healthier.

Body: Take the stairs, park further away from destination, bike or walk on errand.

Soul: Before bed imagine your perfect tomorrow.
I would love to hear from you.

Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga.

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy

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