|Did you ever make a face when your mom put a plate of vegetables in front of you? Well, you got a little older, and It turns out everyone’s mother was right; eating vegetables is absolutely necessary if you want to be healthy. While most of our mothers likely didn’t know the scientific reasons why they were right, their motherly intuition was spot on – vegetables contribute to good health.|
Many people balk at the idea of eating vegetables; our American taste buds have been conditioned towards other, less healthy fare. We crave sweet, overly salty, greasy food. Many people’s biggest struggle with beginning a healthy diet regimen is overcoming the cravings they’re accustom to caving to. Food today is engineered to be irresistible; it is made to be craved. Needless to say, most of that food is nutritionally void and highly caloric.
On the other hand, raw, organic vegetables are packed with macro and micronutrients, including a number of phytonutrients – plant compounds that science continues to show contribute to good health. Many of these nutrients have been shown to protect against a number of diseases, such as cancer. Cancer, among other diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, are known to be lifestyle diseases, or diseases whose presence in the body can be largely influenced by how you live. Factors such as diet can affect these types of diseases. Knowing this, it makes sense that Americans are largely plagued by lifestyle disease – our lifestyle is literally making us sick, and we are excluding the very foods that may help us protect against illness.
Broccoli is one of those foods that may help protect against illness. Broccoli is a food so wrought with beneficial nutrients that it deserves to belong to the group of foods known as “super foods”. Broccoli has been shown to lower cholesterol, aid in detoxification, help promote healthy vitamin D metabolism and act as an anti-inflammatory. It is loaded with anti-oxidants, such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. It also contains the nutrient, sulforaphane, which has shown to protect the stomach from Helicobacter pylori (the bug that cause stomach ulcers, heal the lining of blood vessels damaged by high blood sugar, and protect against cancer. Broccoli embodies the phrase, “Let your food be medicine and your medicine be food.” However, it is available without a prescription!
To top everything off, broccoli is perfectly suited for the Phase 1 Diet. Many of broccoli’s nutrients exhibit anti-fungal activity. It is a filling food – a perfect addition to the protein of your choice for a meal. It is perfect raw, or easily prepared; it is delicious when lightly steamed and served with some melted butter, which is also on Phase 1. (Some of broccoli’s health-promoting properties are actually enhanced when it is lightly steamed – don’t overcook until it is “mushy”, or some of the nutrient value will be lost and the flavor will be affected.) It is virtually ubiquitous at grocery stores; pick up some up today and include it in your Phase 1 regimen.