"Let Food Be Thy Medicine" -- Choppin' Broccoli
I’m on a veggie kick with a broccoli recipe that I’d like to share with all of the blog readers. Broccoli is an ideal vegetable for the anti-inflammatory lifestyle because it’s affordable, easy to find, full of nutrition, and most importantly it’s filling. You don’t have to eat much broccoli to feel satisfied, and with this recipe you may find yourself eating florets like popcorn (my wife and I really do when I make this).
Before we get into the recipe, let’s talk about what makes broccoli an ideal anti-inflammatory food. Broccoli is loaded with fiber (around 4 grams per serving) which not only acts like a scrub brush to clean excess fats and cholesterol from the body, but also may help reduce estrogen levels which can in turn reduce the risk of certain cancers. Broccoli is loaded with Vitamins K and C, potassium, and folate. But the most interesting element found in broccoli (in my opinion) is something called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane belongs to a family of compounds called isothiocyanates which essentially means they contain sulfur. Sulforaphane is released when cruciferous vegetables (i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc.) are damaged by cooking or chewing (hence the wonderful smell J). In our bodies, sulforaphanes provide a wealth of benefits including:
And yes… Anti-Inflammatory
Sulforaphane helps the body to detoxify, combat cancer, kill bad bacteria, protect the skin, and the list goes on and on. In 2014, a study was published wherein a group of smokers who averaged 10 cigarettes per day were given 250 grams of steamed broccoli every day for a 10 day period. Markers of inflammation were measured at the beginning and end of the study and C-reactive protein was decreased by an average of 48% (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23992556). That’s a significant reduction in a key inflammatory marker after only 10 days of eating less than 2 cups of broccoli! This is just one of several studies that consistently demonstrate sulforaphane’s ability to reduce inflammation in the body.
For those of you who don’t like broccoli, I think this recipe may be a game changer. One of the team members at The Doleys Clinic recently fixed this recipe for her family, and her oldest daughter (who previously wouldn’t eat broccoli without a fat-laden condiment to dip it in) loved it. This recipe is easy to cook in bulk batche to add to salads and stir fries for the rest of the week. I pack this in my lunch containers with baked chicken or salmon for easy grab-and-go meals throughout the week. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I do.
1 whole head of raw broccoli (or you can buy individual bags of already-chopped florets).
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
2 teaspoons of coarse grain salt. I like a salt that is in slightly bigger chunks so either look for coarse grain or twist the dial on you salt grinder to adjust the size of the grain.
Fresh parmesan cheese. Get a block of the fresh stuff and grate it yourself for the best results.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. If using a whole head of broccoli remove the florets from the stem and break them apart so you have more bit sized pieces. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional but makes clean up much easier). Toss the broccoli in the olive oil and season with salt. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until the broccoli is soft and heads of the florets look almost burned. Remove from the oven and while the broccoli is still hot, grate the fresh parmesan cheese over it (pecorino romano cheese also works). Allow to cool for several minutes and enjoy!
I hope you will all give this a try and enjoy it as much as I do.
Yours In Good Health,