The Power Food for Moms- Broccoli
Broccoli is not new to India still you wont see it as a regularly used veg in all homes. Why? I think there could be 2 reasons: 1. Taste 2.Availability. It was very costly at fist. But now a days in season you will find it as cheap as other Indian vegetables. It is popular as it is very rich in nutrients. But expectant mothers and breastfeeding mothers get more benefits out of this vegetable. Lets learn why is Broccoli called a power food?
Broccoli is a green plant which comes from the cabbage family. Its flowering heads are used as a vegetable. It is steamed or boiled or can also be consumed raw. Broccoli is an excellent source of Vitamins, Magnesium, Chromium, Potassium, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Copper, Selenium, Niacin, Iron, Calcium, Zinc and Proteins.
Broccoli mainly helps in curing 2 main areas i.e. firstly the eye health and second is the skin health. Broccoli consists of Lutein and Zeaxanthin plays an important role in keeping our eyes healthy. The Glucoraphanin present in the broccoli converts into Sulforaphane in the body and helps in keeping the skin healthy and also protects from sun damage.
Broccoli is very important food for pregnant women, lactating mothers, small children and for all the ages.
Benefits of broccoli for pregnant ladies:
○ Women who eat broccoli regular during pregnancy have least chances of having their baby with a spinal abnormality.
○ It is being studied that eating broccoli during pregnancy may help the baby to be protected through certain cancers during their young ages and even during their lifetimes.
○ Broccoli is rich in iron. Low level of iron in the body can cause anemia i.e. decrease in the level of red blood cells in the body.
○ Calcium is also important for the muscle growth, teeth, bones of your baby. Broccoli has got good amount of calcium. it is also recommended for mothers for consuming proper amount of calcium for having strong bones during pregnancy.
○ It is also found that babies who are introduced to broccoli in the womb of mother via the amniotic fluid on a regular basis, develop the liking of vegetables in your baby while starting the weaning process for a healthy start.
○ As broccoli is rich in essential minerals and vitamins. If consumed regularly during pregnancy will give you a pregnancy glow on your face along with shiny hair 🙂
Benefits of broccoli for lactating mothers:
○ As like pregnant women, lactating mothers also should have nutritious diet. After delivery the body needs more amount of minerals and vitamins to remain energetic and healthy the whole day. Breast milk of a mother should maintain certain nutritional qualities which are further given to a baby for their better growth.
○ Broccoli contains a good amount of minerals and vitamins which are very beneficial for lactating mothers.
○ Broccoli is rich in Calcium, Iy is also very important during breastfeeding because it is being studied that calcium is being lost during the lactating period of a mother.
○ Broccoli contains a high amount of vitamins which are necessary for mother and child too as on daily basis.
Broccoli is not only beneficial to pregnant women but people of all ages and sexes benefit from its nutritional content. Broccoli also helps people of all ages to prevent various types of diseases.
● Prevents Cancer: Glucoraphanin which is present in broccoli is absorbed by body and is converted in sulforaphane which is a anti-cancer compound. Additionally broccoli contains anti-carcinogen, powerful antioxidant and indole-3-carbinol which not only obstruct the growth of prostate, breast and cervical cancer but also increases liver function.
● Reduces Inflammation and Allergy Reaction : Research shows that broccoli is rich in source of isothiocyanates and kaempferol which has ability to reduce the impact of allergic substance on our body.
● Powerful Antioxidant : Of all the vegetables from its family broccoli is has the most concentrated source of vitamin C. Also it contains carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene and other beneficial antioxidants.
● Helps reduce cholesterol: Broccoli is a whole food and like many other whole food it soluble fiber which helps your body to draw out the cholesterol. Most beneficial way to consume broccoli is to steam it as it helps reduce cholesterol.
● Increases bone health : Calcium and vitamin K are necessary for good bone health, broccoli contains high levels of both which helps in prevention of osteoporosis.
● May increase heart health : Broccoli contains sulforaphane which is one of the ITCs [isothiocyanates]in broccoli. Which may be able to prevent or even repair some of the damaged blood vessel which have been caused by chronic sugar problem.
● Keeps your body in alkaline state : Due to vivid nutritional profile of broccoli it helps keeps your body in alkaline state [less acidic]. Studies have shown when body is in alkaline state it lowers the chances of cancer.
● Helps in healthy diet : Broccoli when added to your routine diet helps in prevents constipation, digestion, curbs overeating and maintains low blood sugar. Also protein content of broccoli is higher than the cup of rice and it is also half in calories.
● Detoxifies your body : Glucobrassicin ,Glucoraphanin and gluconasturtiin are in right combination in broccoli. These are special phytonutrients which helps your body in elimination, neutralization and activation of unwanted contaminants. Broccoli contains ITCs which helps aid your body and detox the process on a genetic level.
Following are some of the tastiest and easiest recipes you can try and enjoy a healthy broccoli experience.
Garlic Butter Broccoli Fry:
Ingredients– Broccoli, Butter, 5-6 Garlic Cloves.
Step 1- Cut the broccoli into small or medium sized pieces as you would like to eat.
Step 2- Heat butter in a wide pan and add garlic cloves.
Step 3- Add cut broccoli pieces and stir constantly.
Step 4- Cook for about 4-5 minutes on a high flame.(do not cook broccoli fully, it should be crunchy enough)
Step 5- Garlic butter broccoli fry is ready. Serve hot. Sprinkle some black pepper powder.
Broccoli And Carrot Soup:
Ingredients– Butter, Carrots, Broccoli, Water and Milk Cream.
Step 1- Heat the butter in a pan and add pieces of carrots to it.
Step 2- Fry the carrots for about 5 minutes and add broccoli pieces to it.
Step 3- Again fry it for a minute, and add water to it and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
Step 4- Then grind the whole mixture and remove it.
Step 5- Add milk cream to the mixture and serve.
Cream Of Broccoli Soup:
Ingredients- 300 Grams broccoli, 1 tbsp butter, 1 medium carrot sliced, 1 medium onion sliced, 1 tbsp maida, salt and pepper for taste, ¼ cup cream, 2 cups water and fried bread pieces.
Step 1- heat butter in a pan and add broccoli, onion and carrot to iT, also add salt and prepper as per your taste.
Step 2- keep the gas on a medium flame and let it cook for about 5-6 mins.
Step 3- Then add maida to it and mix it well and water and cook it for 5-6 mins.
Step 4- Add cream to the mixture and remove the mixture and make it a puree in a mixer.
Step 5- Then remove the puree in a pan and heat it for about 2-3 mins. and serve.
1.Vegetable stock can be used instead of water.
2. It can be served with fried onion or fried bread pieces.
As you can see various benefits of broccoli as opposed to other vegetables, try to make it part of your daily diet and you can see the benefits yourself. Broccoli consumed raw gives more nutritional benefits, broccoli sprouts are also very nutritious but their availability in India is not very normal.
It might be that, in start, you might not be able to get along with the taste of broccoli as it is slightly different from regular vegetables we eat. But we being Indian mom can always make a recipe to match the taste profile of the vegetable.