The endless benefits of broccoli, revised
Sep 26 2013
According to doctors and nutritionists worldwide, broccoli has the power to help combat high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The National Health Service of UK says that broccoli is a good source of vitamin C and folate (naturally occurring folic acid). It also contains vitamins A, K, calcium, fibre, beta-carotene and other antioxidants (notably indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane).
Also, we now know that eating vegetables like broccoli (which basically do not have starch in them), is associated with a reduced risk of cancers (including mouth, throat and stomach cancers), according to the World Cancer Research Fund. Broccoli can also help people improve their heart condition as well.
According to dietitian Alison Hornby, broccoli contains many nutrients such as folate, soluble and insoluble fibre, vitamins C and A, and calcium, which are needed for numerous functions in the body. It is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables along with cauliflower, bok choy and cabbage. All these contain compounds that are linked to improving the body’s ability to impede the growth of cancer cells.
Broccoli is a flexible vegetable that works well in salads, stir fries, curries and soups. An 80g serving will count towards your five a day. (By five a day, Alison means the 5 servings of vegetables that nutritionists advise everyone should eat daily).
Broccoli is now being grown in many parts of India. In fact, most vegetable vendors stock it as well. The best way to store broccoli is to wrap it up in cellophane and refrigerate. Use the florets as a stir fry (as in the recipe below from John Abraham, taken from my book The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style!), and use the stem in a soup.
The florets can also be eaten raw, just ensure that they have been washed well. You can also chop the stem fine and use that in a stir fry as well.
Exotic Vegetables with Almonds: (2-3 servings)
Ingredients: 1 packet (200 gms) mushrooms, 1 head broccoli, 1 zucchini, 3 to 4 leaves of bok choy, 6-8 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp slivered almonds, 1 tsp oil (optional), 2 to 3 tsp light soy sauce, freshly ground black pepper to taste, salt to taste.
Method: Wash all the vegetables. Cut the mushrooms into quarters. Break or cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets. Do not peel the zucchini. Cut it into two lengthwise, then cut into 1” pieces. Break the bok choy into three pieces each. Peel the garlic and crush it lightly using a mortar and pestle. Blanch the almonds till the skins are wrinkled. Peel and cut them into fine slivers. You should have about 1 tbsp of slivered almonds. Put a non-stick pan over moderate heat and add the oil (optional). When hot, add the garlic and sauté for one minute.
Add the mushrooms, broccoli and zucchini. Raise the heat to high, stir well and cover the pan. Let the vegetables steam for about 2-3 minutes. The mushrooms will release water in which they will cook. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables. Open the pan and continue to cook till the water starts to evaporate. Add the bok choy, almonds and soy sauce. Stir-fry for one minute. Remove from heat and add the pepper. Serve as it is or on a bed of rice.