The Broccoli – Essence of Real Food

The Broccoli – Essence of Real Food

The Broccoli – Essence of Real FoodWhen you were a youngster you probably didn’t see what was so great about broccoli. What you didn’t know then, but probably know now is that broccoli is the essence of real food, as it has been dubbed one of many, a super food.

The broccoli from top to bottom is overflowing with macro-nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that are needed for overall health and well-being. This vegetable has been around for millenniums, and has forever been used and viewed as the ideal go-to food.

It’s healthy, can be eaten in a number of different ways, comes with a variety of benefits, is easy to cook, and offers the body a boost of vitamins and minerals in every serving.

Continue reading to get an overall understanding of this vegetable, the essence of real food.

Understanding the Broccoli from Top to Bottom

Broccoli is an edible plant that closely resembles the cauliflower, and is associated to the cabbage family. It’s a vegetable that originated in Italy, and was first mentioned of about 2,000 years ago.

Due to the broccoli’s rich green color, and its counterpart the purple broccoli, both are high in antioxidants and macro-nutrients for excellent health.

Anatomy of the BroccoliAfter harvesting the broccoli plant and removing the root system, it contains three main parts:

  • Flowery Head
  • Leaves
  • Stalk

The root system of the broccoli plant needs nutrient rich soil in order to grow and support the plant and produce its vital vitamins and minerals.

Broccoli plants need to be watered often in order to keep the plant hydrated and well fed as it approaches maturity.

The leaves and stalk are lesser known parts of the broccoli plant because gardeners and farmers often discard these pieces at harvest. However, they are actually edible and highly nutritious.

Broccoli leaves can be long and thin or short and wide and grow along the stalk. They are often blue-green in color and thicken towards the head of the plant.

The crowning head is the part of the broccoli most familiar to people. Sometimes called the curd or the head, the top of the broccoli is most commonly eaten. This head is made of small, dense edible floral shoots. Usually, the head is harvested long before the shoots, or little florets open.

There are two cultivars of broccoli, purple and green, though the green shoots are most commonly cultivated by gardeners. The best environment for planting and harvesting broccoli,  is in full sun, with plenty of water, and nutrient rich soil.

Broccoli Rates High In Nutrition

broccoli head and leavesBroccoli is a great food to eat as it contains various nutrients that hold anti-cancer properties and support a strong, healthy immune system.

Broccoli is an essential source of energy, healthy complex carbohydrates, protein, and low in fat.

Nutrients: Broccoli contains vitamin-C and many of the B-vitamins, including thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and folate. It also has traces of calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorous.

High Fiber: Need more fiber in your diet? Look no further as broccoli is high in fiber. The fiber in broccoli can help support heart health, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and helps support healthy weight management because it is filling and low in calories.

How to Prepare Broccoli

Meat and Broccoli Stir-FryBroccoli can be steamed, boiled, microwaved, stir-fried, or eaten raw.

However, over cooking or boiling broccoli has been proven to reduce levels of anti-carcinogenic compounds present in the food. It is therefore best to steam it until it reaches a bright green color, but no longer.

Adding Broccoli to Your Diet

broccoli at the farmers marketAdding broccoli to your regular daily diet can help increase your overall health.

Have broccoli as a side dish at dinner, add broccoli to a salad for lunch, chopped broccoli with eggs or in an omelet for breakfast, and even eaten raw as a healthy snack is a great way to include this essence of real food to your diet (recommended not to eat raw if you have a low thyroid problem).

All parts of the broccoli can be juiced, as it makes a great addition to any green juice. Juice it along with kale, spinach, green apples, celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon.

You’re not a kid anymore, so enjoy the essence of real food. Enjoy eating broccoli.

Enjoy our recipe using broccoli: Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad (includes a video).

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Putting Breakfast at the Top of Your List

Breakfast has always been referred to as the most important meal of the day. Breakfast can make a big difference when it comes to your health. The Mayo clinic has said that eating a healthy breakfast means that you are more likely to consume more vitamins and minerals, and less fat. You can have better concentration and productivity all day long.

Fried Egg and Cheese over Mixed Vegetables - Putting Breakfast at the Top of Your List

Fried Egg and Cheese over Mixed Vegetables

A healthy morning meal can help you control your weight, lower your cholesterol, which in turn could lower your risk for cardiac problems. Let’s talk about Carbohydrates and breakfast.

There is a material call ‘gelatinous’ and it is found in foods that are rich in soluble fiber, which forms during digestion and slows the absorption of nutrients from these foods. Foods high in both soluble fiber and complex carbohydrates, break down more slowly as a result of their fiber content, which prolongs the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, a crucial source of energy for your brain and muscles.

A slower release of glucose results in a sustained release of energy and a less significant increase in your blood sugar. Eating foods that contain soluble fiber helps you keep your blood sugar stable, which may reduce your risk of type II diabetes.

Sunny Side Up Eggs in a pan with vegetables - Putting Breakfast at the Top of Your List

Sunny Side up Eggs with Mixed Vegetables

As several studies have reported, if we eat breakfast on a daily bases we can lose and maintain weight better than those of us who skip breakfast. The prior chapter spoke on protein for sustained energy to start your day. In addition to protein a complex, unrefined carbohydrate is also needed. It also provides energy and helps maintain steady blood sugar levels. Our brains are unable to function without a steady flow of carbohydrate-rich foods.

The carbohydrates not to include in your morning breakfast are donuts, sugary cereals and pastries, these are fast acting and do not provide the energy needed. Instead, they cause peaks in energy levels, followed by a sudden crash. Good carbs called complex carbohydrates to eat for breakfast prevent these energy peaks and sudden dips.

It has always been suggested to have a fruit with your breakfast, but now it is being advised to include vegetables instead. Fruit is a carbohydrate that gives you energy much faster than protein and vegetables, making fruit better to use as a snack in between meals.

Keep in mind that cookies, chips, candy bars, considered a snack will give you energy, but it will spike your glucose levels to only drop off fast. Your energy goes down as well, and the cycle starts again, because you will eat more. Stick with fruit for your snacks between meals.

Scrambbled Eggs with Apple Chicken Sausage and Vegetables -  Putting Breakfast at the Top of Your List

Scrambled Eggs with Apple Chicken Sausage and Mixed Vegetables with a Slice of Toasted Sourdough Bread

It is also good to note, juice is not the same as eating the fruit in its whole form. If you do drink fruit juice , it is better to juice it fresh from fruit you buy at the market. All bottled juices that state 100% juice, is true. But the juice has been pasteurized or heated to over 235 degrees and therefore killing the vitamin C. They re-fortify the juice, but it is not the same as in its original form.

If there some days in the week you are rushed for time, it can still be possible to get your protein and complex carbohydrates with two pieces of 100% whole grain toast and a hand full of almonds, about 24 whole almonds equaling 1 ounce.

There have been studies over the years on breakfasts, and the reports show that people who have a healthy breakfast will tend to follow healthy eating habits.

Breakfast can truly be a life saver.

 

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Juicing for Better Health

Juicing for Better Health

Whether it is just a fad or a trend that is here to stay, juicing is extremely popular among health conscious individuals. As more and more people experience the amazing results associated with this healthy lifestyle choice, its popularity is expected to grow.

Without question, juicing can be incorporated into your daily life to increase your overall health and vitality. By increasing your daily intake of healthy fruits and vegetables, you’ll be giving your body the essential building blocks it needs. To get the most benefit out of juicing, you’ll want to educate yourself on some of the basics before you get started. You’ll find a wealth of information on these topics in the pages that follow.

The Benefits of Juicing at Home

If you are new to juicing, you may find the process to be a bit of a hassle. However, once you start to see and experience the many benefits associated with juicing, you may wonder how you ever got along without it. So commit to testing out your new lifestyle for at least several weeks before deciding if it is for you or not.

Important Tip: Making your own fresh juice drinks is better than buying ready-made juice products as they have to be treated and processed to extend shelf  life. Therefore, homemade juices are fresher, plus you have more control over what you are putting into your body.

When making your own homemade juices, however, it is important to consume the juice product as soon as it is ready. Exposure to air degrades the nutrients in your juice, so the sooner you drink it, the better.

beet juice - Juicing for Better Health

 

It should also be noted that although fresh fruit juices are delicious and refreshing, be aware that many fruits are naturally high in sugar which can lead to unwanted weight gain and other unintended health issues. A better alternative is to combine complementary fruits and vegetables together to create healthy and delicious concoctions. Combining vegetable-based juices with a healthy balanced diet will help you achieve the results you desire.

 

 

 

Benefits of Healthy Juicing

One of the main benefits of juicing is that it is a lot easier to drink a single glass of nutrient-rich juice than it is to consume a comparable amount of whole fruits and vegetables. People are busy and most simply won’t sit down and eat that much produce at one time. Instead, they’ll reach for more convenient, but less healthy options.

There are many advantages associated with juicing. As mentioned, juicing makes it easier to give your body the important nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals it needs. In addition, some argue that juicing offers a more efficient way for your body to absorb nutrients without placing undue pressure on your digestive system.

Juicing is also a great alternative for those who dislike vegetables and avoid eating them whenever possible. For these individuals, a glass of delicious juice lightly sweetened with a bit of pineapple or pear is a welcome alternative to a plate of steamed veggies.

There are tons of recipes available online to help you make delicious and creative juicing concoctions your whole family will love. When creating a collection of juice recipes you want to try, look for combinations that include both fruits and vegetables for the greatest health benefits.

Be aware that most juicing recipes include parts of the fruits and vegetables you would normally discard.  With juicing, you’ll often be advised to include leafy plant tops, rinds, skins, seeds and other parts that normally end up in the trash or compost pile. This is a real shame, because these items are often full of the essential nutrients your body needs.

Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain PlusWhen you start juicing, you will want to invest in a juicer powerful enough to handle the types of fruits and vegetables you plan to use. This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank or make a huge financial commitment to test out your new lifestyle. There are a number of really good entry-level centrifugal juicers on the market for around $50 or $60. These models don’t offer all the bells and whistles of higher end units, but they are certainly worthy of your consideration.

Regardless of what kind of juicer you choose, consider it an investment in your long-term health. Making your own juices at home is infinitely better for you than picking up processed juices in your local grocery store. Those processed juices usually require some heating process to extend their shelf life, which can kill off valuable enzymes and nutrients. By making your own juice at home, you can keep the integrity of juice blends intact.

 

 

 

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