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I’m obsessed with broccoli lately. It’s my favorite green veggie because it’s totally packed with nutrients, is easy to prepare and has a nice mild flavor. Since many other of the healthiest green vegetables have strong bitter flavors (such as kale, chard and spinach), broccoli’s milder flavor gives it a serious advantage. It makes broccoli TOTALLY versatile in the kitchen!
It’s easy to get bored with broccoli if you just eat it steamed each day, but there are a whole host of ways you can spice it up and make it more flavorful so that you, and even your kids, won’t be able to resist it!
Before we get to those, let’s look at some of the health benefits of eating this amazing super food.
Broccoli contains calcium and magnesium, both of which are great for bone health and regulating blood pressure. Just one cup of it also contains the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C. Vitamin C is actually an antioxidant, which means it helps fight off free radicals that can lead to cancer.
As we all know, vitamin C is also a potent antihistamine and helps us avoid and fight off colds. But broccoli keeps you flu-free in other ways too! It’s high in beta carotene, and contains trace minerals like zinc and selenium, all of which work together to strengthen the immune system.
Broccoli’s also great for eye health, thanks to the vitamin A and the carotenoid lutein. The carotenoid lutein also supports heart health, along with vitamins B6 and folate which reduce risk factors for heart disease.
How many nutrients did we just talk about? A LOT. And there’s more I didn’t mention. Broccoli definitely deserves its place on your plate every day!
Weight Loss Benefits of Broccoli
Can broccoli help you lose weight? It totally can!
First, because broccoli is high in fiber, it will help increase fullness at meals, aid digestion and decrease blood sugar levels. It’s also super low in calories, so you really get a lot of bang for your nutritional buck!
The high levels of potassium found in broccoli promote muscle growth, so eating this green veggie regularly will support all your hard work at the gym!
Finally, the vitamin K in broccoli works with its calcium to promote bone health – super important to prevent fractures.
Ok, now that we know why broccoli is so healthy for us, let’s focus on the fun part – making it taste amazing! Here are some quick easy ways to boost broccoli’s flavor and make you look forward to eating it!
1) Roast with Garlic and Parmesan
Amateur gourmet suggests roasting the veggie with a little olive oil, salt and pepper for 20 – 25 minutes in the oven. Then top it with lemon juice, pine nuts and parmesan. The broccoli will come out crunchy and delectable!
2) Onions, Garlic and Butter
Sautee the broccoli with just a little butter, some onions and garlic in a pan and voila!
3) Melted Cheese and Bacon Bits
Want to get a man to eat broccoli? This is the easiest way! Make it low calorie by going with light cheddar and a few bacon bits. Yum!
4) Stir Fry In Sesame Oil
Sesame oil gives a distinctive Asian flavor, so this can make broccoli an ideal side with any Chinese or Thai inspired dish. You can also toss in some green or red bell peppers if you like.
5) Mediterranean Broccoli Salad
Toss some lightly steamed broccoli with some feta cheese, grape tomatoes, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
6) Top With Hummus
Just steam the broccoli to your liking and then top it with or dip it in cold hummus. Not only does this taste great, it makes a great portable snack, too. The fiber in the broccoli and the protein in the hummus help fill you up!
7) Broccoli Dip
You can make a great low calorie dip by blending steamed broccoli, low fat yogurt, chives (or green onions), paprika and fresh garlic. Dip carrots or raw zucchini in it!
8) Broccoli Almondine
Super easy and tastes gourmet! Steam the broccoli first while sauteeing sliced almonds in a little bit of butter. Stir in a little lemon juice and a pinch of salt and then toss it with the broccoli! This could also work with cashews or macadamias.
9) Spicy or Zesty Stir Fry
Stir fry it in a little olive oil with salt and crushed red pepper flakes. It’s that easy! If you want to make it zesty, add in a little orange zest, a tablespoon or two of orange juice and some black pepper.
10) Make It Marinara
Pour some warm marinara sauce over steamed broccoli. Top with a little parmesan or low fat mozzarella.
Hope these easy fixes will help make broccoli a common side dish on your dinner table! For more healthy recipes, visit our Pinterest page!
At Athlean-XX for Women, we’re all about healthy nutrition because it helps us lose weight and have energy for our tough workouts! Our nutrition plan recommends combining proteins and slow-burning carbohydrates at every meal and snack to help keep you feeling full. In fact, the Athlean-XX for Women nutrition plan is anything but a diet – we actually recommend you eat more – 5 – 6 times per day! This type of diet will help turn your metabolism into a fat burning machine – when combined with our killer 30 minute workouts. Yes, with Athlean-XX for Women, eat more, exercise shorter but harder and weigh less! Join us on Team Athlean to start your lifestyle makeover now!
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