Broccoli, considered a superfood by some, is one of those items that offers a multitude of benefits for your health. This is because the plant, a dark green cruciferous species, is highly valued for its rich nutrients and potent anti-cancer fighting properties.
What’s more is that the vegetable has virtually zero fat, and a serving size is extremely low in calories. A half a cup of uncooked broccoli has 12 Calories, while a half a cup of cooked has 22 Calories.
In addition, a serving offers a full day supply of vitamin C and it is also a good source of vitamin B. As for minerals, it is a rich source of potassium, which is a nutrient that helps to regulate your blood pressure and heart functions; it also has been shown to help lower blood pressure.
When picking the vegetable, stay away from those that have a yellowish cast, and when storing, make sure that it is dry. Moisture contributes to the growth of mold. When you are ready to use it, rinse thoroughly with cold running water.
To cook it, you should separate the stalk from the florets, since the stalk cooks slower than the florets. To lock in its nutrients, steam the vegetable. Microwaving is also a good method to prepare it. Overcooking, such as when boiling, quickly saps it of some of its nutrients. When it’s done, it should remain crisp and bright. If the vegetable is limpy, you cooked it too long.
Broccoli is also eaten raw, as it is a favorite on salads and as appetizers. Just keep in mind its nutritional benefits can be diminished when mixed with high-fat dressing and dips.
For those, looking to lose weight, its glycemic index value is low, which means that it will not cause your blood sugar to spike. High blood sugar creates the environment for rapid weight gain, in addition to putting you at risk for diabetes.
So you see, you can’t go wrong with broccoli as a food choice. As well as being easy to prepare, it offers numerous health benefits, which in the long run can help to ensure a better quality of life.
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