I know you have all heard about the benefits of broccoli.  I’ve heard all of them, too.  But, I want to just spend a minute really looking at the power of this unassuming vegetable.  I have recently been perusing Dr. Dharma Khalsa’s "Food as Medicine" book and have found some really exciting information.

Broccoli is known to be helpful in preventing colon, breast, and prostate cancer, along with many other types.  Now researchers are really understanding why this is so.  There is a specific phytonutrient that triggers natural anti-cancer activity in the cells.  This particular nutrient is found in higher concentration in broccoli that is only 3-4 days old, so this means in the sprouts, themselves (found to have 20-50 times the amount than mature broccoli). 

Researchers have found that rats exposed to high levels of broccoli extract were found to have almost half the incidence of cancer when exposed to high levels of carcinogenic materials than those of rats given no broccoli compounds.  And those rats fed on broccoli who did develop tumors were found to come on slowly and were not as big. 

This is pretty exciting news to me.  I love having tools that I can use to improve and maintain my own health.  This is about health maintenance.  When you cook broccoli, the best way to preserve the nutrients is either lightly steaming or eating raw.  Frying and baking tends to cook out the whole goodness of foods.

My Challenge to You:
Add broccoli into your diet at least once a week.  If you are really inspired, pick up some broccoli sprouts at the health food store and add these into your salads, sandwiches, vegetable everyday ( I have to admit that I wasn’t ‘wowed’ by the taste of these little guys). 

Here is a fun, easy recipe for dip to eat with raw vegetables:
1 box Silken tofu
1 1/2 cups fresh basil
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 med. clove garlic
1/4 cup safflower oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp. white miso
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt

Blend in blender and serve.

Recipe From ‘Vegetarian Times’ October, 2000

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