Brilliant Broccoli!

Broccoli contains an abundance of fabulous nutrients and is amazing for our health in so many ways. Perhaps broccoli is known best for its anti-cancer properties and so I will endeavour to explain why. 

Broccoli is exceptional as it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, along with detoxification promoting abilities. It is this special combination of attributes that are believed to help prevent cancer. 

Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, kaempferol, quercetin, carotenoids, vitamin E and zinc. These anti- oxidants neutralise harmful free radicals and hence reduce oxidative stress in the body. 
The unique combination of glucosinolates found in broccoli, break down to form isothiocyanates (ITC’s). These ITC’s, help to suppress unwanted inflammatory responses in the body. Additionally, the polyphenol kaempferol reduces the effect of allergy associated substances, consequently reducing chronic inflammation in our body.

What’s more, ITC’s help to regulate the detoxification process in the cells of our body. This ensures we are eliminating harmful substances which can accumulate and then contribute to the development cancer.

Broccoli is fantastic in soups, omelettes and stir fries or just lightly steamed to retain its nutrients. Top tip: store your unused stems in the freezer to use in a quick blended vegetable soup.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Captivating Cabbage!

Cabbage has countless health promoting nutrients and many are shared with other Brassica family vegetables including kale and broccoli. However, cabbage also has its own distinctive nutrients and properties.

Savoy cabbages are particularly rich in the nutrient sinigrin. This has unique anti-cancer properties and is particularly associated with fighting bladder, colon and prostate cancers.

Additionally, cabbage can assist in lowering cholesterol. Specific components of the cabbage fibre, bind with bile acids in our gastrointestinal tract. This promotes bile excretion which as a result lowers cholesterol.

It has long been recognised that cabbage juice helps to heal stomach ulcers. Cabbage is rich in glutamine which helps to heal the lining of the stomach and digestive tract. However, there are other special phytonutrients in cabbage that help to regulate the amount of H. pylori bacteria in the stomach. When populations of this bacterium become too large, the H. pylori can latch on to the stomach lining, which can lead to the development of stomach ulcers.

In order to maximise the health benefits of cabbage, use the steaming or healthy sauté method (i.e. sauté with a little water, broth or stock). To promote the cabbage’s healthful enzyme activity, chop the cabbage and let it sit for 5 minutes before consuming or cooking. However, if you wish to benefit from cabbage’s high vitamin C content, wash and cut just before consumption!

To enjoy, shred in to an Asian salad with onion, coriander, chilli and cashews, add to soups, stews and stir fries or stuff the leaves – Russian style. Alternatively you can ferment your cabbage into some wonderful therapeutic sauerkraut.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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