Broccoli is probably one of the cutest vegetables out there. Its tiny tree shape and lovely green complexion add a splash of charm and color to any dinner plate. Broccoli is from the Brassicaceae family of vegetables, also called Cruciferae from the Latin word – to bear a cross – because their flowers resemble a cross with their four petals. Broccoli can be eaten raw, steamed, grilled, cooked on its own, or with other foods. And did you know that it’s also a great food choice for people with diabetes? Here’s a list of reasons why:
5 Reasons You Should Be Eating Broccoli
- One cup of chopped broccoli, raw, only has 6 grams of carbohydrate. So when you’re craving a snack that will fill you up without causing a blood sugar spike, broccoli is an excellent choice
- Broccoli is chock full of vital nutrients. It is a source of antioxidants, which help combat free radicals forming within the body. Free radical damage is associated with cancer and heart disease, so consumption of foods like broccoli that contains vitamins A, C, and E can be beneficial in protecting the body from those diseases. Broccoli also contains Vitamin K, which is important for healthy blood.
- Broccoli is a good source of carotenoids, phytochemicals found in deep green vegetables. Phytochemicals provide aroma, taste, and color to foods and can reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and enhance detoxifying enzymes as well as the immune system.
- Studies suggest broccoli helps prevent damage to blood vessels in people with diabetes because of its chemical properties.
- It’s exceptionally easy to prepare. If you’re in a hurry, you can fill a baggie with a serving of broccoli and take some ranch dressing with you to add some flavor. It can be added to salads when you’re looking for more green, or you can throw it on the grill with other veggies for a satisfying and healthy meal.
Check out the broccoli recipes on ASweetLife for more great ideas:
Contributed by Molly Johannes. Molly writes the blog Diabetes Goes to College.