Did you skip over the vegetable tray at your last Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? Big mistake, according to doctors and researchers, especially if broccoli was one of the vegetables offered. Often called the "Nutrient Powerhouse" of the vegetable world, these little green trees (to borrow a phrase from childhood) are incredibly good for you. But what is it about broccoli that makes it so good for you?
Broccoli is the most nutrient rich of all the vegetables, adding to your diet a good portion of the daily recommended intake of protein, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, soluble fiber, non-soluble fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, foliate, potassium, and manganese. In fact, just one cup of raw broccoli gives you 135% of the vitamin C you need every day - and that's just looking at one of the nutritional facts about broccoli.
Of course, sometimes even the most convincing facts about nutrients aren't enough if you can't stand the taste of something. But while broccoli may not be your favorite raw vegetable, there are many delicious ways to prepare broccoli that makes it taste great, while still allowing it to retain all of its nutritional value. Need an example? Then read on for one delicious, nutritious option: broccoli and cheese soup.
There are plenty of broccoli and cheese soup recipes out there, so we won't include any specific ones here. Instead, let’s take a look at what to look for in a healthy recipe, and what to avoid.
- Look for recipes that call for fresh or frozen ingredients, including the broccoli
- Look for recipes that call for reduced fat and reduced sodium ingredients like yogurt and chicken broth
- Look for recipes that call for real cheddar cheese
- Avoid recipes that call for processed cheese
- Avoid recipes that call for cream of anything (broccoli, chicken, etc)
A good broccoli and cheese soup recipe will allow the broccoli to retain its nutritional benefits, without ameliorating those benefits with other high fat, high sodium ingredients. Not a soup person? There are plenty of other broccoli recipes out there you can try. Just try to stick with ingredients that are healthy, and remember that steaming or boiling are the healthiest ways to prepare broccoli, no matter what the recipe.
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