What Makes Broccoli and Kale Superfoods?

What Makes Broccoli and Kale Superfoods?

Broccoli and kale are often touted to be “superfoods.” And, yes, they really are amazingly healthy for you.

If you’re wondering what exactly is in these green powerhouses that makes them so “super,” I’ve dived into the research to give you some nerdy reasons to make these a staple in your diet.

To start, they’re both considered cruciferous vegetables related to each other in the Brassicafamily. This family of super plants also includes cauliflower, cabbage, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts.

These superfoods have a ton of nutrition, and other health-promoting compounds, they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to cook too!

Super nutrition

Broccoli and kale are full of nutrition: vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. They’re both considered to be nutrient dense which is a measure of nutrients per calorie – and these both have a lot!

100 grams of broccoli (about 1 cup, chopped) contains:

  • 34 calories
  • 8 g protein, 0.4 g fat, 6.6 g carbohydrates, and 2.6 g fiber
  • Good source of B vitamins (when eaten raw)
  • >100% of your daily vitamin C
  • Almost 100% of your vitamin K
  • Good source of manganese
  • Traces of all the other vitamins and minerals

One cup of loosely packed kale contains:

  • 8 calories
  • 7 g protein, 0.2 g fat (including omega-3), 1.4 g carbohydrates, and 0.6 g fiber
  • Contains pre-vitamin A (beta-carotene).
  • Several B vitamins, including B1, B3, B5, B6, and folate (B9)
  • Rich in vitamins C and K
  • Lots of minerals including manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, sulfur, copper, phosphorus, and calcium

As you can see, these two foods contain a lot of nutrients.

NOTE: Too much vitamin K may interact with certain blood-thinning medications. If you’re taking one of these medications, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before incorporating too much of these superfoods into your diet.

Broccoli and kale also contain other health-promoting compounds.

Super health-promoting compounds

 Broccoli and kale tend to taste a bit bitter – but that bitterness equals healthfulness!

 This bitter flavoor is from some of the health-promoting compounds in these super plant foods. Things like glucosinolates (e.g., sulforaphane and isothiocyanates) and polyphenol flavonols.

There are a few different types of kale – from curly kale, to dinosaur kale, to red/purple kale. The different colors result from slight differences in the amounts of the compounds these plants contain.

One of the main active ingredients in cruciferous vegetables are glucosinolates. These antioxidant compounds are very useful to help detoxify and protect against cancer.

FUN FACT: It’s the precursors to glucosinolates that are in cruciferous vegetables, not the compounds themselves. When fresh broccoli and kale are eaten (or even chopped/blended) raw the active compounds are produced. *This fact is incorporated into a trick I use in this week’s recipe*
NOTE: Glucosinolates may affect iodine absorption and thyroid health, particularly in people prone to thyroid disease. In this case, you may not have to ditch these superfoods altogether – just cook them first.

These superfoods also contain flavonols like kaempferol and quercetin. Flavonols have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and they decrease your risk of cancer.

Kale also contains carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are known for promoting eye health and are protective against many cancers.

When cooked, kale contains another anti-cancer compound called indole.

Conclusion

Broccoli and kale are cruciferous superfoods. They are packed with nutrition and have a whole array of health-promoting compounds.

Almost everyone should be eating these regularly. Just be cautious if you’re taking blood-thinning medications; and, if you have thyroid issues, cook them first.

Do you, or anyone you know, absolutely love (or hate) these superfoods? Do you have a favorite recipe to share? Let me know in the comments below.

Recipe (Broccoli & Kale): Superfood Soup
Serves 4

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 large handfuls kale
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 stalks broccoli chopped
8 cups broth
½ cup tahini
2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Sauté garlic in olive oil in a large soup pot. At the same time do steps #2 and #3.
Add half of the raw kale, celery, and broccoli to your high-speed blender (in that order). Cover with up to 4 cups of broth and blend.
Pour soup into the pot with the sautéed garlic. Do the same for the other half of the veggies and broth.
Heat soup and simmer for up to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add tahini and sea salt. Stir well.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: If you want the soup to be extra creamy, you can re-blend after it’s heated.

To your radiant health, with love,

Do I need to take supplements?

Do I need to take supplements?

Do I need to take supplements? I eat healthy, so I don’t think I need any supplement.
I am not going to take any supplements, they are toxic and not effective. I will just waste my money.
Yes, I am taking many supplements so I can eat “the wrong food”.

Those are a few questions and statements from my friends and clients I am hearing frequently.

So, let me give my “two cents” regarding supplements. Are you with me?

Yes, we do need supplements even if we eat a balanced and healthy diet. There are multiple reasons for that. One is the quality of our food supply. Due to poor agricultural practices, toxic pollutants in soil and waters, long transportation time, picking up produce that is not ripe. The nutrient content is the highest when the produce is vine ripened. Also, we need to take into consideration the long travel time from the fields to our table. With each day nutritional value is less and less.

I have to warn you: not all supplements are good for you. Yes, there are supplements that have low efficacy, some of them have unhealthy fillers. So, when buying them you have to read labels carefully. Choosing and taking the right supplement is a great investment in your health. Choose a reputable brand so you know you will reap a benefit for taking them and not wasting your money. There are studies proving that some supplements are just passing through the digestive tract unchanged (that means no absorption). That is a real waste of money.

Taking all kind of supplements and eating the wrong food is not a too good idea. Supplements won’t make up for inflammatory, toxic and nutrient-poor food.

A healthy, nutrient-rich whole food is the best way to optimize your health. Vitamins, mineral and trace elements should come primarily from food.

If you take medication pay attention because many times they interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

In that case, you may want to supplement.

Majority of our adult population is nutrient deficient due to the reasons I mentioned above. One of the examples is Magnesium. Almost 70% of adult populations is magnesium depleted. Magnesium has a role in over 300 biochemical and physiological processes in the body. Did you know that magnesium is the first line therapy for a newly diagnosed high blood pressure? Just to illustrate the importance.

Are you one of the statistics (nutrient deficient) and trying to mask the symptoms with medications?

I see this way too frequently working with clients.

How can you know if you are mineral or vitamin deficient?

The best and most effective ways are to do some testing. Test don’t guess. But I know it can challenging sometimes to get the right testing.

Pay attention to symptoms or start taking the most important ones that the majority of us need.

I do not represent nor sell any of the supplement companies.

I am planning to talk about a few of them I can trust and use their product in my Facebook group. This month is all about supplements in the group.

One more reason to join us in the group. Click HERE


 

RECIPE

BLACKBERRY CHIA SEED PUDDING

This is my “go to” food when I want something sweet and creamy. I know it’s also super healthy, won’t interfere with my hormone balancing efforts and everyone like it. I usually make a double batch so I can share it with my husband. I have to warn you once you start eating if it’s difficult to stop ?

Serves 1

1 cup full-fat coconut milk (one can has two cups)
½ cup blackberries (any kind of berries work well)
¼ cup chia seeds
I used coconut flakes for extra crunch, this is optional

Blend in a high-speed blender coconut milk and blackberries. Mix in chia seeds and just stir manually. Let it cool in the fridge for about 8 hours. And just enjoy it!!

To your radiant health, with love

5 Surprising Beauty Foods

5 Surprising Beauty Foods

All fresh fruits and vegetables contain magical powers when it comes to shiny hair, clear skin, and strong nails. However, the ones I’ve chosen below are perhaps not as well known for their powerful beauty benefits. Try and include these foods into your diet if you want to look your best without the need for botox or other unnatural remedies.

  1. Red Peppers. All red and orange colored foods contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Red peppers are particularly beautifying due to the minerals A, C, and K. Vitamins A and C can help prevent cell damage that leads to premature ageing, and they can also reduce inflammation, which can cause a puffy-looking face. Pepper also has Vitamin K, which is an excellent property for protecting our cells from damage.
  2. Spinach. All leafy greens are actually very powerful in terms of being a beauty food because of the chlorophyll they contain. There are also loads of other phytochemicals and fiber in spinach that help build blood that is super clean and which will show through in your skin.
  3. Turmeric. This yellow-colored, Indian spice has a load of powerful antioxidant qualities. Turmeric assists in protecting our cells from free radical damage and also contributes towards cleaning up metabolic waste in our systems. It is also great as a liver flusher to get rid of any poisons and chemicals which are stored there.
  4. Pumpkin Seeds. Wow, these really are powerful. What don’t pumpkin seeds have in them?! The humble pumpkin seed contains high levels of zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, and E. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, all essential for healthy cell maintenance. Make a handful of pumpkin seeds a regular part of your diet, and you will definitely notice a change in your appearance.
  5. Parsley. Next time your plate is garnished with parsley, don’t push it aside. This is a pretty powerful herb when it comes to anti-aging, as well as purifying and cleansing the body. It contains vitamins A and C as well as anti-oxidizing flavonoids that protect our cells from free radical damage. Parsley also helps to purify the blood, kill bacteria, aid digestion, and cleanse toxins from the liver.

The best thing is that all these foods are easy to incorporate into your diet. Add turmeric to juice and combine the other foods with some other fixings to make a great, beautifying salad. Who said that beauty was hard to keep?

 

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