Blog, Fibromyalgia, Health

Let’s Talk Broccoli

Before all this fibro stuff came into my life, we ate broccoli like all others but it was definitely NOT on my favourite list. The only discussion we had on broccoli was the pronounciation. My parents say bro-koli and my kids say brawk-li. I hope I got the phoenetics right but I am sure you got it. So now we say brawk-li because I don’t want my kids laughing at me. Jusr for the record, the given pronounciation in UK and Australia is /ˈbɹɒ.kə.li/

What is so great about broccoli? It looks good in a dish so that is a definite YES to including it in the menu. But let’s look beyond the vegetable. Let’s read the book instead of judging it by the cover. At some point I will definitely share my broccoli vs. cauliflower theory!

As usual, we can take a 1 cup measure to discuss the nutrients in broccoli. To begin with it is a low calorie food. That is a plus.

Here are more pluses –

  1. Vitamin C – 1 cup of broccoli provides more than 200% of our daily Vitamin C intake. While inadequate amounts of Vit C affect our mood negatively, overly adequate amounts are also bad. Excessive Vit C can cause kidney stones among other problems. My advice – I limit broccoli to 1 -2 times a week and the day I am eating broccoli, I avoid other veggies which are high in Vit C
  2. Fiber – providing is with 15% of our daily needs, this is a great source of dietary fiber too.
  3. Vitamin K – excellent choice for bone health and blood clotting. To the contrary of general conversation, blood clotting is also necessary for operations and wounds.
  4. Chromium – while most veggies contain small amounts of chromium, broccoli has more and helps with blood sugar control ie. less spiking.
  5. It is also a good source of Folate (prevents cancer) but for us fibromyalgiacs, it is important that it supports our nervous system function by producing GABA and glumatic acid which together stimulate nerves to balance off our cell activity.
  6. Sulfur – the sulfur in broccoli is an anti-inflammatory.

So there! we have all the goodness of broccoli laid out to persuade us to include it in our meal plans. Did I hear you say recipes? Sure!

Broccoli and Carrot Stir-fry with Tofu
The combination of veggies in this dish makes an excellent meal. The nutrient of broccoli are already mentioned above. To this we are adding carrots (very high in Vit A), tofu which is a great source of iron and calcium and snowpeas which are also good source of Vit A and iron. Since snow peas are also high in Vit C (something we do not need because of the broccoli), we limit it to just a few. Together these veggies will also give you 20% of your needed daily intake of magnesium.

Steam in 4 tablespoons of water
with 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of olive oil,
100g broccoli florets
50g chopped carrot
6 snowpeas

On a skillet, with 1 teaspoon of oil,
brown 1 tofu
drain on a paper towel  and cut into squares

In the same skillet, add 2 cloves of crushed garlic
cook until golden
add in the steamed vegetables and tofu
add salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Serve hot with rice