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 Brassica family. This family of super plants also includes cauliflower, cabbage, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts.
These superfoods have a tonne of nutrition, and other health-promoting compounds, they're relatively inexpensive and easy to cook too!
Broccoli and kale are full of nutrition: vitamins, minerals, fibre, 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
● 2.8 g protein, 0.4 g fat, 6.6 g carbohydrates, and 2.6 g fibre.
● 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
● 0.7 g protein, 0.2 g fat (including omega-3), 1.4 g carbohydrates, and 0.6 g fibre.
● 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, Naturopath, Nutritionist 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 healthfulnes
This bitter flavour 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 colours 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. Indole is great for reducing hip fat, as fat that is located on your thighs and hips may be the result of a hormone imbalance with the estrogen. Indoles decrease the harmful xeno-estrogens that often cause the estrogen hormone to be in excess, which results in fat around thighs and waist that feels near impossible to work off.
If you are concerned that you may have a hormone imbalance, or want to optimize your body’s ability to burn fat, (especialliy around the tummy and thighs), doing a food cleanse can help with that. CLICK HERE to get your copy of the 10 Day DIY Body Rejuvenation Cleanse to Optimize your body’s ability to BURN FAT!
Broccoli and kale are cruciferous superfoods. They are packed with nutrition and have a whole array of health-promoting compounds, and are very beneficial for weight-loss and detoxification.
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.
If you are still concerned about your weight, and would like some help with incorporating healthy eating and sticking to your workout goals, CLICK HERE to fill out a form to book your Complimentary Assessment so we can go over your goals and design an exercise plan to help you get fit, look and feel amazing again!
Do you, or anyone you know, absolutely love (or hate) these superfoods? Do you have a favourite recipe to share? Let me know in the comments below. :)
Recipe (Broccoli & Kale): Superfood Soup
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
1.Sautee garlic in olive oil in a large soup pot. At the same time do steps #2 and #3.
2.Add half of the raw kale, celery, and broccoli to your high-speed blender (in that order).
3. Cover with up to 4 cups of broth and blend. (Caution: Do not use hot broth, use room temperature so can put into blender)
4.Pour soup into the pot with the sauteed garlic. Do the same for the other half of the veggies and broth.
5.Heat soup and simmer for up to 5 minutes.
6. 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.