We knew broccoli was good for us but we had no idea just how good. Broccoli is an excellent vegetable choice to add to your prenatal diet as it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
One cup of cooked broccoli has about…
250% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin K
40% the recommended daily amount of folate
140% recommended daily amount of Vitamin C
Vitamin K does not receive a lot of publicity and is sometimes referred to as “the forgotten vitamin” but it is important for many functions, including preventing blood clots. It is also a key partner to vitamin D in building strong bones. If you are deficient in vitamin K, then vitamin D does not work optimally in your body. These two vitamins complement one another and you need to have a sufficient amount of each vitamin for them to work effectively in your body.
We all know folate (aka folic acid) is a top priority for all expecting mothers, particularly in early pregnancy. Once you are pregnant, everyone from your doctor to your next door neighbor is encouraging you to increase folic acid in your diet. It has been proven that folic acid can actually prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida in your baby which is ample reason to increase your intake.
According to Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, when broccoli is lightly sautéed in oil, it loses almost none of its water-soluble nutrients because it is in contact with oil, not water (as opposed to steaming). They also absorb the phytonutrients in oil and garlic. This is an excellent opportunity to add double your nutritional value by cooking in olive oil, a very healthy fat.
Indole is also formed when broccoli is cooked. According to research in The Journal of Nutrition, this organic compound helps kill precancerous cells before they turn malignant. Vitamin K, folate and Vitamin C are all essential for a healthy pregnancy and broccoli is a great source of all of these!
Basic Broccoli Method:
2 medium bunches of rinsed broccoli
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp thyme
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
Desired amount of salt and pepper
Put a large pan on medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and chopped garlic. Chop the broccoli and set aside in medium bowl (makes approximately 6 cups).
Once the garlic has lightly browned in the oil, add the chopped broccoli and stir. Add the thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and check every few minutes until it is as cooked as you like.
You can either eat it just like that, or make a delicious quinoa salad!
Quinoa Broccoli Salad (1-2 servings):
1 cup cooked broccoli
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup pasta sauce
1 cup chopped kale
½ cup garbanzo beans
Toss all ingredients in a bowl and you’re good to go. This recipe can easily be doubled or even quadrupled for a family meal! The addition of raw kale adds even more of those essential vitamins for a healthy pregnancy.
All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2015, All Rights Reserved