Why Broccoli is your Health & Weight Loss Friend
Broccoli is jam-packed with plenty of nutrients, vitamins and minerals so is an ideal food to include on your healthy eating and weight loss plans.
It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, is packed with folate and dietary fibre and is also very low in fat and calories. Broccoli also contains vitamins B6 and B2, magnesium, protein, phosphorus and even some omega-3 fatty acids. One serving of steamed broccoli contains over twice of the amount of vitamins C and K that you need in a day – this green veggie is most certainly good for you!
Broccoli could also help you to lose weight, too – it’s low in calories and fat, but is high in dietary fibre, meaning that it will fill you up for very few calories. Broccoli will add bulk to your meal without adding empty calories from fat and so you can eat plenty of it, be full up without feeling hungry, and still lose weight because you’re eating a smaller amount of calories.
Some theories state that broccoli helps you to lose weight because it’s a negative calorie food – therefore, it’s a food that uses more calories to digest than it contains. This is true, but there is no evidence to suggest that negative calories foods will help you to lose weight – they simply cause a small calorie deficit.
Broccoli not only helps you to lose weight as part of a balanced, healthy and varied diet, but it can also work to reduce your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Eating broccoli provides you with antioxidants, which are known to lower your risk of inflammation and cancer and the fibre in broccoli helps you to excrete bile acids, lowering cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease.
Broccoli is a bit of a super food, but how do you prepare it? Here are three tasty, low fat, low calorie, speedy weight loss recipes to make the most of this tasty vegetable.
Broccoli Soup – Serves 6, Calories per serving: 88.
- 1 small onion
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 medium potato
- 300g broccoli, including stems
- 450ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 340ml skim milk
- Oil spray
- Salt and pepper
- Finely dice the onion and celery stalk. Cube the potato. Chop the broccoli. Heat oil spray in frying pan and cook onion and celery until softened and sweet.
- Add potato, broccoli, chicken stock and milk. Simmer for 20 minutes until veggies are tender, then leave to cool slightly and blend until smooth, or leave chunky. Season well to taste.
Chinese Broccoli – Serves 6, Calories per serving: 67.
- 900g broccoli
- 110ml orange juice
- 2 tsp. runny honey
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- ½ tsp. crushed dried red chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp. water
- 1 ½ tsp. corn starch
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- Thinly slice broccoli. Place stalks into a steamer basket over a pan of simmering water. Steam for 2 minutes, then add the florets and steam for another 3 minutes.
- Combine orange juice, honey, Dijon mustard, orange zest, garlic clove, soy sauce and chilli flakes. Stir and bring to the boil. In a small bowl, whisk the water and corn starch together until smooth, then pour into the orange mixture. Stir until thickened. Toss broccoli with the sauce, then sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.
Roasted Garlic Broccoli with Lemon – Serves 6, Calories per serving: 57.
- 2 heads of broccoli
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- Half a lemon (or more to taste)
- Separate broccoli into florets. Preheat oven to 200C. Toss broccoli with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and garlic. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until the stems are tender enough to pierce.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Squeeze the lemon over the broccoli to taste. Serve.
To see more tasty weight loss recipes see our 28 Day Diet & Exercise Plan