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Amazing Benefits of Broccoli (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Amazing Benefits of Broccoli (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Ever wonder why mom always nagged you to “eat your broccoli”? Many kids — and adults! — see broccoli as a sort of punishment, but the fact is that it is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. And if you prepare it the right way, it is also one of the most delicious! Let’s explore the side of broccoli you never knew about — and discover the incredible dishes you can use it to make.

1. Broccoli Helps Achieve Beautiful Skin

Gorgeous, healthy skin is not just achieved through moisturizers and toners: it starts from the inside out and is based on a healthy diet. Broccoli is rich in a combination of vitamins A, C and E which, together, can help reverse skin damage from exposure to pollution or the sun, improve skin texture and reduce wrinkles and keep your skin looking healthy and youthful due to supporting the formation of collagen.

2. Broccoli Treats Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is a much more widespread problem than people think — and diet can make a big difference in helping to treat this condition.  Broccoli is high in both vitamin A and K, which makes it easier for the body to absorb vitamin D itself.

3. Broccoli Promotes Heart Health

Heart health is a major concern for people nowadays — and rightly so.  Broccoli helps to promote the health of the heart in several ways. It is high in soluble fiber, which reduces high cholesterol levels. At the same time, the sulfur-containing compounds in broccoli help to strengthen the blood vessels which support the heart.

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4. Broccoli Reduces Allergy Symptoms

Sick of the runny nose, itchy eyes, and sinus headaches that go along with an allergic reaction?  A diet that includes broccoli can help.  Broccoli is rich in a compound called kaempferol which reduces the irritation and inflammation of allergy symptoms. Because of this, broccoli is considered to be part of a hypoallergenic eating plan to manage allergies naturally.

5. Broccoli Boosts Your Whole Digestive System

Constipation? Heart burn?  These problems can be a thing of the past if you eat broccoli on a regular basis. The fiber is the key here: it can bulk up stools and make them easier to pass, reducing your chances of getting constipated, but also makes the whole process of digestion easier so that it is less likely that you will suffer from heartburn, sour stomach or other common problems.

6. Broccoli Reduces Cancer Risk

Cancer is a major concern for anyone wanting to stay healthy. Broccoli, however, can be part of a cancer-fighting diet: it contains a compound called sulforaphane, which multiple studies have found can reduce the risk of several different forms of cancer, including cancer of the colon, lung, pancreas and esophagus.

7. Broccoli Helps with Weight Loss

Any dieter knows what a challenge it can be to shed those excess pounds once you have put them on.  But knowing which foods to choose can help you to eat smart and make it easier to achieve your weight loss goals.  Broccoli is an ideal food for this – a cup of it is only 31 calories, but it is loaded with fiber to help curb your appetite and feel full even when you eat less.

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8. Broccoli Strengthens Your Bones

Weakened bones — usually due to a condition called osteoporosis — is a major problems as women get older, especially after they reach menopause, when hormone changes can leach minerals from the bones and increase the risk of fractures.  Eating broccoli is a great way to help prevent this, with a combination of calcium and vitamin K that can keep bones healthy and strong.

Broccoli is a Delicious Addition to Many Dishes — Seriously!

Wanting some great ways to start enjoying broccoli in your diet.

Broccoli and Pepper Stir-Fry

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    Broccoli Quiche

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      Broccoli and Goat Cheese Souffle

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        Spinach-Broccoli Soup with Garlic and Cilantro

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          Broccoli Salad with Garlic and Sesame

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            So try adding broccoli in your diet today — its unique combination of vitamins, fiber and other nutrients will give you a delicious way to be healthy and get to know this under-loved vegetable.

            Featured photo credit: al1962 via shutterstock.com

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            Brian Wu

            Health Writer, Author

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            Last Updated on December 9, 2019

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

            Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

            Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

            1. Get Rationally Optimistic

            Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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            This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

            In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

            The result: no more mental stress.

            2. Unplug

            Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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            How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

            It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

            Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

            3. Easy on the Caffeine

            Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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            Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

            4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

            That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

            How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

            • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
            • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
            • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

            While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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            5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

            This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

            The result: mental stress will be gone!

            So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

            More to Help You Feel Relaxed

            Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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