What is Broccoli good for ???

Grown all over the world and enjoyed as a versatile ingredient for various dishes, broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family, along with cauliflower, kale and cabbage. It has a light green stalk topped with dark green florets tightly clustered together, giving it the appearance of a tree.”1,2

Broccoli means “little arms” or “little shoots” in Italy, where it’s believed to originate from. Every part of this vegetable is edible — from its stem to the gray-green leaves that surround its head, which are usually removed before the broccoli is sold. You can eat it raw in a salad or in a crudités platter, puree it to make soup or serve it sautéed, grilled, steamed, roasted or stir-fried.3  

The flavor of broccoli depends on which part you’re using and how you prepare it. The florets tend to have a stronger taste than the stem, but they’re milder compared to the leaves. Cooked broccoli is also sweeter than raw.4 Additionally, the method of cooking affects the compounds found in this vegetable; One study showed that steaming is the best way to preserve broccoli’s nutrients.5

To determine if a broccoli is fresh, look for tightly closed and springy florets as well as thin stalks. Avoid those with flowering heads, yellowing florets or thick stems, as they indicate maturity. Fresh broccoli can be kept for up to five days when wrapped in a reusable or perforated bag and stored in the crisper of your fridge. Meanwhile, cooked broccoli can last for up to three days in the refrigerator.6,7

Health Benefits of Broccoli 

Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and bioactive phytochemicals. One of its major chemical constituents is sulforaphane, which is found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antimicrobial, antiaging, antidiabetic and neuroprotective properties.8

An article published in the Experimental and Clinical Sciences Journal highlights the chemoprotective property of sulforaphane against various cancers, including breast, colon, stomach and lung cancer. It may also help lower the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease9 and osteoporosis.10

The flavonoids kaempfrol and quercetin contribute to the anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and anticancer actions of broccoli.11,12,13 In terms of vitamins and minerals, broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin A,14 a necessary nutrient for eye health,15and vitamin C,16 which plays a role in various biological functions in the human body, including the biosynthesis of collagen and neurotransmitters.17

Other high-amount, health-boosting nutrients present in broccoli include vitamins K and B6, folate, potassium and manganese. For more information about the nutritional value of this cruciferous vegetable, check out the nutrition facts table below:18

 Amt. Per 
Serving
% Daily 
Value*
Calories34 
Total Fat0.37 g 
Saturated Fat0.114 g 
Trans Fat
Cholesterol0 mg 
Sodium33 mg 
Total Carbohydrates6.64 g 
Dietary Fiber2.6 g 
Sugar1.7 g 
Protein2.82 g 
Vitamin A31 mcgVitamin C89.2 mg
Calcium47 mgIron0.73 mg

Studies Done on Broccoli

Broccoli has been widely studied for its cancer-fighting potential over the years. One 2013 study, published in the Topics in Current Chemistry, found that the sulforaphane in broccoli may help stimulate the detoxification of airborne toxins and aflatoxins, a type of poisonous toxin produced by certain kinds of mold, thereby protecting exposed individuals from associated health risks like cancer.19,20

Another study published in the Nutrition and Cancer evaluated the anticancer property of broccoli on smokers and nonsmokers. The study involved a group of 10 smokers and 10 nonsmokers, both of which were given 200 grams of broccoli or put under a controlled diet within 10 days. Results showed that DNA strand breaks “decreased significantly after the broccoli diet in smokers as well as in nonsmokers,” highlighting the importance of eating broccoli for protecting cells against DNA damage.21

Broccoli Fun Facts

The use of broccoli as a nutritional food source dates back to the Roman Empire, where it was considered very valuable. Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father who was also an avid gardener, began experimenting with broccoli seeds he brought home from in Italy as early as the late 1700s. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that this vegetable became popular in the United States.23

Summary

Broccoli is not just a versatile ingredient. It’s proven to be beneficial for your health too, as it contains a wide range of bioactive compounds, vitamin and minerals, including sulforaphane, kaempfrol, quercetin, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium, to name a few. These powerful compounds work together to help reduce your risk of health disorders, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.24

Every part of broccoli can be eaten, from the florets to the stalk. There are many ways to enjoy this vegetable: Toss it into salads, steam and serve it with dip, puree it into soup or serve it as a side dish to complement recipes with strong flavors.25

reference: https://foodfacts.mercola.com/broccoli.html

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BENEFITS OF OLIVES

Delicious olives offer an amazing array of health benefits that humans have likely been enjoying for thousands of years. Historians note that olives were part of the diet for people as far back as 6,000 years ago in the early Bronze Age. Although the Mediterranean region is particularly note for their delectable olives and high-quality olive oil, olives also grow in regions of Portugal and the Middle East. There are many different varieties of olives, but the research is suggests that each variety offers spectacular health benefits. Whether you’re a fan of green olives or black olives or all the wonderful olive varieties that exist, you should add them to your weekly diet to obtain their many health benefits.

Good for Your Brain

With their brain-supportive antioxidants, olives provide support for strong cognitive function. Because your brain requires so much oxygen, it’s more prone to the development of free radicals than other parts of your body. Antioxidants neutralize these disease-causing free radicals to protect brain health. Additionally, olives contain vitamin K; a lack of vitamin K has been linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s. As if those benefits weren’t enough, there is research that suggests that olives can reduce the risk for depression. So, simply be eating olives, you could elevate your mood and protect your brain health at the same time.

Antioxidants

Olives, whether they be black, green, or stuffed with blue cheese, are loaded with Vitamin E and polyphenols, both of which are powerful antioxidants. To break that down a little, antioxidants are potent compounds that fight free radicals in the body, which can help protect cells and prevent cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Antioxidants also help protect your immune system, helping you avoid getting sick and keep you healthy as you age. Vitamin E is fat soluble, meaning that .Olives are a great source of vitamin E, which has the ability to neutralize free radicals in body fat. Especially when working with the stable monounsaturated fats found in olives, vitamin E can make cellular processes safer. If the DNA of a cell is damaged, it can mutate and become cancerous. Studies have shown that a diet supplemented with olives and olive oil leads to a lower risk of colon cancer, almost as low a risk as a diet rich in fish oil.it’s better absorbed into your bloodstream when combined with fat—just like in that perfect little olive package that nature cleverly designed.

-Arachidonic acid- “The Good & the Bad”

GOODArachidonic acid is not one of the essential fatty acids. However it does become essential if there is a deficiency in linoleic acid or if there is an inability to convert linoleic acid to arachidonic acid which is required by most mammals.

BAD – Scientists believe omega-6s are pro-inflammatory, while omega-3s are anti-inflammatory ( 1 ). Of course, inflammation is essential for your survival. It helps protect your body from infection and injury, but it can also cause severe damage and contribute to disease when it’s chronic or excessive. Pro-inflammatory eicosanoids are important chemicals in the immune system. However, when too many of them are produced, they can increase inflammation and inflammatory disease ( 36 ). Although omega6 fats are essential, the modern Western diet contains far more omega6 fatty acids than necessary

Arachidonic Acid: The Good and Bad

Arachidonic acid is an essential fatty acid, which is consumed in small amounts in our regular diets.  It is considered an “essential” fatty acid because it is an absolute requirement for the proper functioning for the human body.  Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are polyunsaturated fatty acids that the body cannot synthesize and therefore must obtain from the diet.  There are two families of EFAs:  omega-6 and omega-3.  The most important omega-6 fatty acids are linoleic Acid (LA), gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), dihomogamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), and Arachidonic acid (AA).  The most important omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish and certain plant oils.  Linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, can be found primarily in seeds, nuts, grains and legumes.  Linoleic acid can be converted into arachidonic acid.  Arachidonic acid can be found mainly in the fatty parts of meats and fish (largely red meat), so vegetarians usually have lower levels of arachidonic acid in the body than those with omnivorous diets.   
There is a great deal of controversy about arachidonic acid.  Some information says that arachidonic acid can cause health problems and other sources say it is needed to aid in muscle growth.  Arachidonic acid is vital to the operation of the prostaglandin system.  Prostaglandins are part of a class of substances called eicosanoids.  Eicosanoids influence numerous metabolic activities including platelet aggregation (blood clotting), inflammation, hemorrhages, vasoconstriction and vasodilation, blood pressure, and immune function.  The eicosanoids contain twenty carbons and include the prostaglandins (PG), prostacyclins (PGI2), thromboxanes (TX), leukotrienes (LT), and hydroxy acids.  There are bad (pro-inflammatory) and good eicosanoids (anti-inflammatory) and they compete with each other.  Two prostaglandins arachidonic acid is the substrate to are PGE2 and PGF2a.  The first one is generally thought to be bad while the second is thought to be good.  Studies point to PGF2a, specifically, as being the prostaglandin most closely tied to increase skeletal muscle protein synthesis.  Skeletal muscle tissue has no capacity to actually store prostaglandins, so the only local source for PGF2a is the arachidonic acid that is retained in the outer phospholipids layer of each cell.  It is the stretching of muscle fibers during intense physical exercise that causes arachidonic acid to be released and metabolized to active prostaglandins.  Arachidonic acid is actually the chemical messenger first released by your muscles during intense weight training, controlling the core physiological response to exercise and regulating the intensity of all growth signals to follow.  Also, anytime you have tissue injury, inflammation is involved in healing the wound.  Some prostaglandins have pro-inflammatory affects.  The fact is, if you work out, you have tissue injury – micro trauma to the muscle tissue.  As your delayed onset muscle soreness will tell you, inflammation is involved in the healing of this micro trauma.  Furthermore, in both animal and human studies it has been shown that exercise lowers the content of arachidnoic acid in skeletal muscle tissue.  Therefore, there has been talk of arachidonic acid supplementation.  
The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid families form different eicosanoids with different activities.  They compete with one another for the enzyme (PLA2) that catalyzes the release of the essential fatty acids from the cell membrane.  Also, they compete for cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, the enzymes necessary for eicosanoid synthesis.  A proper balance of these fatty acids in the diet is therefore important for the maintenance of good health.  An increase in the consumption of one family will reduce the synthesis of eicosanoids derived from the other family, which will ultimately have an effect on overall health.  According to many sources, humans evolved on a 1:1 dietary ratio of omega-6 to omega-3.  With today’s typical “Western” dietary habits the average person consumes a dietary ratio of between 25 and 40 to 1 omega-6 to omega-3.  This highly imbalanced ratio is due to the dramatic increase in consumption of omega-6 fatty acids in vegetable oils, which contain linoleic acid, and meat and shellfish, which contain arachidonic acid.  At the same time, we are consuming less of the omega-3 fatty acids.  Since the omega-6 compete with the omega-3 fatty acids for incorporation into cell membranes and subsequent metabolism, high intake of the omega-6 fatty acids will result in an increased production of unhealthy eicosanoids derived from arachidonic acid.  Omega-3 fatty acids produce eicosanoids that are anti-inflammatory.  These eicosanoids help support normal blood pressure by relaxing the arteries and blood vessels and decreasing blood lipids.  They also decrease blood-clotting factors.  Omega-6 fatty acids can produce both anti-inflammatory and/or inflammatory and vasoconstricting eicosanoids.  Omega-6 can be good for you if you take them in the right amount with omega-3.  Omega-3 can counteract the pro-inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty acids.  When omega-3 and omega-6 are in balance, they are both very good but when omega-6 is in excess, they become bad.  For that reason, it is essential to have a proper balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.  A healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 ranges from 1:1 to 1:3.  
Now that arachidonic acid supplements are on the market, athletes need to be aware that there needs to be a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in their diet.  Supplementation is acceptable only if you are consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids to balance with the added omega-6 fatty acid (arachidonic acid) from the supplement.  You have a choice to make.  If your primary concern is muscular gain supplementing arachidonic acid could help as long as you are consuming enough omega-3 to balance your diet.   However, if you suffer from one of the many inflammatory conditions that plague many people who exercise (tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, etc.) then you should probably stay away from it since it can be pro-inflammatory.  Furthermore, if you suffer from diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, are pregnant, or are suffering from any inflammatory disease you should not supplement arachidonic acid in your diet.  Just remember if you are going to take arachidonic acid supplements you should have a healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega 3.

-THE ACUTE INFLAMMATORY PROCESS-

The acute inflammatory process, arachidonic acid metabolism and the mode of action of anti-inflammatory drugs.- Arachidonic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid covalently bound in esterified form in the cell membranes of most body cells. Following irritation or injury, arachidonic acid is released and oxygenated by enzyme systems leading to the formation of an important group of inflammatory mediators, the eicosanoids. It is now recognised that eicosanoid release is fundamental to the inflammatory process. For example, the prostaglandins and other prostanoids, products of the cyclooxygenase enzyme pathway, have potent inflammatory properties and prostaglandin E2 is readily detectable in equine acute inflammatory exudates. The administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs results in inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis and this explains the mode of action of agents such as phenylbutazone and flunixin. Lipoxygenase enzymes metabolise arachidonic acid to a group of noncyclised eicosanoids, the leukotrienes, some of which are also important inflammatory mediators. They are probably of particular importance in leucocyte-mediated aspects of chronic inflammation. Currently available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, however, do not inhibit lipoxygenase activity. In the light of recent evidence, the inflammatory process is re-examined and the important emerging roles of both cyclo-oxygenase and lipoxygenase derived eicosanoids are explored. The mode of action of current and future anti-inflammatory drugs offered to the equine clinician can be explained by their interference with arachidonic acid metabolism. For full article : https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.2042-3306.1984.tb01893.x?sid=nlm%3Apubmed

References:
1.  Galli, C., Simopoulos, A.P., Tremoli.  Fatty Acids and Lipids:  Biological Aspects.  World Rev Nutr Diet 1994, 75: 1-196. 
2.  Mann and Sinclair.  Contribution of Meat Fat to Dietary Arachidonic Acid.  Lipids 1998, 33: 437-40 
3.  Phinney et al.  Reduced Arachidonate in Serum Phospholipids and Cholesterol Esters Associated with Vegetarian Diets in Humans.  Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 51: 385-92.
4.  Rodemann, Peter and Alfred Goldberg.  Arachidonic Acid, Prostaglandin E2 and F2a Influence Rates of Protein Turnover in Skeletal and Cardiac Muscle.  J Biol Chem 
1982, 257:1632-1638.  
5.  Simopoulos, A.P., Leaf, A., Salem, N. Jr.  Essentiality of and Recommended Dietary Intakes for Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  Ann Nutr Metab 1999, 43: 127-130.
6.  Smith, WL.  The Eicosanoids and Their Biochemical Mechanisms of Action.  Biochem J 1989, 259:315-324.

Vegan-Stuffed Roasted Capsicum with Spinach patties

IMG_9125.JPG

So I have decided to go  plant based for a while to try and reduce the inflammation in my body and I feel that eating  meat at the moment may be impacted this considerably. This could be due to the ARACHIDONIC ACID

Arachidonic acid is an inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid. … Arachidonic acid is found in animal products, like poultry and eggs. The amount of arachidonic acid found in just one egg a day can  elevated arachidonic acid levels in the bloodstream, and increase inflammation  considerably – Japanese researchers learned. ( see next blog for more information)

RECIPE

CAPPY

  •  1 cup of cooked buckwheat
  • 1/8 bunch enoki mushrooms chopped
  • 1 Ripened Roma tomato chopped
  • Bunch Fresh Thai basil- any basil will do
  •  salt & Pepper to tast
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried vegetable stock / broth
  • MIX altogether
  • 4 red or Yellow capsicum – preferably with 4 bums ( bottom of cappy)- tops cut off and insides cleaned
  • Mix all together and stuff  the capsicum
  • Place in baking tray and bake until soft.

SPINACH PATTIES

  • one bunch of chopped and little cooked silverbeet or spinach
  • Squeeze excess water out
  • Add thyme, parsley
  • Grated vegan cheese- small handful
  • Tablespoon Chia seeds that have been soaked in 1/4 cup water 10 mins prior
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Tapioca or GF flour
  • Mix together – looks like a batter
  • Shallow fry until golden brown with grapeseed or Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Serve with Fresh Cos lettuce  with squeeze of lemon and dash of Truffle oil.

 

YUMMOOOOO  😋 😋 😋

ENJOY 😊