Friday, November 11, 2011

Need To Get Regular? Saute Some Spicy Broccoli!

Who needs "probiotic yogurt" to stay regular when you've got thousands of vegetables to choose from, which can get you regular in no time?

Nick and I get about 50% of our fiber each week from broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower. No joke (ok, I've never done the math, but that's my guess). Since we like broccoli so much it's imperative that I continue coming up with new ways to prepare it (although, we'd eat it in any form, really).

Here are some of the reasons why I make sure to eat at least 1/2 cup of broccoli (or other cruciferous vegetable), everyday:
  • Vitamin C for collagen repair (especially good for the small capillaries that help with circulation, and for gum health). Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, and works with other compounds in broccoli to increase it's ability to act as an antioxidant.
  • Fiber for heart health and a healthy GI tract.
  • Folate for heart health and for DNA synthesis (especially important for young women who may become pregnant, or who are currently pregnant.)
  • Phytonutrients that act to bolster antioxidant defenses, and some of which actually act as antioxidants.
  • Phytoestrogens, which are "plant estrogens". They act similar to human estrogen, but instead of binding to estrogen receptors on cancer cells, and helping to replicate the cancer, it binds to the receptor and prevents the binding of human estrogen, thus preventing the growth of hormone sensitive cancers (prostate and breast cancer are two examples).
  • Beta-catoene, lutein, xeaxanthin (all carotenoids), which can help prevent numerous types of cancer (especially colon and bladder) and which help protect the eyes, and the skin from UV rays.

Spicy Sauteed Broccoli
(Adapted from a recipe in Nutrition Action)
Makes ~ 4 cups

1 head of broccoli
2 T garlic olive oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. salt

** If you want to use actual garlic cloves, you can, just use regular olive oil and 5 cloves of thinly sliced garlic **


Rinse and chop the broccoli (including the stem, if you're like me and you like it!). Plunge the rinsed and cut broccoli into a pot of boiling water (enough water to cover the broccoli) for 3 minutes, then rinse under cold water.

Add the garlic oil to a hot pan (set on medium) and saute the red pepper flakes for about 30 seconds (this is when you would saute garlic, if you choose to use garlic). Stir in the broccoli and saute until hot. Season with ~1/8 tsp. salt.

Serve hot, if you can.

So, if you are not feeling "regular" these days, grab some broccoli instead of "special yogurts" (or in addition to, if you want). You'll save some money and get some serious nutrients while you're at it! And if you take probiotics for immunity, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that a nice dose of green veggies can help with immunity too.

Check out these other ways to enjoy the benefits of broccoli;

What's your favorite way to eat broccoli? Or if you don't like broccoli, what's your favorite immunity-boosting green veggie?

Need some ideas for adding more cruciferous veggies to your holiday dishes? Check out this article from

One more thing, I really appreciated all of your comments (positive and negative!) on my last post about the Dean Ornish Program. I read each one of them and appreciated what I learned from your honest opinions.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!!


  1. My new favorite way to eat it is roasted and then I just saw your recipe for it roasted with curry!! I am soooo excited to make it that way!!! I LOVE broccoli...b/c it keeps me regular :) and it tastes good!

  2. I love broccoli. My fave way to eat it is sautéed with some EVOO, pepper and Parm cheese....

  3. We've been eating a LOT of broccoli lately...and I haven't had any of the legendary pregnancy constipation. Coincidence? I think not. :-)

  4. I also love love love broccoli, its crunchiness and its color! sometimes it gives me gas, others time not so much. I love it sauteed with garlic, a lot of lit. I love steamed with ketchup. I love it in salad as topping. I think I like it any form.

    I have two questions Gina.
    1) I know you have an elliptical at home. which brand do you have? do you like it? how did u chose it?
    2) where can I find simple guidance on Fodmap diet. I've been having more gas problem lately, so I want to give it a try.
    thanks Gina.

  5. I love steamed broccoli with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese on top. So delicious!

  6. I love steamed plain broccoli, or brocolli soup. Love all the health benefits it provides. Thanks as always for all the great info. Have a good Friday.

  7. We eat a lot of broccoli, too. I've been roasting it a lot lately.

  8. haha, the title of your post made me laugh. I also love broccoli. I like steaming it and eating it on top of salads or with black pepper and parmesan cheese.

  9. This sounds really good. I steam or roast our broccoli. I love the pre-blanch here but I'm sort of lazy about 2 pots for 1 item (sad). I'm thinking you could blanch and saute in one pan though.

  10. My favorite way to eat broccoli is steamed with garlic ginger butter, or just garlic butter if I don't have the ginger. We eat broccoli all the time, it's one of my kids favorite veggies.