Broccoli: Just a Cheese-Dipper or a Superfood?

Food and Recipes


Broccoli: Just a Cheese-Dipper or a Superfood?

by Noor H. Salem

Broccoli: the vegetable left last on the mixed vegetable platter at events, the cause of arguments at the dinner table because the kids refuse to eat it, and the one overlooked most at the grocery store.

Unfortunately, the majority of the time, broccoli is used as a dipper for extremely unhealthy cheese dip or it will never possibly be consumed without being drenched in ranch dressing. While many overlook the benefits of this vegetable, I advise all my clients, friends, and readers alike to consider consuming this vegetable multiple times a week. I consider broccoli an incredible superfood. Although it’s not from the sunnah, I do share several recipes in my book, “Sunnah Superfoods.” Broccoli is extremely high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, folate, and pantothenic acid. It’s also a good source of many more vitamins and minerals, like iron, Vitamin B2, potassium copper, and surprisingly to many, even omega-3 fatty acids.

For all my clients who suffer from inflammation in the body, I recommend they get serious about consuming their broccoli. It reduces inflammation in the body, reduces stress, and prevents and fights cancer growth. Broccoli is a wonderful detox food, no surprise as it’s part of the cabbage family. You may think that you need to eat salmon or sardines or possibly take a supplement to consume sufficient omega-3 fatty acids. But, did you ever imagine broccoli being a good source?

Besides heart and cognitive health benefits, having enough omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for controlling our inflammatory systems. Since broccoli is so high in fiber, it’s remarkable for detoxing the body, and for digestion as well. If you’re suffering from constipation or just feel like you utterly need a detox, begin by incorporating broccoli into your meals in some way. It tastes great raw, and pairs wonderfully with many baked dishes.

Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed so many people toss out a very crucial part of the broccoli: the stems! Did you know that broccoli stems astonishingly contain slightly more calcium, iron, and several other vitamins than the florets? Why toss them out when you can steam or bake them, and eat them along with your scrumptious floret tops? The stems are safely edible and extremely nutritious for you and your family. I enjoy steaming it and placing it in a food processor with sauce for spaghetti or eating it as found in the recipe below.

If you’re on the run all day and need quick and easy recipes to put together, don’t make it an excuse to feed your family frozen meals, unhealthy canned pasta, or boxed mashed potatoes. Instead, try my very easy, yet mouth-watering, steamed broccoli, and side it with grilled chicken or meat, salad, and cooked brown rice for an energizing and delicious meal.

Simply Spiced Steamed Broccoli


    • 2 heads raw broccoli (florets and stems)
    • 3 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
    • 1 teaspoon sumac
    • ½ teaspoon mustard seed, ground
    • ½ teaspoon ginger, ground
    • 1 teaspoon dried dill
    • 1 lemon, freshly juiced

1.Wash and cut the broccoli (stem included), and steam for 10-15 minutes, or until tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice, and spices in a small mixing bowl.
3. Once the broccoli is cooked, transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with the dressing, and lightly toss.
4. Serve immediately; works great with salmon, meat, poultry, or even for a vegetarian dinner night.

Next week, I will share a unique kale and broccoli salad, full of antioxidants, fiber, and a myriad of minerals and vitamins.

Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, “Sunnah Superfoods,” a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.

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