It was time for me to muse about natural ingestion of vital micro-nutrients to keep adding life to our years, and perhaps years to our lives.
Voila! Today’s WS Journal OpEd provided my cruciferous trigger – “IN DEEFENSE of BROCCOLI“.
I don’t get jazzed by the term, “SUPERFOOD”. Perhaps I should?
Broccoli, which I defend as does this OPED author, is grouped with other nutrient rich* superfoods (aka super-vegetables) – kale, bok choy, cauliflower, collard greens, brussel sprouts… I do get amped by nutrient richness and special cancer-fighting chemicals called glucosinulates (absorbed from these veggie phytonutrients)!
See impressive nutrient estimates in this table from Dr. Axe and worldshealthtiestfoods.org:
Note that spinach isn’t a cruciferous vegetable (it’s a chenopod veggie). Yet Popeye got those “Strong to the Finish” forearms for good reason! We rowers will play Popeye and eat plenty of steamed spinach for a few days before a long race to bump up our vascular capacity. Beetroot is also documented as a safe, natural ergogenic provider of nitrates for improved performance 🙂 … dietary nitrate “reduced the increase in pulmonary oxygen uptake during moderate exercise by ∼19%, reduced the slow component of O2 uptake during severe exercise, and increased time to exhaustion.”
- rich? We hope that our super-veggies are grown without pesticides in rich soil (hah). Neither of these hopes is assured – unfortunately. Loss of topsoil is a big problem for our planet home. Agrochemicals are BAD, and this is not my lone ranger claim… Let’s tackle these BIG and SAD topics on another day.
Back to crucifereous properties which are GOOD.
It’s not just cancer-fighting properties – though those are important – fer sure. It is also documented by MDs that “right” phytonutrients and also polyphenols (from fruits and uber-vegetables) can:
limit skin aging (why do some vegans have quality derm)?,
help our digestive system, and
promote heart health
– all very good wellness things – yes?
My Mom was right. I should, and do eat my green leafy vegetables. I will blog away about Breaking our Fasts (breakfasts) in a later post. Yet these super-vegetables can and should be included in a fitness breakfast. Essential choline in your eggs can be better absorbed if you add spinach or kale to your omelet or scramble.
Thanks to Deviant Art for this real man diet reminder (which also goes for real WOMEN – yes?)
Remember – it’s not just the quantity of micro-nutrient ingested – it’s how effective the absorption of those nutrients is!
Be well. Eat colorful. Be healthy.