Broccoli, the Super Food
Compounds found in broccoli called isothiocyanates and glucosinolates are known to enhance phase I and II detoxification. When the body can efficiently remove toxins, overall health improves and the skin becomes radiant and clear.
Antioxidants found in broccoli include vitamin C, flavonoids (kaempferol and quercitin), carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene) vitamin E and the minerals manganese and zinc. These nutrients reduce oxidative stress on the body and skin, one of the leading underlying causes of acne.
Inflammation is another primary underlying cause of acne, and broccoli fights inflammation in several ways. The glucosinolates that aid in detoxification, and the flavonoids that act as antioxidants also have the ability to reduce inflammation. In addition, the omega 3 fats found in broccoli and many other foods, such as fish and nuts, reduce inflammation and restore balance in the body.
Debunking the Iodine Myth
Broccoli contains iodine and there is a myth out there that iodine causes acne, so some have listed this supper food with foods to avoid in an anti-acne diet. This simply is not true. Excess iodine can sometimes cause a skin condition that resembles acne, but it is not shown to cause acne. In fact, those with higher levels of iodine in their diet tend to have better skin. This is likely because the iodine intake is higher when fish and seafood intake is higher, and omega 3 fatty acids which are found in fish among other foods, are associated with less acne.
Nourishing Broccoli Soup Recipe
This is a very simple broccoli soup that is quite tasty as well. Even my 3 year old daughter eats it, which is saying something.
To get great tasting soup, make sure to use good quality vegetable broth. The broth should taste good on its own – not like you’d want to eat a bowl of it necessarily – but it should have a nice flavor because this is what will flavor the soup. You can use broth from a box (what I used) or make your own vegetable stock.
Equipment you’ll need
Small hand held electric mixer or blender
Medium or large sized pot
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
2-3 bunches of broccoli, chopped (about 4 cups, more for thicker soup)
32 oz vegetable broth
salt (aprox. ½ t)
pepper (aprox. ¼ t)
Heat the oil in the bottom of a medium sized pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent.
Meanwhile, chop the broccoli. If you are in a hurry, you can steam the broccoli with a bit of water (maybe ¼ cup) in the microwave for a couple minutes (until just barely tender but not quite done) while the onion cooks, but this is not necessary.
Add the broccoli and broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer until broccoli is done. This will take just a couple minutes if you pre-cooked the broccoli, otherwise about 20 minutes.
When the broccoli turns bright green, turn off the heat and use a hand held mixer to puree the soup right in the pan. If you don’t have one of these, then wait for the soup to cool enough that it will not burn you and puree in a blender in batches then return it to the pan.
Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot. This is a good soup to have with sandwiches or as a standalone light meal. I think it is good with a big spoon full of plain yogurt dropped in.
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