Bon Appétit: Broccoli Soup
During the winter months, when there’s not as much sunlight or outdoor activity, it’s important to make sure your body gets the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function at a high level. That’s where good food comes in. Nothing quite warms the soul like homemade soup. For this brain-boosting recipe, we’ve chosen to highlight one of our favorite veggies: broccoli. Broccoli offers many beneficial health properties due to its content of antioxidant and anticancer compounds such as polyphenols, glycosylates, sulforaphane, and minerals.
In recent decades, different antioxidants have been discovered in vegetables, for example, sulforaphane (SFN) is a powerful phytochemical. This antioxidant is found in broccoli and Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower. SFN has been shown to have neuroprotective effects against brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). One of its pathological features is the brain deposition of beta-amyloid (Aβ) peptides, and Aβ is believed to be a major reason for neuronal cell death. Scientific studies have shown that SFN protects Aβ-induced oxidative death in research in cellular and animal models.
SFN also neutralizes toxins. Phytochemicals like sulforaphane are antioxidants that cancel out free radicals. Free radicals are tiny particles that weaken and damage healthy cells. They form in your body because of pollution, UV rays, food additives, and preservatives, and even through natural processes like digestion. SFN reduces inflammation, too! Because sulforaphane neutralizes toxins, it also calms inflammation in your body. Inflammation has been linked to several kinds of cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s. Now you understand why broccoli is a staple food in a brain-healthy diet.
Prep and cook time: 20 minutes.
- 1 cup of broccoli, chopped*
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped*
- 1/2 inch pieces zucchini*
- 1 cup milk (you can use fat-free milk or almond milk)*
- Spray oil (olive or avocado oil, verify the ingredient list for 100% of oil) or use 1 Tbsp liquid oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
*If you have the possibility, choose organic products.
- Wash and chop vegetables.
- Place the broccoli and zucchini in a pot of water, let boil for 8 to 10 minutes (you can also steam the vegetables).
- In a skillet on low to medium heat, add 3 to 5 sprays of cooking spray and 1/2 cup onion, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked broccoli and zucchini, milk, salt, and pepper to the skillet until the milk boils, about five minutes.
- Transfer to a mixer and blend all the ingredients until creamy.
- Garnish with corn, whole wheat bread, or a gluten-free option.
Are you interested in learning more about brain health diets? Check out our Brain Longevity Therapy Training (BLTT). BLTT has the latest information on nutrition, diet, and supplements. BLTT is a fully online course that is designed so you can take it from the comfort of your home, on your own time.
Zhang, F. (2017). Sulforaphane Protects against Brain Diseases: Roles of Cytoprotective Enzymes. Austin Journal of Cerebrovascular Disease & Stroke, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.26420/austinjcerebrovascdisstroke.2017.1054