The Politics of Broccoli


Broccoli, poor broccoli, along with its sidekick spinach, nothing says “I’m not eating it” like this mop-topped vegetable. For decades, parents have been struggling with their children to take “at least one bite” of their vegetable.
Years ago broccoli was served as…well….just plain broccoli. Then in the late 80’s the broccoli controversy came to a head when our then President, George H. Bush proclaimed “I do not like broccoli!! And I haven’t liked it since my mother made me eat it when I was little kid.” He went on to proclaim “I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” Once Bush proclaimed an anti-broccoli campaign, republican and democrat broccoli lovers united to show Mr. Bush the virtues and versatility of this green vegetable.
But it seems to me broccoli and a lot of our other fall vegetables have also been looked down upon. Take the turnip for instance; I rarely see this purple and white vegetable served at my favorite restaurant. That goes for beets, sweet potatoes or Brussels sprouts. Oh sure we all prepare the obligatory butternut squash on thanksgiving, but how many of us really take the time to serve parsnips on a Tuesday night or when company is coming over.
Well what if I told you that our fall and winter vegetables provide a great source of vitamins and have other great health benefits. Check out how these vegetables can help your health AND how to get your kids to eat them without them knowing they are:

Beets (Red, yellow, white, candy stripe)
Nutritional Information:
Excellent source of folate. Good source of potassium and vitamin C.

Broccoli
Nutritional Information
An excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of folate and fiber.

Brussels Sprouts
Nutritional Information
Excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A, folate and potassium.

Cauliflower

Nutritional Information
Excellent source of vitamin C as well as a good source of folate and fiber

Snow Peas
Nutritional Information
Excellent source of vitamin C.

Squash (Winter)
Nutritional Information
Excellent source of vitamin A , vitamin C, potassium and fiber and a good source of folate and thiamin.

Sweet Potatoes
Nutritional Information
Excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C and a good source of vitamin B-6, fiber, copper and potassium.

Definitions-
Folate-Helps cells grow and divide, reduces risk of certain birth defects, important for red blood cells and crucial in creating amino acids

Potassium- Helps keep blood pressure down and aids muscle contractions, aids healthy electrical activity in the heart and rapid transmission of nerve impulses throughout the body.

Vitamin B-6 (a.k.a Pyridoxine)
Helps convert food into energy, keeps red blood cells healthy, makes antibodies, maintains nerve function, enhances the immune system, helps prevent heart disease.

Vitamin A (a.k.a. pre-formed Retinol; Beta-Carotene)
Promotes growth and repair of body tissue, healthy eyes, good night vision and a strong immune system.

Vitamin C
Helps wounds heal, strengthens blood vessels, builds connective tissue, healthy gums, skin and promotes strong teeth and bones. May boost immunity.

Fiber
Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, helps move waste through the intestines. Diets rich in plant fiber are related to a reduction of heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes.

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