It’s kind of like the tagline from an often played, well-known auto insurance commercial series. Someone says to you “Hey there, have some broccoli, it’s good for you.” and you reply “Everybody knows that!”
Like with most foods that are good for our health, eating broccoli is usually about as exciting as watching paint dry. It has a rather bland taste and if you spice it up with some melted cheese or a creamed soup in a casserole, you pretty much defeat the whole “it’s good for you” concept.
So maybe we need to dig a bit deeper in order to be inspired by this humble little green vegetable that is purported to be so darn healthy. Looking at a web site that promotes broccoli, the headline of the article states that broccoli is “one of the healthiest green vegetables -- it’s versatile, inexpensive, and tastes great.” Really? That is something only a broccoli farmer could say.
Okay, so let’s get past our indifference. What are some fun broccoli facts?
1) The word broccoli comes from the Latin word brachium and the Italian word braccio, which means “arm”.
Okay, so some ancient Roman had a good sense of imagination. That’s like saying, “look at that cloud overhead, it looks just like a unicorn!”
2) Broccoli is a part of the cabbage family.
WOW on that one! So one boring green vegetable is related to an equally if not more boring green vegetable. I don’t think this is working just yet.
3) Eating broccoli reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and death in postmenopausal women.
This, now, is something well worth knowing, ladies, but what good does it do to the other half of the population? Let’s keep digging.
4) A compound found in broccoli appears to have more effect than modern antibiotics against the creation of peptic ulcer causing bacteria.
Okay, now we are on to something. Perhaps this timid little veggie can help relieve a sore tummy.
5) Broccoli comes in a variety of colors, ranging from deep sage all the way to dark green and purplish-green.
I did say it’s GREEN didn’t I? Do shades of green really matter?
6) Tom “Broccoli” Landers holds the current world record for eating 1 pound of broccoli in 92 seconds.
Bully for Tom. I, for one, will never be a serious threat to the record.
7) Broccoli is high in Vitamins C, A, and folate and also soluble fiber.
Yes, the vitamins are all good. but even more important, I know that eating good fiber is on my doctor-prescribed TO DO list.
8) It has been shown to fight cancer cells in lab tests.
Now you’re talking. Preventing cancer has got to be a strong motivator for anyone.
9) It’s versatile in the kitchen, both as handy snacks, in soups, in salads, and finely chopped in homemade pesto.
How about on top of a pizza? Oh yeah that’s another way of making healthy food a lot less healthy…Sorry.
10) Americans eat an average of 4lbs. of broccoli a year. That’s 900% more than 20 years ago!
Okay, okay…I give up. It looks like broccoli is much more like a Super Green Giant than a bland veggie. I need to change my perspective and eat my fair share of California’s great broccoli crop. If my fellow countrymen have increased broccoli consumption from less than 1/2 lb. per year to 4 lbs., they must be on to something. Yes, I know, this is where you say “Everybody knows that!”