The contrasting textures of crunchy broccoli and creamy, soft avocado make this quick salad interesting and delicious. It is rich in monounsaturated fat and full of protective phytochemicals and fiber. Don’t forget to use the broccoli stems, which, if properly trimmed, are as good to eat as the florets. Cut a slice off the butt end of each large stalk and peel the stalks just below the outer fibrous layer to expose the tender, lighter-colored flesh within.
Food as Medicine
Avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. Oleic acid accounts for over half the fat in avocado (a similar fat profile to olive oil), and has been shown both to increase the absorption of fat-soluble carotenoids and reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition to being a naturally low-glycemic food with a whopping seven to eight grams of fiber per cup, avocado is also full of rare 7-carbon sugars that may have a special ability to regulate blood sugar metabolism. Broccoli has a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect. Its fiber-related components bind to bile acids in the intestine and escort them out of the body (instead of these acids being reabsorbed with the fat molecules that they were initially released to digest). Because cholesterol is needed to produce bile acids, this temporary depletion draws upon the body’s cholesterol stores, which lowers overall cholesterol levels. Although raw broccoli has cholesterol-lowering properties, the effect is significantly enhanced when lightly steamed.
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