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Broccoli: The Secret Superfood for Athletes

Broccoli: The Secret Superfood for Athletes

Who doesn't like pancakes, right?  Especially Broccoli pancakes with "Cheese" Sauce!  Find the recipe at the end of this article.  

As athletes constantly strive to enhance their performance and maintain optimal health, it is essential to recognize the numerous benefits that certain foods offer. Among these, broccoli stands tall as a versatile and nutrient-packed vegetable that can significantly contribute to athletic success.  Broccoli packs a powerful nutritional punch, making it the ideal choice for athletes looking to boost their performance and overall health. Here are some key benefits of broccoli, specifically tailored to suit the demands of athletes:

I. Nutritional Value of Broccoli:

1. Rich in essential vitamins: Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, which play crucial roles in supporting immunity, reducing inflammation, maintaining bone health, and promoting muscle recovery.

2. Abundance of minerals: Athletes require an array of minerals, and broccoli provides a well-rounded package including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron for improved bone density, muscle function, hydration, and oxygen transport.

3. High fiber content: Fiber aids digestion and promotes satiety, assisting athletes in maintaining a healthy body weight while consuming sufficient calories to fuel performance.

II. Performance Benefits:

1. Enhanced endurance: The high antioxidant content in broccoli helps combat oxidative stress and limits muscle damage, allowing athletes to withstand prolonged exercise with reduced fatigue and improved endurance.

2. Improved energy production: Broccoli contains a significant amount of vitamin C, which supports iron absorption and contributes to the synthesis of carnitine, an amino acid vital for energy production during exercise.

III. Recovery and Injury Prevention:

1. Accelerated recovery: The anti-inflammatory properties of broccoli, thanks to the presence of sulfur compounds like sulforaphane, assist in reducing inflammation post exercise and promote faster muscle recovery.

2. Joint health and injury prevention: Broccoli's unique blend of minerals and antioxidants, including calcium, vitamin C, and glucosinolates, may help in maintaining healthy joints, combating joint inflammation, and reducing the risk of injury in athletes prone to joint-related issues.

IV. Immune System Support:

1. Strengthened immunity: The high vitamin C content in broccoli aids in supporting the immune system, helping athletes stay healthy and reducing the risk of infections or illnesses that could impede performance.

2. Antiviral properties: Broccoli also contains an abundance of phytochemicals, such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, which exhibit antiviral properties, further safeguarding athletes against infections commonly experienced in high-contact sports environments.

Broccoli may not be the trendiest superfood, but it undoubtedly earns its place in an athlete's diet. From supporting muscle growth and recovery to enhancing the immune system and aiding in weight management, the benefits of broccoli are wide-ranging. So, next time you plan your meals, don't forget to include this super vegetable, your body will thank you, and your performance may soar to new heights!  Embrace the power of broccoli and unlock your true athletic potential!

For the broccoli pancakes:

12.7 oz. (360g) broccoli florets 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp. water
1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder

1⁄4 tsp. red pepper flakes, plus extra to garnish
4 tbsp. all purpose flour
1⁄2 tsp. baking powder

salt & pepper
1⁄2 tbsp. olive oil
lemon wedges for serving

For the "cheese" sauce:

6.9 oz. (195g) cashew nuts 4 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder
1⁄4 tsp. chili powder

1 tbsp. olive oil
1⁄2 tsp. salt
8 fl oz. (240ml) warm water

Steam the broccoli until tender, then set aside to cool slightly before cutting into small pieces.

In a large bowl, whisk ground flaxseed and water together and set aside for 5 minutes. Then add the garlic powder, red pepper flakes, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and chopped broccoli and stir to combine.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Scoop 2 tablespoon sized mounds of the broccoli batter into the skillet, flattening the top with the back of a spoon or spatula. Cook the pancakes for 2 minutes, until browned. Then flip over and cook on the second side until brown, and the pancake is cooked through. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.

To make the “cheese” sauce, add the cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, chili powder, olive oil, and salt, to a food processor or high speed blender. While blitzing together, slowly drizzle in the warm water until the sauce reaches a creamy consistency.

Serve the broccoli pancakes, with the vegan cheese sauce and lemon wedges.








15 mins

20 mins







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