We caught up with award-winning nutrition expert Ashley Koff, RD, creator of the Better Nutrition Simplified Program to learn more about her recent appearance on the Dr. Oz Show and why broccoli is her favorite vegetable.
TrueBroc®: You recently professed your love for broccoli on the Dr. Oz Show. What is it about broccoli that you love so much?
Ashley Koff, RD: I was that “strange” kid who always loved eating broccoli. As a kid, I liked the taste and the brightly colored little trees. When I became a registered dietitian, I was excited to learn about all of the important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are packed into my favorite food!
TrueBroc®: What part of the broccoli has the most abundant supply of nutrients?
Ashley Koff, RD: Let’s be clear, all of broccoli is good for you. The leaves and the stem have different nutrients and amounts of nutrients than the florets. So I think rather than ask what part has the most abundant supply, I would highlight why I love the leaves (calcium), the stems (fiber) and the florets (lots of vitamins but also the super detox hero, glucoraphanin, that I told Dr. Oz about – that’s where you find the most of it, and broccoli florets have more glucoraphanin than any other food).
TrueBroc®: You mentioned during the show that broccoli is great for detoxing. Why is it such a good detox food?
Ashley Koff, RD: So first off, I think it is key for us to be reminded that we all have a detoxification system – the body’s equipped to identify and remove toxins. Thus, the foods that contain the nutrients that support that system – both phases of it – are a major part of our nutrition needs. For example, to convert harmful toxins and used hormones (which can become harmful if not eliminated) into less harmful ones, the body needs lots of vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, magnesium as well as plant nutrients like milk thistle and quercetin to support these efforts. Antioxidants found in colorful fruits and vegetables, as well as the plant nutrients in nuts, seeds, grains and beans that help do the “clean up” work.
Broccoli contains the highest amount of the phytonutrient glucoraphanin, which the body uses as a key detox agent – especially for the second part – to convert and eliminate those tough toxins and used hormones.
TrueBroc®: If people don’t eat broccoli, are there other ways to get the detox benefits of its glucoraphanin?
Ashley Koff, RD: Absolutely. You can blend broccoli into your morning shake or smoothie to help mask the sulfur/bitter taste (my friend Tess Masters, aka The Blender Girl, recommends frozen as it virtually eliminates the broccoli taste). Also, a friend and fellow registered dietitian, Amy Fischer (@thegreenfisch) developed this broccoli protein smoothie recipe. Enjoy!
Broccoli Protein Smoothie Recipe
3 broccoli florets
2 tbsp. protein powder
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconut water
1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder
Add all ingredients to high-speed blender and enjoy. Optional: add ice.