5 Reasons to Add Nutrient-Dense Broccoli Rabe to Your Diet

Remember the first time you cut open an avocado and realized its nutrition-packed culinary possibilities? (Pause for swooning.) It’s time to share a similar moment with broccoli rabe.

This super healthy veggie is extremely nutrient-dense and is becoming more and more available at the supermarket (and on restaurant menus).

That’s partially thanks to its bold, earthy flavor, but its nutrient cred is just as impressive. Check out these five reasons to add broccoli rabe to your diet ASAP.

Get healthy, Stay Healthy and Slim Down with Broccoli Rabe

broccoli rabe

1.    It’s the perfect complement to a high-protein meal.

For a quick and easy high-protein meal, sautéed broccoli rabe is the perfect side. Not only does it pair well with a piece of wild salmon or grilled chicken, its high fiber content will keep your digestion humming, which helps with protein absorption and keeps you full.


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2.    It’s filled with iron.

Iron is an important mineral for energy, since it enables red blood cells to carry oxygenated blood throughout the body. A deficiency can result in fatigue and weakness. Not only is broccoli rabe an excellent source of iron, it also contains vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the mineral.


 

3.    It can help maintain a strong immune system.avoid a cold

Eating broccoli rabe will satisfy over 50 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin C and vitamin A. Both vitamins are crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system that protects you from illness. Research shows increasing vitamin C can reduce the length of a cold and the severity of symptoms, and vitamin A deficiency has been linked to impaired immune response. Both vitamins are also antioxidants, which means they can help prevent inflammation, a condition linked to illness and disease.


exercise strong bones

4.     It can help build strong bones.

Half a cup of broccoli rabe contains over 100 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, a nutrient important for bone strength. In multiple studies, Vitamin K has been shown to increase bone mineral density and reduce fracture rates. Broccoli rabe is also a good source of bone-building minerals calcium and magnesium.


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5.    It can help you slim down.

If you’re trying to drop pounds, nutrient-rich vegetables are key. You can fill your plate with broccoli rabe so there’s little room for the bad stuff, and the fiber will keep your digestion moving and you feeling full at the same time. Eat it as part of a high-protein meal, and you’ll feel strong and energized as you tackle cravings and up your gym time.

The best part, of course? Broccoli rabe is delicious, and it’s easy to incorporate into your cooking in so many different ways. I make quesadillas with Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe and even add it to hummus. Trust me, it’s the perfect addition to your usual veggie line-up.

This blog was created in partnership with Andy Boy.

5 Super Nutritious Foods You Really Should Be Eating

Some nutritious foods are easy to work into your diet on a regular basis: Spinach? Check. Sweet potatoes? Check.

But you may be inadvertently ignoring many others simply because you never thought to throw them in your grocery basket before.

Why does that matter?

Well, variety is what makes a healthy diet exciting. If you look forward to trying new delicious dishes, you’re more likely to stick to it. Plus, all of these foods deliver nutrients you may not be getting from your usual meal plan.

Time to add a little adventure to your plate by trying one (or all) of these foods you should be (but probably aren’t) eating.

5 Super Nutritious Foods You Should Be Eating

Broccoli-Rabe-Toast-xBroccoli Rabe
Broccoli rabe is a flavorful leafy green with a bold, earthy flavor. It’s filled with fiber for good digestion, anti-inflammatory nutrients like vitamin C, and more than 100 percent of the vitamin K you need daily.

sardinesSardines
They may seem a little, ahem, gross, but these small, fatty fish are packed with brain-boosting omega-3s, and you’ll be surprised by how deliciously salty they are. (Just ask a Spaniard, okay?)

brazil-nutsBrazil Nuts
Sick of snacking on handfuls of almonds and cashews? Brazil nuts provide similar protein, fiber, and healthy fats and are incredibly delicious. They’re also rich in selenium, a mineral that has been shown to have many benefits like improving mood.

sourdough breadSourdough Bread
How excited are you that one of these foods is bread? Sourdough is “secretly” healthy since it’s lower in sugar and higher in protein than white bread, is fermented, and contains live yeast that negates the need for preservatives.

persimmonsPersimmons
These pretty fruits are more than just Instagram-worthy—they’re rich in vitamins A and C and are a great source of fiber and antioxidants.

Final pro tip? It’ll be easy to work these nutritious foods into your diet here and there, but maybe don’t try eating them all at once. Sardines and permissions on the same plate may ruin your taste for both.

This blog was created in partnership with Andy Boy.

 

5 Smart, Simple Strategies for a Lean Holiday Season

It’s officially the holiday season (yay!), which means festive soirees, gift wrapping, and…sweet treats that just keep on coming.

And every year, although we swear we won’t do it again, it’s hard to avoid trying a bite of every glittery cookie, which leads to gaining extra pounds we then resolve to lose come New Year’s.

This year, we’re ready to break that same-old cycle (without sacrificing even a moment of joy).

Here are a few smart, simple ways to avoid holiday weight gain that don’t include swearing off every piece of pecan pie or avoiding eggnog for the entire season. The best part? Staying lean and healthy will allow you to feel great amid all of the hustle and bustle, so you can soak up even more of the season’s happy vibes.

  1. Schedule your workouts in advance. You want your exercise routine to stay as consistent as possible. Hold yourself accountable by signing up for classes or adding your workouts to your calendar in advance. You might even want to treat yourself to some extra classes, since it’s easier to drag yourself out of bed for an early morning sweat session knowing you’ll avoid a cancellation fee and can spend your hard-earned dollars on killer gifts, instead. Bonus: The endorphin rush after class will help keep the stress of the season at bay, and you can refuel with a post workout smoothie.
  1. Stay super focused on eating your veggies. Yes, we’re saying it again. If your belly is full of veggies, after all, there will be less room for multiple servings of mashed potatoes. Make sure to eat greens and other winter veggies at every meal. Throw sauteed broccoli rabe and red peppers into scrambled eggs for breakfast, wilt kale and swiss chard into a white bean soup to bring with you for lunch, and lay your salmon filet over a bed of sauteed broccoli rabe as an easy go-to dinner. Stuck with only the options available at a holiday party? Station yourself near the crudite platter and fill up. The nutrients in veggies are important for a strong immune system, and the high water and fiber content will keep you full.
  1. Indulge when you actually want to. As you’re unwrapping yet another candy cane, think, “Do I really want this?” Eating mindlessly as you hop from glam parties to office cookie swaps won’t actually ever satisfy your sweet tooth. If it’s not a dessert that makes your mouth water, skip it. Save that indulgence for your Grandma’s pumpkin pie you wait for all year long, and while you eat it, savor every last bite.
  1. Drink smart. Champagne is going to be flowing like crazy, so choose a night or two a week to treat yourself to a drink (or two!). Have a holiday party coming up? Save your alcoholic beverages for those nights and skip the glass of wine at your after-work sushi dinner. On the nights you do drink, start with a glass of water or seltzer with a lemon or lime and drink another in between every martini or glass of wine. Staying hydrated will keep you from overdoing it and will help prevent a hangover.
  1. Prioritize shut-eye. If you don’t get enough sleep regularly, the constant go-go feeling of the holiday season will make your stress level spike, which raises cortisol in the body and leads to weight gain. Plus, you’ll be more likely to overeat as a result of fatigue. Set a bedtime you want to stick to on weeknights and try to honor it unless you have a special occasion.

After all, you’re trying to stay lean and healthy, but you also don’t want to end up spending the season acting like The Grinch.

 

The Busy Parent’s Guide to Healthy Snacks

When the kids come home from school, more often than not, they’re hungry and scavenging the kitchen for a quick snack. What’s a busy mom (or dad) to do? You need easy, interesting, healthy, and fast go-to’s…like a guide to healthy snacks!

When it comes to snack time, especially for kids who may eat small amounts at meals, snacks are an equally important place to squeeze in nutrients. Half a sandwich eaten at lunch? The second half combined with a ½ cup of fruit may just be the perfect snack.

Snack time is also the perfect time to sneak in a serving of veggies, which don’t need to make an appearance only at dinner time. Veggies contain fiber and antioxidants while being low in calories, and after school snack time is a key time to make sure your kids are feeding their brains.

Broccoli rabe is a great source of vitamin K, known for its help in boosting cognitive function and brainpower. It also has high levels of vitamin C, proven to protect against brain degeneration.

Before the kids have time to grab a bag of chips or the candy you try your best to keep stowed away, check out this guide to healthy snacks that you and your kiddies will love to dip, crunch, and snack on. And they’re all are packed with nutrients and can be made in 5 steps or less!

 

The Busy Parent’s Guide to Healthy Snacks

Broccoli Rabe Quesadilla

brocc-rabe-quesadilla


Broccoli Rabe Toast

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Beet Dip with Crudites

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Chickpea, Broccoli Rabe, Cucumber Salad

broccoli-rabe-chickpea-tomato-cucumber-salad