Fresh cut broccoli that makes a pattern /Photo iStock
Fresh cut broccoli that makes a pattern /Photo iStock

“Ode to Broccoli”

Broccoli is a vegetable

Not embraced by all

Although it’s plentiful

Both spring and fall

It has large flowers

At the end of fibrous stems

And a host of nutrients

You will find within

So eat it up

And your body will shout

You know that I am needed

And that’s what it’s all about

While growing, the broccoli flower is surrounded by a corolla that bears four petals in the shape of a cross. This vegetable is in a family of vegetables known as cruciferous (cru-cif-er-ous), which means “cross bearing.” Other vegetables bearing the cross are turnips, brussel sprouts, cabbage and kale. These vegetables are loaded with nutrients that help maintain a healthy heart and digestive tract. They are known to have nutrients that can prevent cancer of the lungs, colon, rectum and stomach. They are loaded with vitamins A, C and K and wonderful minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.

Broccoli is rich in an antioxidant known as sulforaphane. This antioxidant has been shown to prevent heart disease as well as an eye disease known as macular degeneration, which can effect vision. This cross-bearing vegetable is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, which aid healthy eyes.

On vegetable stands, broccoli is plentiful during this season and is stretching its fibrous arms out to embrace you to prepare your body for the upcoming winter. Be sure not to overcook broccoli. It will produce a strong odor that will drive children away from the table and prevent them from enjoying its nutritious value. By steaming it, you will retain all of its nutritive value and texture.

It was reported in the news around and about 1990 that President George H.W. Bush rejected outright the taste of broccoli. It was plain that he was not an advocate for this most nutritious vegetable. In reflecting on the state of our worldly affairs today, maybe this explains why we are in a devastating war. I pray that Bush will be able to bear that cross of folks who are dying unnecessarily each day.

I pray that you will be able to bear the cross and not get lost in just material things. This little green island that we are living on depends upon us to nourish it, as well as for it to nourish us.

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