Eat broccoli: A cross you can bear

| September 5, 2013

HOUSE CALLS by Dr. Gerald Deas

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

It was reported in the news around and about, 1990, that former President Bush rejected outright the taste for 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 President Bush will be able to bear that cross of folks who are dying unnecessarily each day.

When growing, the flower of broccoli is surrounded by a corolla bearing 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, brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale. These vegetables are loaded with nutrients that 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 anti oxidant known as sulforaphane. This anti oxidant has been shown to prevent heart disease and an eye disease known as macular degeneration, which can effect vision. This cross bearing vegetable is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, which adds to 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 cold winter.

Be sure not to overcook broccoli. It will produce a strong odor that will drive children away from the table not to enjoy its nutritious value. By steaming it, you will retain all of its nutritive value and texture.

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.

For great health tips and access to an online community of physicians and other healthcare professionals, visit


This article originally appeared in the Sept. 4 print edition.

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Category: Health

About the Author ()

Gerald W. Deas, MD, MPH, MA is a physician, poet, patient advocate, playwright, media personality, political activist and public health crusader. Read his full bio at

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