Broccoli, Chicken and Nut Stir Fry

This is a simple and quick meal to put together for and easy tea. The nuts give this dish extra texture but also the added bonus of protein and heart healthy monounsaturated fats, however, please feel free to omit them if wished. You may also substitute the chicken for a vegetarian alternative or omit altogether.

Nutritional Benefits

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli are an excellent source of natural antioxidants as well as essential vitamins (especially vitamin C which help boost immunity and vitamin K which helps to keep the skeletal system healthy and aids blood clotting), soluble fibre, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids and phenolic compounds. Broccoli also has the advantage of being a great source of calcium helping to build and protect bones and folate needed for cell reproduction, making red blood cells and preventing birth defects such as spina bifida. Cruciferous vegetables have the ability to help prevent chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, various forms of cancers and more. The antioxidants have the ability to reduce what is called oxidative stress and the presence of free radicals in our body. Free radicals have the potential to cause inflammation, neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, increase the signs of ageing and cell changes which can lead to cancer.
Chicken is packed with B vitamins, zinc (helps to fight infection and increase resistance to coughs and colds, helps to control fluctuating hormones an keep the heart healthy), sulphur and selenium. Like all meats, it is a source of protein (but very lean) essential for growth and repair of cells. It is also a good source of tryptophan; an amino acid which is used to make serotonin (a brain chemical) which induces sleep and helps to ease stress.
Peppers are a rich source of vitamin C (for healthy cells and to absorb iron), E (for healthy cells and circulation) and B6 and again have anti-cancer properties.
Onions of all types are truly a superfood containing vitamin C and compounds which have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, help to lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol thus reducing the risk of heart disease as well as regulating insulin response (insulin resistance is often a precursor to developing type 2 diabetes).
Brown rice retains the bran layer and cereal germ which offers most of the nutrients; insoluble fibre, vitamin B1, magnesium and phosphorous amongst others. Starchy complex carbohydrates help to boost levels of serotonin in the brain which helps to regulate sleep and mood. Magnesium also helps to reduce stress and relaxes muscles (including the lungs so it may help to relieve the symptoms of asthma).

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