Women – you’ve got LOTS of reasons to incorporate this into your repertoire. This delightfully simple side dish is so packed with nutrients I don’t even know where to start!!
Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli Brussels sprouts and cabbage, are nutritional powerhouses and may be especially beneficial for women, both pre- and post-menopause. They contain glycosylates, which are transformed into indol-3-carbinol and di-indolmethane in the body. Both of these compounds are being researched for their protective effects against gynaecological cancers.
There is no specific evidence that eating cruciferous veggies will improve peri-menopause-related symptoms like hot flashes, but there are MANY health benefits associated with eating them on the regular — including decreased risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease and improvements in bone health.
Walnuts provide healthy fats (plant-based omega-3s), fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They support health in so many ways. Walnuts can reduce inflammation in the body, promote a healthy gut, help with blood sugar control and decrease risk factors for heart disease (like blood pressure and cholesterol), are linked with better brain function (including less risk of dementia) and support healthy aging on the whole.
Need more reasons? There’s some evidence to suggest that omega-3’s fats, like those found in walnuts, may help to relieve the hot flashes and depressive mood associated with peri-menopause.
Last, but certainly not least, the edamame. Edamame are whole, immature soy beans and come either in their shell (which you don’t eat) or shelled. They have all the benefits of other legumes, like protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre, but also contain isoflavones, which are antioxidants that have weak, plant-based ‘phytoestrogen’ effects. Isoflavones have been linked with reduced risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and some cancers. They’ve also been linked to a reduction in symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings – provided your gut bacteria are healthy and abundant. Studies are showing that isoflavones can really help with these symptoms if your gut health allows them to be absorbed appropriately.
So, aside from tasting great and providing lots of colour and nutrients to your dinner plate, this dish just may be the gift that keeps on giving for your health!
I’d love to know if you give it a try!
Edamame, Broccoli and Walnut Sheet Pan
- 1 small head of broccoli washed and cut into bite-sized
- pieces ~ 5 cups chopped
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame (shelled)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup shredded chicken optional
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 450OF (232OC) and spray baking pan with extra virgin olive oil.
- Toss the broccoli, edamame, walnuts, chicken (if using), salt and half of the olive
- oil together in a large bowl and spread out evenly on the sheet pan.
- Bake in oven for 25 min, stirring after 10 minutes.
- Serve warm from the oven.
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