Stir-frying is popular in Chinese cuisine, and this involves the application of dry heat to foods, cooking them in little oil and stirring them in the process.1 As Chinese cuisine became popular all over the world, so did stir-frying. This Fantastic Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry recipe from Mercola.com employee Joan Villamayor uses top-notch ingredients like grass fed ribeye steak and organic broccoli florets. If you're looking for a nutritious stir-fry dish to serve to family and friends, this recipe is for you.
Fantastic Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour | Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Combine marinade and stir.
- Pour marinade over sliced beef. Cover, place in the refrigerator and let set for 30 minutes or up to one hour.
- Heat coconut oil in a pan. Place marinated beef in the pan and cook until it becomes tender. Set aside.
- In another pan, sauté garlic and then add broccoli, lima bean pods and red bell pepper. Cover and let simmer for one minute.
- Add water or beef broth. Cover and bring it to a simmer for one minute.
- Add the beef to the vegetable mixture, and all juices accumulated. Cook for three minutes longer, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat and serve.
Whip Up a Feast With This Fantastic Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry Recipe
According to the book “A History of Food Culture in China,” stir-frying is likely responsible for the wide variety of types and flavors among Chinese dishes. The first instances of stir-frying were said to have occurred in the 300 years between the third and sixth centuries, during the Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern dynasties.2
What's great about stir-fry recipes is that you can mix and match the ingredients according to your preference. While this recipe uses organic grass fed beef alongside vegetables like broccoli florets, red bell pepper, garlic and lima beans, you can incorporate other vegetables you have at home. You're also free to add other herbs and spices, especially if you like some heat in your stir-fry.
What’s Great About Grass Fed Beef?
Ribeye steak is one of the most popular cuts of beef, and if you're looking for another way to utilize this, take a cue from this stir-fry recipe. Choosing organic and grass fed ribeye is worth it because of its immense flavor and potential benefits.
Grass fed beef is better than beef from CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). After all, grass fed cows are allowed to forage on pasture, where they can consume their natural diet. This results in a significantly lowered risk for bacterial contamination (compared to CAFO cows), and added health benefits such as:3
✓ Reduced amounts of total fat
|✓ Higher levels of beta-carotene
✓ Higher amounts of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, alongside other minerals like iron, zinc, sodium and phosphorus
|✓ Higher portions of total omega-3 fatty acids
✓ Higher amounts of vaccenic acid that can be transformed into CLA
|✓ A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids
✓ Higher amounts of vitamins B-1 (thiamin,) B-2 (riboflavin) and E
✓ Higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA or cis-9 trans-11)
To obtain high-quality grass fed beef, contact a trusted local rancher and buy meat directly from the farm, or talk to an organic rancher online (if you don't have access to a local rancher). You can also check grocery stores or chains near you that might already have a small assortment of grass fed beef. Stores like Publix can stock specialty items if a customer requests them.
When buying beef at supermarkets or groceries, look for products that are certified grass fed by the American Grassfed Association (AGA). This organization's guidelines for grass fed beef are more comprehensive and stringent compared to previous standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
Health Benefits of Organic Broccoli
Bright green and crunchy broccoli provides a contrast to the savory ribeye strips, and it also imparts many nutrients that can positively impact your health, including:
✓ Fiber: It aids in nourishing gut microbiome, strengthening immune system function and reducing the risk for inflammatory diseases.4
Fiber can also activate a gene called T-bet that’s important for producing innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) in the lining of the digestive tract.5
ILCs aid in maintaining a balance between immunity and inflammation in the body, and produce the interleukin-22 hormone that helps protect the body from pathogenic bacteria.
✓ Glucoraphanin: This glucosinolate precursor of sulforaphane that’s highly abundant in broccoli sprouts may influence the processes of carcinogenesis and mutagenesis.11,12
✓ Diindolylmethane (DIM): This is produced by the body when it breaks down cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. DIM was revealed to assist in enhancing immune system health.
✓ Sulforaphane: This is a naturally occurring organic sulfur compound that promotes production of enzymes that protect blood vessels, and lowers the amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause cell damage in the body by as much as 73 percent.6
Sulforaphane is a known immune stimulant and anti-inflammatory,7 and may help raise testosterone levels, prevent body fat retention, detox carcinogens,8 block enzymes linked to joint destruction9 and protect muscles against exercise-induced damage.10
✓ Phenolic compounds like flavonoids and phenolic acids: These compounds help eliminate free radicals and aid with inhibiting inflammation,13,14,15 thereby reducing the risk of asthma, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.16
Phenolic acids also work as a defender against infections, and combat ROS linked to atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
✓ Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN): This is an enzyme involved in producing nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) that may help improve mitochondrial health and energy metabolism.
NAD is a vital compound because it has shown to slow down age-related health decline by restoring the body’s metabolism to more youthful levels.17,18,19
There are two things to look for when buying organic broccoli: firm stalks and tight, green florets. Select broccoli that feels heavy for its size; its cut ends should be fresh and moist-looking. Avoid broccoli with dried out or browning stem ends or yellowing florets. At home, store broccoli unwashed in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator. Very fresh broccoli can keep up to 10 days.20
Learn About Lima Bean’s Benefits
Aside from broccoli, you can add vegetables like lima beans to your stir-fry. These contain high amounts of minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus, as well as antioxidants. Lima beans are also rich in folate or vitamin B-9 that’s essential for DNA synthesis and division, and are home to vitamins B-2, B-3 and B-5, most of which serve as co-enzymes that aid in metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins and fats in your body.
Lastly, lima beans happen to be rich in fiber that serves as a laxative, and promotes healthy and regular bowel movement. Fiber helps protect the colon by reducing the amount of toxic substances in it, and lowers blood cholesterol levels by decreasing reabsorption in the colon.
However, a major caveat linked to consuming lima beans is their high amounts of lectins or carbohydrate-binding proteins present in the plant kingdom. It’s said that 30 percent of fresh foods contain lectins.21 What lectins specifically do is select or attach to specific biological structures that permit them to cause harm, because this is a part of the plant’s self-defense mechanism and is a strategy of warding off its natural enemies like insects and fungi.
While lectins have benefits for plants, they can cause harm to humans, especially if consumed in high amounts. Lectins are known to:
- Be highly inflammatory, triggering inflammation and potentially creating advanced glycation end products
- Be immunotoxic (capable of stimulating a hyperimmune response), neurotoxic and cytotoxic, making them toxic to cells and triggering apoptosis or cell death
- Increase blood viscosity by binding to red blood cells (at least for some lectins) and can prompt blood cells to become sticky, resulting in abnormal clotting
- Promote leptin resistance and raise the risk for obesity
- Interfere with gene expression and disrupt endocrine function
Final Reminders on the Stir-Fry Marinade
The stir-fry marinade, a combination of raw honey and organic soy sauce, is a delicious sweet-and-savory blend that brings out the flavors of the grass fed beef, broccoli florets and lima beans. However, keep these caveats in mind when preparing the marinade:
- Despite its many health benefits, use raw honey in moderation. It contains fructose, which can worsen insulin resistance and lead to other complications if ingested in large amounts.
- Always choose organic soy sauce, like Kikkoman: Although soy sauce is traditionally fermented, some conventional variants are made using chemical processes by hydrolyzing soy protein and combining it with flavorings and artificial colorings.22 As such, use only organic Kikkoman soy sauce (or other certified organic varieties) that’s additive-free, or wheat-free (especially if you have a wheat sensitivity).23
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