Preparing a delicious and nutritious lunch can be a somewhat exhaustive adventure if you don’t know the properties of food, its energy content and the contributions it can give to your body, especially if you are a student, since, for excellent academic performance, food is key.

In this post, we bring you a recipe that will turn on your brain: Chicken Broccoli Rice, also called cheesy chicken rice. An easy-to-make recipe, very nutritious and that won’t take away from your study time during your academic stage.

Food: a key factor during the school period

Time spent attending classes, studying, revising for exams, etc. often means less time for cooking. Meals are often reduced to the bare minimum: either skip a meal or wolf down a sandwich in less than 10 minutes wherever you are.

Students use to skip meals during busy days, and it has a direct impact on weight gain and a deficit in energy intake, so they don’t perform as well.

That’s why doctors suggest a balanced diet to provide energy for the whole day, and it must include vitamins and minerals for better performance and will help to do better in school. Also, several studies have shown the direct impact of diet on memory, concentration, cognitive and school performance.

Also, eating well means eating the following food categories in a balanced way several times a day: fruits and vegetables, meats, fish or substitutes, milk and dairy products.

How can rice, broccoli and chicken help your proper nutrition?

Let’s check some facts about these foods.

Chicken meat

Chicken is one of the healthiest meats you can find on the market. It is a nutrient-dense food with protein accounting for 20-22% and fat for 3-10%.

Its composition also includes significant amounts of minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, cobalt, phosphorus, chromium, and vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, B12 and riboflavin, essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the body.

Broccoli

On the other hand, broccoli is also high in vitamin C and dietary fiber; it also contains small amounts of selenium. A single serving can provide more than 30 mg of vitamin C. In addition, it is a food that improves the connection between neurons.

Sulforaphane, an anti-carcinogenic substance contained in this vegetable, increases the so-called “heat shock proteins” that improve communication between neurons through synapses. This property has led to research into its usefulness in the treatment of autism, as the behavior of people affected by this condition improves when these proteins are stimulated.

Another of the benefits attributed to this vegetable is that it prevents oxidation of the brain. Oxidative stress caused by free radicals in all organs of the body, including the brain, causes inflammation, disease and degeneration.

Rice

Lastly, rice is beneficial for the gut because its dietary fiber plays an important regulatory role in intestinal transit. Its low sodium content and the presence of potassium make rice a protector of the cardiovascular system, and its richness in magnesium and B vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and energy production.

A nutritious Cheesy Chicken Rice easy-to-make recipe

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1/2 finely diced medium yellow onion.
  • 1 pound of diced boneless skinless breasts.
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced.
  • 1 tsp. of salt.
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • 1 cup of uncooked white rice.
  • 2 1/2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth.
  • 2 1/2 cups cut into bite sized pieces broccoli florets.
  • 2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese.
Preparation
  1. Sauté onions in a large skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to the chicken for seasoning.
  2. Once the onions are softened, raise the heat to medium-high and add the chicken to the pan.
  3. Brown the chicken pieces and add the garlic. Cook for a further 1 minute.
  4. Remove out the chicken and add a further tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.
  5. Add the uncooked rice to the pan and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the chicken stock to the pan and heat until the stock boils. Then, reduce the heat and cover the pan with the lid.
  7. Cook the chicken and rice mixture for about 12 minutes.
  8. Place the broccoli pieces evenly over the chicken and rice mixture and stir to combine.
  9. Continue to cook covered for another 8 minutes over low heat, or until the broccoli and rice are tender.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese.
  11. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover with a lid, letting it stand for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted.