Why does everyone need some broccoli in their life? If you thought that it’s just some boring kind of cabbage, I will try to change your mind.
BROCCOLI (BRASSICA OLERACEA ITALICA) IS ONE OF THE OLDEST VEGETABLES IN THE WORLD.
This magical vegetable was bred (through selective breeding) about three thousand years ago by the Etruscans, an ancient civilization that lived in what is now Tuscany. The Etruscans were the horticultural and agricultural geniuses of the Middle Ages. This type of cabbage name in some languages comes from the Italian brocco and the Latin brachium, which means wrist, branch or sprout. One of the cool broccoli facts is that it is just a large edible flower (just like the artichoke).
BROCCOLI IS SHOWN TO HELP PREVENT CANCER.
Broccoli and other types of cabbage contain unique nutrients. It has been shown that they can reduce the aftermath of inflammatory processes in cancer-damaged cells. Here are a few of them:
- Sulforaphane. One of the most rich and extensively studied plant compounds found in broccoli, sulforaphane may help fight a variety of cancer types. An important broccoli fact – to increase the bioavailability of sulforaphane in broccoli you need to add some mustard seeds. I buy ground mustard seeds from iHerb and sprinkle on top of cabbage after cooking. Mustard seeds contain myrosinase, an enzyme that converts glucoraphinin to sulforaphane. This makes it available to be used by your body. The highest concentration of sulforaphane can be found in sprouted broccoli seeds.
- Indole-3-carbinol. Unique nutrient which helps to fight cancer. Often found in cabbage and its variations.
- Carotenoids. Broccoli contains lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, all of which are essential for healthy vision.
- Kaempferol. An antioxidant possessing a number of health benefits. It helps protect against heart disease, inflammation and allergic reactions.
- Quercetin. An antioxidant which is more powerful than vitamins C, E or beta-carotene. It has many benefits including lowering blood pressure, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine functions. The human body is not capable of producing quercetin on its own. You therefore have to get it somewhere else, i.e. from a serving of vegetables, fruits or berries.
BROCCOLI IS LOADED WITH VITAMINS AND MINERALS
The main (but not all) of the benefits of broccoli:
- Vitamin C. An antioxidant, which is vital for immune function and skin health. 50 grams of raw cabbage contains 70% of the required daily dose (!).
- Vitamin K1. Broccoli is high in vitamin K1, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health.
- Folate (Vitamin B9). This vitamin is very important for pregnant women, since it provides tissue growth and is responsible for cellular functions.
- Potassium. An essential mineral important for controlling blood pressure and preventing heart disease.
- Manganese.You can find this microelement in cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
- Iron. Another essential mineral for the body, responsible for the transport of oxygen by red blood cells.
BROCCOLI CAN HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS. IT CONSISTS OF 90% WATER, 7% CARBOHYDRATES AND 3% PROTEIN. IT IS ALMOST FAT-FREE.
To give you an idea, every 100g of broccoli contains:
- Calories: 34
- Water: 89%
- Protein: 2.8 grams
- Carbohydrates: 6.6 grams
- Sugar: 1.7 grams
- Fiber: 2.6 grams
- Fat: 0.37 grams
BEST WAYS TO COOK BROCCOLI?
It is best to eat cabbage raw (in a salad, for example), or lightly steamed (1-2 minutes). You can then add it to pasta, salads or scrambled eggs. I personally love steamed broccoli with toasted sesame oil – it is a winning combination. The most important thing here is to not overcook broccoli. And don’t forget the ground mustard seeds!
Do you have a favorite broccoli dish? I would be happy if you shared it with me!
Send me an email or comment below this post! And stay healthy 💚