My favourite of all vegetables without any doubt is Broccoli and not only for its amazingly distinctive taste!
It is a somewhat humble vegetable, abundant and incredibly cheap contrary to its richness in nutrient value!
Broccoli is part of a legion of vegetables know as the Crucifers, including cabbage, cauliflower and kale.
From the Italian plural of broccolo, referring to “the flowering top of a cabbage”
Broccoli packs the most nutritional punch of any vegetable, which is very important with a reputation as a “super hero food”
So let me talk about a few of the key attributes of the humble Italian export, which now also grows profusely here in the UK.
Broccoli’s noteworthy nutrients include vitamin C, vitamin A (mostly as beta-carotene), folic acid, calcium, and fiber.
So you may ask…how do these nutrients benefit me?
Healthy Eyes (beta-carotene)
Improved Immune System (Vitamin C)
Birth Defect Fighter (folic acid)
Strong Bones (calcium)
Diabetes (chromium that helps regulate insulin and blood sugar)
This is from http://nutritiondata.self.com/
and shows the relationship between broccoli’s nutritional value and its ability to keep you fuller for longer, and it is apparent that its right up there :-D
Gram for gram, boiled broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk
But take care not to overcook; 4 minutes in a steamer should be adequate, or how about trying the florets raw in your favourite salad.
Due to it also being one of the most gas producing vegetables, to keep those in close proximity happy I would suggest to eat with ginger or garlic or in fact both to minimise this.
Broccoli has large amounts of chromium, which regulate blood sugar levels and keep hunger at bay so it’s a food that suppresses appetite naturally.
Then there are the ever more exciting phytonutrients within broccoli, such as sulforaphane and the indoles, which have significant anti-cancer effects.
- Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to suppress not only breast tumor cell growth, but also cancer cell metastasis (the movement of cancerous cells to other parts of the
- Sulforaphane, which increases the activity of a group of enzymes in our bodies that squelch cancer-causing agents
While Broccoli is pretty super on it’s on merit, there is a trusty sidekick whom will only amplify the health benefits!
"When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect. We think it’s because different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways," said John Erdman, Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois.
So why not try….