Benefits of Broccoli
Broccoli is known to be hearty and tasty vegetable which is rich in dozens of nutrients. It is said to pack the most nutritional punch of any vegetable. Broccoli is also packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants. Phytochemicals are chemicals in plants that are responsible for color, smell and flavor.
Broccoli has an impressive nutritional profile. It is high in fiber, very high in vitamin C and has potassium, B6 and vitamin A, raved Victoria Jarzabkowski, a nutritionist with the Fitness Institute of Texas at the University of Texas at Austin. For a nonstarchy vegetable, it has a good amount of protein.
Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family, and is closely related to cauliflower. Its cultivation originated in Italy. Broccolo, its Italian name, means cabbage sprout. Broccolis name is derived from the Latin word brachium, which means branch or arm, a reflection of its tree like shape that features a compact head of florets attached by small stems to a larger stalk. Because of its different components, this vegetable provides a complex of tastes and textures, ranging from soft and flowery (the florets) to fibrous and crunchy (the stem and stalk). Its color can range from deep sage to dark green to purplish green, depending upon the variety. One of the most popular types of broccoli sold in North America is known as Italian green, or Calabrese, named after the Italian province of Calabria where it first grew.
4. Broccoli is a cool season
Broccoli was developed from wild cabbage during Roman times, and was enjoyed immensely by the Romans. Broccoli was introduced to the United States during colonial times, but did not gain popularity until the 1920 s. Broccoli is a cool season crop and demands fertile rich and well drained soil to flourish. Technically, broccoli is categorized into two main types according to their appearance; heading and sprouting. Heading variety forms a large, solid head, whereas sprouting types forms many smaller heads or florets.
5. Raw steamed or boiled Which is more nutritious
The way that you prepare broccoli can affect the amount of nutrients you get, and which ones. People looking to broccoli for its anticancer benefits will want to be sure not to cook the vegetable too long. A 2007 University of Warwick study found that boiling broccoli can undermine the effects of the foods good, cancer fighting enzymes. Researchers studied the effects of boiling, steaming, microwave cooking and stir fry cooking on fresh broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and green cabbage.
6. Health risks
Broccoli is safe to eat, and any side effects are not serious. The most common side effect is gas or bowel irritation, caused by broccolis high amounts of fiber. All cruciferous vegetables can make you gassy, Jarzabkowski said. But the health benefits outweigh the discomfort.
7. Cancer prevention
Broccoli shares these cancer fighting, immune boosting properties with other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Probably the most publicized health benefit of broccoli is its possible ability to help prevent cancer. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, and all vegetables in this group may be protective against some stomach and intestinal cancers, Jarzabkowski said.
8. Cholesterol reduction
Broccoli can help lower cholesterol because the soluble fiber in the vegetable binds with the cholesterol in the blood. This binding makes the cholesterol easier to excrete, and consequently lessens cholesterol levels in the body. Fresh Broccoli is a storehouse of many phyto nutrients such as thiocyanates, indoles, sulforaphane, isothiocyanates and flavonoids like beta carotene cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zea xanthin. Studies have shown that these compounds by modifying positive signaling at molecular receptor levels help protect from prostate, colon, urinary bladder, pancreatic, and breast cancers.
9. Reducing allergic reaction and inflammation
Research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy related substances on our body. Broccoli even has significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which are well know as an anti inflammatory. Fresh vegetable is exceptionally rich source of vitamin C. Provides 89.2 mg or about 150% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin C is a powerful natural anti oxidant and immune modulator, helps fight against flu causing viruses.
10. Powerful antioxidant
Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the most concentrated source of vitamin C, plus the flavonoids necessary for vitamin C to recycle effectively. Also concentrated in broccoli are the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene, other powerful antioxidants.
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