Belonging to the cruciferous family, Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) is a good source of vitamin C and one of the nondairy source for calcium. It is loaded with phytochemicals and antioxidants which makes it one of the vegetables which can help in preventing cancer and other heart diseases. The large flower heads, green in color look very similar to cauliflower. But while cooking Broccoli, be careful not to overcook it as Broccoli will loss all its nutrient value and its taste. Overcooking vegetables is the sure shot way to loose its nutritional content so always make sure to cook them sparingly so as to retain their nutritional value. Most of the kids don't like Broccoli partly due to its color which makes it uninteresting. Parents are always trying to get the kids to eat this wonderful vegetable which the kids hate. Sometimes talking to them about the value of eating these vegetables might make them at least try Broccoli and get them to adopt slowly to eat healthy foods.
What are the nutrients present in Broccoli?
Broccoli is rich in folic acid, pantothenic acid, folate, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, anti-oxidants, and dietary fibers.
It has high levels of varied minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.
Broccoli contains no cholesterol and very low on calories, a cup of broccoli has only 30 calories.
What are the health benefits of Broccoli?
Prevents cancer– Observations from research studies have shown that chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and inadequate detoxification could enhance the risk of cancer. But the excellent combination of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and pro-detoxification components present in Broccoli could reduce the risk of this disease. It has been seen that eating Broccoli regularly lowers the risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, bladder and ovarian cancer. A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that people eating Broccoli regularly are 45% less prone to prostate cancer than who eat less.But having a single floret of Broccoli just to decorate the plate is not enough for preventing cancer unless you take 2-3 cups of servings.
Supports the digestive system – Broccoli sprouts can fight back the germs in your stomach that may cause gastric, ulcers and even stomach cancer. Helicobacter is one of the most common bacterial infections that people suffer from. But eating 21/2 ounces of Broccoli sprouts (three day old) for two months help to fight back the bacteria. A biochemical called sulfoaphane found from Brocccoli sprouts helps to produce enzymes and thus protecting any damage to the gastrointestinal tract.
Meets Vitamin D deficiency – Supply of Vitamin A and Vitamin K becomes necessary to keep the balance of Vitamin D metabolism. Since Broccoli combines both Vitamin A & K in the form of beta-carotene, it helps to meet the Vitamin D deficiency.
Important source of calcium – Since calcium is important to build strong You do not have access to view this node, Broccoli is a good source of having calcium in your body and especially for those who do not consume dairy products.
Meet the fiber needs – The fiber content of Broccoli being both soluble and insoluble meet both the types of fiber needed to our body.
Protects your skin – As per a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it has been observed that the damaging effects of UV radiation on skin get reduced by applying Broccoli extracts to the skin. The extract works like a sunscreen by not absorbing the UV-rays. The study has further shown that applying the extracts helps in enhancing the enzymes in cells so that it doest not get damaged by UV rays.
What are the side-effects of Broccoli?
Broccoli reduces iodine absorption in the blood. One must ensure sufficient intake of iodine to restrict deficiency symptoms.
How to eat Broccoli at home ?
One can eat raw Broccoli in their salads
Steamed , grilled, roasted, baked, fried or boiled Broccoli can be eaten as a main course
Sprouted Broccoli seeds can be consumed as snacks or in salads
Broccoli makes an excellent ingredient for soups
Sauteed Broccoli tastes awesome
One important thing to know don't over cook it as it will bland and awful
In order to derive the maximum benefits from Broccoli, it is important to get the right one that looks fresh and crisp and cook it right to retain all the nutrients properly. Be careful to choose those Broccoli floret clusters which are dark green in color. Don’t throw away the leaves and stems as they too are nutritious for your health.