Broccoli is a calciferous vegetable which looks like a mini tree. It's quite notorious as a vegetable which children all around the globe always leave unattended to on their plates due to the slightly bitter taste. Let that not fool you, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world. Other vegetables in the same calciferous family as broccoli include; Kale, Cauliflower, Turnips, Brussels sprouts, cabbage e.t.c.
Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Raw broccoli also contains moderate amounts of several B vitamins and manganese. Carbohydrates, protein, fat, and dietary fiber content in broccoli is low. Broccoli also contains the carotenoid compounds lutein and zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. All three of these carotenoids function as key antioxidants also.
Health benefits of broccoli
- Broccoli helps in fighting cancer by lowering the risk. This is because it contains sulforaphane, the sulfur-containing compound that gives broccoli as well as most cruciferous vegetables it's bitter taste. This is also the compound which helps fight cancer.
- Broccoli contains anti-inflammatory compounds such as phytonutrient (a flavonol) called kaempferol. sulforaphane is also a key anti-inflammatory compound in broccoli. These compounds have the ability to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances in the body.
-Broccoli consumption can help improve detoxification. This is because it contains isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from the glucosinolates which have repeatedly been shown to improve our detoxification ability.
Best cooking method
Broccoli is best when eaten raw and every part of the broccoli plant is edible including the stalk. Although it's best eaten raw because cooking and processing it destroys some of it's nutrients, there are some other ways to cook it and still retain most of the contained nutrients such as quick steaming and stir-frying. Quick steaming should take about 5 minutes or less.