We all know that broccoli is a healthy addition to our diets, but do you know just how healthy? The nutritional benefits of broccoli abound. From fiber to all of the vitamins and minerals, broccoli is indeed a tasty treat and a winner.
Nutritional Benefits of Broccoli
Detox: broccoli helps the body detoxify with a special combination of 3 phytonutrients: glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin. These goodies support the detoxification process from activation, to neutralization and elimination. Broccoli helps to control the detoxification process at a genetic level.
Vitamin A and K for Vitamin D: this green goddess of a food has more than ample amounts of both of these vitamins. At over 194% of the daily value of K and 45% of A, the combination of these two help the metabolism balance of Vitamin D. For those with a Vitamin D deficiency (which research finds is just about everyone), including broccoli in your diet will help you retain this vital vitamin.
Anti-Allergen / Anti-Inflammatory: as a rich source of kaempferol (a flavanoid), broccoli assists in reducing the impact of allergens on the body. This in turn gives broccoli unique anti-inflammatory properties.
Antioxidant: broccoli is a leader in amongst cruciferous vegetables for its concentration of Vitamin C. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C provides long-term support of oxygen metabolism when accompanied by recycler flavanoids – which of course are also contained in this vibrant green package. Other antioxidants that broccoli provides are Vitamin E, manganese, and zinc.
Heart Health: the spectrum of B vitamins in broccoli contributes to a healthy heart. Broccoli’s concentration of folate, B6, and the other B-complex vitamins fights the formation of homocysteines which increases our risk of atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack.
Stomach Health: eating raw broccoli and broccoli sprouts is a great treat for your stomach and stomach lining. Broccoli assists in the reduction of a bacterium called heliobacter pylori. When this bacterium overgrows it causes G.I. upset. Broccoli (especially raw broccoli) helps to keep this bacterium in check. This is due to broccoli’s high glucosinolate content which focuses directly on the stomach lining cells.
Low in Calories: 1 cup of broccoli is only 44 calories while the health benefits are endless.
How did broccoli come to be?
Broccoli was developed from a wild cabbage in ancient Rome. In Italian, broccolo, means “cabbage sprout.” This green goodness traveled to the Near East and then back to Italy for further cultivation. Italian immigrants brought broccoli to the New World.
Selection and Storage of broccoli
Choose broccoli with florets in tight, compact clusters. The floret clusters should have a uniform color ranging from dark green, sage, or purple-green. If the floret clusters are yellow or if there are any yellow flowers blossoming, the broccoli is overripe. Stalks and stems should be firm.
Store in a refrigerated plastic bag with as much air removed as possible. Broccoli will keep for about 10 days. It’s best not to precut nor wash broccoli before storage, as it causes the Vitamin C will degrade.
Green Broccoli Machine Smoothie
- 1 cucumber
- 3 -5 broccoli florets
- 1 kiwi (peeled and frozen)
- 1 bunch of green grapes (frozen)
- Ice and water
Click here for the health benefits and additional recipes for cucumbers.
Juice the cucumber and broccoli. Place in a blender, add the fruit, ice, and water. Enjoy!