Broccoli and Cauliflower are a member of the cabbage family. Broccoli originated in Italy, the name means “cabbage sprout.” It looks like a cabbage sprout. My kids used to call them “tree” they kind of look like that too. All parts of the broccoli can be consumed.  I like to use the stalk in making broccoli soup. Look for broccoli that is firm and green with no blemishes. Store broccoli in a vegetable drawer in your refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

 

What are the health benefits of broccoli?

Detoxification. Broccoli contains an unusual combination of three phytonutrients, glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, and glucobrassicin. Together these nutrients have a substantial impact on our body’s detoxification system.

Anti-Inflammatory. Broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol, which helps to battle allergies and inflammation.

Improves Vitamin D Deficiency. Broccoli contains vitamins A and K, which help keep vitamin D’s metabolism balanced. Vitamin D promotes the body’s absorption of calcium and sustains bone health and growth.

High In Fiber. Fiber helps to lower cholesterol and facilitates digestion.

Increases Eye Health. Broccoli improves eye health due to high concentrations of two carotenoids—lutein and zeaxanthin—which play an essential role in the eye’s health.

Supports Skin Health And Repair. When glucoraphanin from broccoli is converted into sulforaphane, the result is healthy skin and the repair of skin damage.

High in Potassium. Potassium helps to fight high blood pressure.

Rich In Vitamin C. Vitamin C enhances iron absorption and alleviates the common cold.

Calcium Rich. Calcium strengthens and promotes bone growth and health, which assists in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Decreases Blood Sugar Levels. Thanks to its high levels of soluble fiber and chromium, broccoli helps to maintain low blood sugar.

High In Protein. Broccoli is not only a great source of protein but is also low in calories.

Helps To Prevent Heart Disease. Broccoli contains lutein, which helps to fight heart disease by preventing the thickening of arteries.

Broccoli can provide you with unique cholesterol-lowering benefits if you cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in broccoli better bind with bile acids in your digestive tract when steamed.

Studies have shown that even kids like broccoli, and one way to ensure that they enjoy it is to cook it properly by using our Healthy Steaming method. Overcooked broccoli becomes soft and mushy, indicating that it has lost nutrients and flavor. Begin by cutting broccoli florets into quarters and let them sit for several minutes before cooking to enhance their health-promoting benefits. Steam for 5 minutes.

 

At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. From a health standpoint, enjoy broccoli and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.