Posted by Eric Hofmann on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Under: Health and Fitness blog
The truth about Broccoli. Why kids hate it and mom's love it - as the old saying goes. I suppose i can attest to that. As i very much despised vegetables when i was a youngster (go figure i grow up into the health and fitness industry) and now it seems like i cannot get enough fruits and vegetables. Broccoli is a superstar vegetable that helps fight cancer, reduces the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, and even helps prevent birth defects.

As I mentioned earlier, mom's love it and kids hate it. Either way, whoever told you to eat your broccoli was on to something. Broccoli is filled with disease fighting nutrients. And when cooked properly or creatively prepared raw -it;s absolutely delicious, too.

Broccoli originated in Italy, and like turnips, kohlrabi, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens and cauliflower, it is a cruciferous vegetables, or brassica. Its edible parts include the leaves, crunchy stems and soft clusters of tinny green flower buds called florets. When purchasing, select broccoli with tightly closed buds, crisp leaves, and a deep emerald color of purplish tinge. When cooked, broccoli may release sulfur compounds, creating an unpleasant smell but leaving flavor unaffected.

Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a phytonutrient that helps the body's detoxification enzymes eliminate abnormal cells, slow tumor growth and reduce the risk of developing intestinal polyps (which usually precede colon cancer). It also helps support healthy functioning of the liver. Other nutrients in broccoli help the body repair sun-damaged skin, reduce the risk of heart disease and cataracts, prevent or delay osteoporosis, support the immune system, reduce the risk of birth defects, and fight prostate, ovarian and bladder cancer. One 3/4 cup serving of steamed broccoli contains more Vitamin C than a typical orange, and it's also high in vitamins K and A and calcium. Broccoli boasts numerous anti-inflammatory properties, and its dark-green leaves are rick in beta-carotene.

A few kitchen know how's and tricks when working with Broccoli. Boiling broccoli can cause significant nutrient loss, and it rarely produces optimal flavor. If eating it raw doesn't appeal to you, you can lightly steam or saute it, or roast is (often the best-tasting option). When cooked, broccoli should maintain its bright green color - pale green broccoli is a sign it has been over cooked. For the right balance of humidity and oxygen, store broccoli in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator crispier. To help prevent mold growth, do not wash broccoli before storing. Peel stalk before cooking to make them more tender, but preserve the nutrients by only peeling a thin layer. Broccoli florets cook faster than stalks, so split the stalks in half before cooking. Store cooked broccoli in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to two or three days.

There you have it everything you needed to know about broccoli and why you have been hearing it all your life, "eat your broccoli!"

Have a great day!

In : Health and Fitness blog 

Tags: broccoli  vitamins  nutrients 
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