Scientific Name: Brassica aleracea
Biological Background: Broccoli is a dark-green vegetable with small, tight heads (curds) mounted on stem-like buds, and is a member of Brassica family of the Cruciferous vegetables. It is one of the most popular vegetables and was originated in Italy.
Nutritional Information: One cup of chopped and cooked broccoli (146 g) provides 46 calories, 4.6 g protein, 8.7 g carbohydrates, 6.4 g fiber, 178 g calcium, 1.8 mg iron, 220 RE vitamin A, 0.13 mg thiamin, 0.32 mg riboflavin, 1.18 mg niacin, 98 mg vitamin C.
Pharmacological Information: Broccoli is a spectacular and unique package of versatile disease fighters and abundant in numerous strong, well-known phytochemicals and antioxidants, including indoles, isothiocyanates, quercetin, glutathione, beta carotene, vitaminC, folate, lutein, glucarate, and glutathione. Broccoli is extremely strong in anticancer activity, particularly against lung, colon, and breast cancers. Like other cruciferous vegetables, it speeds up the removal of estrogen from the body, helping suppress breast cancer. Broccoli is rich in cholesterol-reducing fiber and has antiviral and antiulcer activity. It is a super source of chromium that helps regulate insulin and bloodsugar. Broccoli is also a good source of calcium, thus help fight osteoporosis. However, brocoli is one of the leading intestinal gas producers.
Eating Tips: Heavy cooking and processing destroy some of the anti oxidants and phytochemicals such as indoles and glutathione. Eat raw or lightly cooked as in microwave and stir-fry. To reduce its gas production, eat broccoli with ginger or garlic.