Broccoli is a part of the cabbage family. It resembles, and is closely related to, cauliflower. The type of broccoli most grocery shoppers are familiar with is called Calabrese. It has become increasingly popular, as research has discovered an anti-cancer phytonutrient in the vegetable.
When eating and storing broccoli, make sure that it’s fresh, with clusters that are compact, you don’t want any that are bruised. Florets should be uniformly colored, purple-green or dark green. Stay away from any clusters that are yellow. To store, place in a plastic bag and remove the air. Broccoli will keep in the refrigerator for no more than 10 days. Vitamin C deteriorates after 10 days, and other nutrients will be no longer available after this point. Cooking until limp also ensures the nutrients will no longer be available.
Broccoli in its raw form, steamed, or stir-fried ensures you obtain all the nutrients broccoli has to offer.
Let’s consider the nutrient and health benefits of broccoli:
- Broccoli has the ability to reduce the impact of allergy-related substances. Something called kaempferol reduces the risk of chronic inflammation.
- Broccoli regulates detoxification in the cells. Broccoli also helps prevent insufficient detoxification through production of substances called isothiocyanates (ITCs)
- Broccoli’s combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and positive detoxification properties make it ideal for cancer prevention. Certain cancers, like prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer have been shown to benefit most from ingesting the vegetable. Two to three cups of broccoli per week is required to see the most anti-cancer support.
- It’s anti-inflammatory properties are currently being researched to help those fighting heart disease and issues with high cholesterol.
- Broccoli sprouts provide significant amounts of fiber and stomach support as it helps prevent “bad bacteria” overgrowth in the gut.
The healthiest way to enjoy broccoli is steamed, being sure to eat the stalks as well as the florets.
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