Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowering head is eaten as a vegetable.
The word broccolicomes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means “the flowering crest of a cabbage, and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning “small nail” or “sprout” Broccoli is often boiled or steamed but may be eaten raw.
Broccoli is a strong growing cole crop with large spreading leaves. These flower heads are harvested when still green.
And though available all year round, the vegetable is most nutritious from October to May.
Common Name(s):Broccoli , calabrese , chou broccoli , common broccoli , cruciferous vegetable , sprouting broccoli.
v Broccoli comes in different varieties, and the most popular ones are:
v Calabrese broccoli, named after Calabria in Italy. This type has large green heads and thick stalks. And it is a cool season annual crop.
v Sprouting broccoli, which has a large number of heads with several thin stalks.
v Broccoflower, which is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. The taste is mild and more like cauliflower than broccoli.
v Broccoli rabe (also called broccoli rob in certain places), which is a different cruciferous species and is also called rapini. Its yellow flowers are edible.
v Gai-lan, which is also known as Chinese broccoli. It is longer and leafier and more pungent/bitter than the normal green broccoli.
v Purple cauliflower is another popular type of broccoli grown in North America and Europe. This one has a head shaped like a cauliflower and has tiny flower buds.
Brassica oleracea belongs to the Cruciferae family.
Nutritional value: (100 gm of broccoli)
Carbohydrates -6.64 g
Dietary fiber – 2.6g
Fat – 0.37g
Protein – 2.82 g
Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, Pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic acid, vit- C, vit-K, vit-E.
Calcium, iron magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium & zinc.
Phytochemicals and benefits:
These are typical phytochemicals found in broccoli: glucosinolates, dithiolthiones, indoles, glucoraphanin, s-methyl cysteine sulfoxide, isothiocyanates indole-3-carbinol.
The glucosinolate precursor of sulphoraphane. Glucoraphanin helps to induct the specific carcinogen-detoxifying enzyme systems, and thereby accelerates the removal of the xenobiotics. Nevertheless, the young sprouted seedlings do comprise of approximately 10-100 folds as much glucoraphanin as the fully grown plant; and, therefore, broccoli may be regarded as the most valuable dietary vegetable supplement.
Glucoraphanin could prevent breast cancer and may also sabotage the uncontrolled cell division of colon cancer cells. However, the purely synthetic compound exerts its action very much akin to its natural counterpart usually known as oxomate, sulphoraphane, duly identified and recognized as a cancer preventive agent in broccoli.
Stomach Cancer and Ulcers: Sulphoraphane, an active principle found in broccoli and broccoli sprouts has been observed to cause a bactericidal effect on the specific bacterium responsible for the plethora of stomach cancers. In fact, the causative organism, Helicobacter pyroli, for specifically debilitating stomach ulcers as well as stomach cancers could be cured with antibiotics.
Sulphoraphane showed its proven ability to protect cells against cancer by augmenting their production of phase 2 enzymes, i.e., a family of proteins that are responsible for carrying out the detoxification of cancer-causing substances and also damaging the ensuing free-radicals.
Improves Bone and Teeth Health
It is an excellent source of vitamin K, calcium, potassium, and magnesium – broccolis plays a role in maintaining bone mineral density and improves the bone strength and healthy teeth.
Promotes Health of heart
The sulforaphane in the vegetable can prevent and even reverse damage to blood vessel linings caused by free radicals because it have antioxidant property.
It also reduces damage to the heart during oxygen deprivation and sulforaphane in broccoli can also improve blood pressure levels.
Improves Digestive system:
Broccoli reduces inflammation in the colon and helps prevent colon cancer.
It contains good fibre content helps to cleaning of digestive system and improves the function.
For healthy liver
Broccoli sprouts can raise the levels of detoxification enzymes and protect the liver from damage. The vegetable might also prevent liver failure. Eating 1cup of broccoli thrice a week can improve liver health.
Broccoli is low in calories, and hence can be an ideal addition to a weight loss diet. And yes, broccoli is a good source of fiber – it keeps you full for a long period and discourages binging. This could simply make your path to weight loss a little smoother
Promotes the vision
Broccoli is rich source of vitamin A it helps to improve the eye vision and used in treatment vitamin A deficiency.