A staple on many dinner tables, broccoli is much more than just your average leafy green- some even call it a superfood! Let’s take a look at why broccoli is a much loved vegetable around the world.
Once known as “Italian asparagus”, broccoli is part of a group of vegetables called cruciferous vegetables. This family also includes cabbage, cauliflower,brussel sprouts and bok choy.
Some people classify this tree-like vegetable as a superfood. But what sets it apart from all the other veggies? The main reason health experts rave about broccoli is due to its cancer fighting properties. Researchers found that broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane- which is known as an anti-cancer agent. Sulforaphane is also found in other cruciferous vegetables, however broccoli boasts the highest concentration.
Along with sulforaphane, Broccoli is also extremely high in vitamin C- just 100g will provide two days of your recommended daily intake. Other vitamins and minerals found in broccoli include fibre, potassium, vitamin E and folate.
How to Choose and Cook Broccoli
The first thing you should look for when buying broccoli is a firm, yet tender stalk and a tightly bunched head. You’ll also want to look for a deep green colour on the head.
How you cook broccoli is important to keeping its nutritional properties. It’s nutrients are at their most abundant when eaten raw, but this is often quite harsh on the digestive tract. Therefore, the best way to cook broccoli is to lightly steam it- this will ensure that you’ll get the full nutritional benefits.
Some Ideas for Enjoying Broccoli
-Add it to your favourite stir fry- the light cooking of stir frying is a perfect way to ensure your broccoli stays packed full of nutrients
-Make a broccoli soup
-Add it to salads
-Experiment with broccoli Tabouli