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Broccoli is packed with vitamins A, C and is a great source of fiber! It’s hearty, versatile and can be used in most any type of cuisine. It’s very easy to grow, and freezes beautifully! Broccoli is known for fighting cancer and boosting the immune system as well.
Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promotes regular muscle growth.
Along with a high amount of potassium, Broccoli also contains magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure.
One cup of broccoli contains the RDA of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for fighting against free radicals. Moreover, vitamin C is an effective antihistamine for easing the discomfort of the common cold.
Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.
Broccoli is helpful in repairing skin damage thanks to the glucoraphanin it contains which helps the skin to detoxify and repair itself.
One cup of broccoli bolsters the immune system with a large dose of beta-carotene. Trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium, further act to strengthen immune defense actions.
Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which with the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function.
Broccoli is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. A cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.
Studies have shown that the carotenoid lutein helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as possesses anti-cancer effects. Additionally, broccoli is a good source of vitamin A that is needed to form retinal, the light-absorbing molecule that is essential for both low-light and color vision.
The carotenoid lutein may also slow down or prevent the thickening of arteries in the human body, thus fighting against heart disease and stoke. The B6 and folate in broccoli also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.
Cooking with Broccoli
Broccoli pairs nicely with butter and lemon, but can also stand up to a variety of flavors. Use it in stir-fry, soups, or just steamed along side a piece or steak, fish, pork or chicken. For best flavor, cook broccoli only until tender and to keep the color vibrant green, plunge into an ice bath. Broccoli freezes very well, maintaining its color, texture and taste.
Broccoli is fairly easy to grow and seeds should be sown early in spring, so the heads mature before hot weather. Plant in full sun or partial shade, broccoli can also handle temperatures as low as 40F. Plant near celery, chard, cucumber, dill, lettuce, onions, spinach, and tomato, as they make great companions.