Broccoli

Summary – Interesting information

Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family, originating in Italy. The name of the vegetable comes from the Latin “bracchuim” which means branch. Broccoli is made up of a firm central stem with small branches that come together in small buds, finally forming a compact head.
Usually green, broccoli can be white, yellow or purple. The last variety is produced mainly in Italy. Broccoli grown in France is the Calabrian variety.
Broccoli is composed of 92% water and soft fiber, which makes it suitable for slimming diets and feeding children and the elderly.

According to studies, the vegetable is recommended for the preventive treatment of cancer, due to the presence of antioxidants that act against the development of certain carcinogenic free radicals.

main nutrients

Nutrients (effects and potential medical indications)Quantity per 100 g of cooked broccoli
Vitamin C (antioxidant that fights infections and is needed for iron absorption)60 mg
Potassium (regulates body water and nerve impulses)370 mg
Provitamin A (antioxidant molecule)2,4 mg
Sulfur compounds (substances capable of fighting free radicals), sulforaphane (possibly indicated against osteoarthritis)140 mg
Other nutrients: vitamins E and K , B2 , B5 , B6 and B9 , magnesium , iron , phosphorus , calcium and fiber . Myrosinase (an enzyme), phenolic compounds.in smaller quantities

number of calories

Broccoli is a low-calorie food, as there are only 34 kcal per 100 g of edible portion.

Main dishes and foods

– A good bunch of broccoli has very firm, clustered bouquets. Buds and stems can be eaten raw or lightly cooked as desired. Broccoli is eaten crunchy, making it even tastier and healthier.

– To decorate raw vegetable dishes, purple broccoli can be eaten raw, dipped in white butter sauce or a vinaigrette based on lemon juice and olive oil.

– Just like cabbage, broccoli can be used to make sauerkraut. It is preferable to use stems rather than branches. The stems can also be eaten like asparagus stems or cooked with penne or other types of pasta.

– The flowers are tasty as donuts, au gratin or in a warm salad. The buds can also garnish sautéed vegetables or a green risotto.

– This vegetable is also the ingredient of choice for purées, soups or terrines.

– Broccoli can be eaten the Roman way, with olive oil, white wine and garlic.

– Broccoli without bouquet comes from China and is eaten with sweet and sour sauce.

– This “healthy vegetable” goes well with meat and fish. Broccoli can also be combined with blue cheese (such as gorgonzola, roquefort), Parmesan cheese or mascarpone. There are great recipes for pies where broccoli is used with oranges and almonds. Roasted or spicy, broccoli is a must-have vegetable.

Nutritional and health importance

– Broccoli reduces the incidence of infections caused by Helicobacter pylori . This is a bacteria that attacks the stomach lining and can cause ulcers.

– The antioxidant power of broccoli is proven. Lutein and zeaxanthin retain their antioxidant role better after a short cooking period. The presence of these carotenoids in cooked broccoli provides better eye protection, thereby reducing the risk of cataracts .

– Thanks to sulforaphane, broccoli protects against cancer. Tests have shown eating broccoli regularly reduces the risk of ovarian , lung , kidney , bladder and prostate cancer . Sulforaphane also stops the secretion of enzymes that cause cartilage inflammation leading to osteoarthritis. Studies have also shown that when associated with the compound indole-3-carbinol, the vegetable reduces the development of cancer cells even leading to their destruction. Sulforaphane has an antioxidant effect.

– According to an American and Swiss study published in the journal “PLoS One” and carried out at the Pediatric University Hospital of Basel (Switzerland) in June 2014, broccoli protects smokers from the flu . Sulforaphane is responsible for this effect. According to the researchers, viral load and some inflammatory values ​​were significantly reduced in the nasal mucosa of people who consumed broccoli. The effect is most evident in smokers, whose membranes are subjected to oxidative stress from smoking, the scientists hypothesize.

– In premenopausal women , the presence of glucosinolates in crucifers limits the development of  breast cancer .

– A Swedish study published in 2017 showed that sulforaphane could improve glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes . Like metformin, a widely used diabetes drug, sulforaphane reduces the liver’s production of glucose. However, the amount of sulforaphane used by the researchers is equivalent to eating 4 to 5 kilos of broccoli. Therefore, it will be necessary to await the arrival on the market of food supplements (eg sulforaphane capsules) or the development of broccoli more concentrated in sulforaphane.
This study, conducted by a team at the University of Gothenburg, was published on June 14, 2017 in the scientific journal Science Translational Medicine .

– Consumption of broccoli reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems: eating broccoli (250 mL raw or 125 mL cooked) daily reduces the amount of homocysteine ​​in the blood, especially in premenopausal women.

– Kaempferol, a flavonoid present in broccoli, has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.

– Regularly eating broccoli is good for memory maintenance.

– Consuming 200 g of raw broccoli is enough to meet the daily intake of vitamin C.

Simple recipe to prepare

Vegetable mousse (6 people)

Preparation time: 40 min

Cooking time: 35 min

Ingredients

– 500 g of carrots.

– 500 g of zucchini.

– 200 grams of broccoli.

– 3 eggs.

– 100 g of sour cream.

– Salt and pepper.

Preparation

– Cook the vegetables separately in boiling salted water. Once cooked, drain the vegetables well.

– Put the zucchini, broccoli, 2 eggs and 70 g of cream in the blender. Mix everything in order to obtain a smooth and creamy puree. Reserve.

– Then mix the remaining carrots, eggs and cream.

– Grease molds and fill them with a layer of green puree up to 2/3 of the capacity, then add a layer of orange puree.

– Cook in a bain marie in the oven at a temperature of 180°C for 35 minutes. Once cooked, unmold the mousses.

Tip: To have dry vegetables, place them on a baking sheet and bake for a few minutes for optimal drying.

Suggestion: the vegetable mousse can be served as a starter or as a side dish with fish or roast meat.

Good nutrition advice Create health

– A preventive diet against cancer is based on 3-5 servings of broccoli per week. Each portion is equivalent to three flowers of the vegetable. It is best to eat fresh broccoli because too long storage reduces its antioxidant capacity and can make it bitter due to the appearance of yellow flowers.
– Broccoli can be stored in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for four or five days. In case of freezing, the vegetable must first be boiled in salted water, immersed in ice water to cool and placed in freezer bags.
– It is highly recommended to consume the vegetable sautéed or lightly cooked to preserve its medicinal properties. Cooking time can be 5 minutes in steam, 6-8 minutes in microwave and 7-10 minutes in boiling water.

– It is recommended to season the cooked broccoli with the juice of a fresh lemon. This increases vitamin C.

– People with hypothyroidism should limit their consumption of crucifers. Risks have been found in cases of iodine deficiency.

– The consumption of cruciferous vegetables is not recommended for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome . Broccoli can increase bloating and abdominal pain.

– Some analgesics have a negative interaction with the indoles contained in broccoli. Thus, as a precautionary measure, it is essential to avoid excessive consumption of this vegetable during treatment.

Interesting comments about this food

– It is in southern Italy, in the province of Calabria, that broccoli was born. The vegetable was highly appreciated in the Roman Empire, then it was forgotten. Broccoli was not reintroduced into everyday consumption until the 16th century in eastern Mediterranean cuisine. Catherine de Medici introduced the vegetable to France. This cruciferous plant has now established itself in the daily diet of Europeans and North Americans due to its nutritional and preventive qualities.

– In Brazil, normal productivity reaches 13 thousand packs of broccoli per hectare. The states in the South and Southeast regions are the largest producers and consumers of this vegetable.

– The most common varieties of broccoli in Brazil are American broccoli and brocollini (a cross between European broccoli and Chinese broccoli).

– Vegetable cultivation can take place several times a year in France. Broccoli is now on shelves year-round. The full season runs from May to November, and the vegetables are mostly sourced from Great Britain. From June to May, products are imported from Spain and Italy for the French market.

– France produces around 20,000 tonnes of broccoli per year, a figure that has tripled since 1990, part of which is exported, mainly to the United Kingdom.

– The world’s largest producer of broccoli is the United States, according to  National Geographic .

News (broccoli)

–  Broccoli protects cells from stress and Alzheimer’s
– Cancer: “super broccoli” can fight tumor development

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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