When you were a youngster you probably didn’t see what was so great about broccoli. What you didn’t know then, but probably know now is that broccoli is the essence of real food, as it has been dubbed one of many, a super food.
The broccoli from top to bottom is overflowing with macro-nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that are needed for overall health and well-being. This vegetable has been around for millenniums, and has forever been used and viewed as the ideal go-to food.
It’s healthy, can be eaten in a number of different ways, comes with a variety of benefits, is easy to cook, and offers the body a boost of vitamins and minerals in every serving.
Continue reading to get an overall understanding of this vegetable, the essence of real food.
Understanding the Broccoli from Top to Bottom
Broccoli is an edible plant that closely resembles the cauliflower, and is associated to the cabbage family. It’s a vegetable that originated in Italy, and was first mentioned of about 2,000 years ago.
Due to the broccoli’s rich green color, and its counterpart the purple broccoli, both are high in antioxidants and macro-nutrients for excellent health.
After harvesting the broccoli plant and removing the root system, it contains three main parts:
- Flowery Head
The root system of the broccoli plant needs nutrient rich soil in order to grow and support the plant and produce its vital vitamins and minerals.
Broccoli plants need to be watered often in order to keep the plant hydrated and well fed as it approaches maturity.
The leaves and stalk are lesser known parts of the broccoli plant because gardeners and farmers often discard these pieces at harvest. However, they are actually edible and highly nutritious.
Broccoli leaves can be long and thin or short and wide and grow along the stalk. They are often blue-green in color and thicken towards the head of the plant.
The crowning head is the part of the broccoli most familiar to people. Sometimes called the curd or the head, the top of the broccoli is most commonly eaten. This head is made of small, dense edible floral shoots. Usually, the head is harvested long before the shoots, or little florets open.
There are two cultivars of broccoli, purple and green, though the green shoots are most commonly cultivated by gardeners. The best environment for planting and harvesting broccoli, is in full sun, with plenty of water, and nutrient rich soil.
Broccoli Rates High In Nutrition
Broccoli is a great food to eat as it contains various nutrients that hold anti-cancer properties and support a strong, healthy immune system.
Broccoli is an essential source of energy, healthy complex carbohydrates, protein, and low in fat.
Nutrients: Broccoli contains vitamin-C and many of the B-vitamins, including thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and folate. It also has traces of calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorous.
High Fiber: Need more fiber in your diet? Look no further as broccoli is high in fiber. The fiber in broccoli can help support heart health, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and helps support healthy weight management because it is filling and low in calories.
How to Prepare Broccoli
Broccoli can be steamed, boiled, microwaved, stir-fried, or eaten raw.
However, over cooking or boiling broccoli has been proven to reduce levels of anti-carcinogenic compounds present in the food. It is therefore best to steam it until it reaches a bright green color, but no longer.
Adding broccoli to your regular daily diet can help increase your overall health.
Have broccoli as a side dish at dinner, add broccoli to a salad for lunch, chopped broccoli with eggs or in an omelet for breakfast, and even eaten raw as a healthy snack is a great way to include this essence of real food to your diet (recommended not to eat raw if you have a low thyroid problem).
All parts of the broccoli can be juiced, as it makes a great addition to any green juice. Juice it along with kale, spinach, green apples, celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon.
You’re not a kid anymore, so enjoy the essence of real food. Enjoy eating broccoli.
Enjoy our recipe using broccoli: Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad (includes a video).
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