Broccoli is considered a superfood and is literally on everyone’s lips. In this article, we take a close look at broccoli. We tell you what it is, how healthy it is, and, above all, how to make it super tasty.
I advance something: the vegetable is doing a lot of good to you and your body.
What is broccoli?
No one really knows where broccoli comes from. Researchers at the University of Erfurt suspect that broccoli could originally come from the eastern Mediterranean, approximately from the area around Anatolia.
Italy was his first stop in Europe. A member of the Medici family brought vegetables from one of his trips and grew them at home. From here, the plant was first extended to England and the United States.
But what is broccoli? Botany has an answer: they are buds of edible flowers. The curled head is the inflorescence of the plant. At the ends, you can see small flowers that have not yet fully matured.
It is very similar to cauliflower. Only in contrast to white vegetables, broccoli flowers are already a little open. If the plant remained longer in the field, it would also bloom, but at this stage of growth, however, it is not edible for humans. And so, the superfood is harvested after 14 to 15 weeks.
You will surely wonder what types of broccoli are grown. The main difference is in the color. The best-known variant is green, which is also the most cultivated. This is mainly due to the balanced taste, and also to the rapid growth.
There is also broccoli with purple, yellow, or even white heads. In terms of ingredients, these variants do not differ from the green ones. But its taste is a little different. White in particular tastes very soft. The principle is similar to that of asparagus. All varieties that are not green grow underground.
You should not store the vegetable for a long time. After purchase, it quickly loses the flavor and, above all, vitamins. You can store it in the fridge for two days. It is better to wrap the vegetable in an adhesive film beforehand.
Other fruits and vegetables (especially apples) emit gas in the refrigerator that allows natural products to ripen faster. An effect that can damage broccoli: it would rot very quickly. If you have large amounts left over, you can also freeze it.
What is broccoli?
In terms of its ingredients, broccoli is a true miracle. It contains by far the highest amount of vitamin C among the types of cabbage, that is, 115 milligrams per 100 grams. This easily covers your daily needs.
So, if you regularly eat smaller portions of this vegetable, you can set aside the supplements with confidence. Especially because your body can process vitamins from the natural source better than artificial ones.
They help your body’s cells build a defense against harmful influences. Some researchers even say that broccoli also has anticancer effects.
It also has a high proportion of important minerals. With cabbage vegetables, you consume a large amount of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Calcium and magnesium are important for your bones and teeth.
The substances help your body to renew the cells in question. Your teeth will thank you in particular because broccoli makes them particularly resistant to harmful substances, especially sugar.
Iron and potassium are important for red blood cells. In addition, iron helps you feel fitter, as it ensures that red blood cells absorb more oxygen.
Vegetables also contain a high proportion of glucosinolate. This is a precursor to the so-called mustard oils. Researchers have recently shown that they are extremely healthy.
Among other things, they were certified in studies to prevent cancer.
So now you are right to ask if your body can really process all these ingredients. The answer is a resounding yes.
The vegetable has a very special cellular structure. It makes it easier for your body to break down and process vitamins and minerals. There is a little more. You should use some fat in the preparation. This is particularly important for vitamins.
Your body can only process them if they dissolve in fat. But that is not due to the vegetable. Rather, it is a general rule. The salad would also be completely useless without oil for health reasons.
How many calories are in broccoli?
Broccoli is ideal for people aware of calorie intake.
The vegetable has only 28 calories per 100 grams. That’s only 0.028-kilo calories, so almost nothing. In principle, green cabbage does not contain carbohydrates. You can easily replace the potatoes with broccoli, and nothing will be lost.
What applies to the vegetable itself, of course, applies equally to broccoli-based soups. They will also make you feel satiated and do not accumulate on your hips. A great vegetable for your diet.
How does the vegetable work against cancer?
Broccoli contains valuable antioxidants and the so-called glucosinolates or sulforaphane.
Researchers at the University of Heidelberg have examined the latter closely. They infected chicken eggs with malignant tumor cells. Then they treated the eggs with chemotherapy and broccoli.
The results were that the tumor cells decreased significantly. It is proven to support conventional chemotherapy. Tumor growth stopped completely.
In this regard, scientists assume that vegetables have a good preventive effect against cancer. Tumors in the pancreas in particular respond well to the effects of the ingredients.
The results are now also being tested in humans. For this purpose, a group of people who had incurable was taken. Of course, they couldn’t cure with broccoli by itself.
However, the results of this study make researchers hopeful. For the experiment, test subjects received capsules with freeze-dried broccoli sprouts. According to the researchers, this is how the best effectiveness develops.
But even those who simply eat the vegetables could feel the positive effects. The scientists also showed that people who regularly put green vegetables on their menu are significantly less likely to develop malignant tumors.
An effect that does not only come from ingredients similar to mustard oil. At the beginning of the text, you learned that broccoli contains beta-carotene and, therefore, many antioxidants. American researchers have thoroughly tested these substances in mice.
The animals were previously infected with skin cancer. When treated with abundant antioxidants, the tumors no longer dispersed. This means that the tumor itself maintained its size. However, the substances prevented metastases from forming in the body. Skin cancer itself could be eliminated with a simple operation.
This effect has also been tested in humans in the meantime. Here too, the researchers showed that the risk of metastasis has decreased significantly.
In their studies, scientists discovered another important aspect: natural antioxidants worked much better than artificial ones. Another point for cabbage vegetables.
Another result of American researchers: regular consumption of broccoli effectively prevents cancer, since its antioxidants protect the body’s cells. This means that the harmful cells from which tumors develop have no chance.
This not only affected skin cancer, but the subjects were significantly better protected against all types of this malignant disease. However, the prerequisite was that they regularly consumed vegetables with antioxidants.
This brings us to the next question:
How much broccoli should I eat?
The good news is that you can’t eat too much broccoli. It is true that your body can only store vitamins and minerals to some extent. However, whenever they come from natural sources, it simply removes excess substances.
The hardest question is the number of vegetables you should eat. There are many indications that 100 grams per meal are a good measure. This is how you make sure you also consume enough nutrients.
The question of how often you should add broccoli to your menu every week is even more complicated. It depends a little on how healthy you normally eat. If you eat vegetables every day, it is enough if you eat it once a week.
If you do not eat so healthy otherwise, you should get used to adding broccoli to your plate three times a week.
What is the best way to prepare broccoli?
For the valuable ingredients to have their full effect, you must prepare the broccoli as smoothly as possible. That means: don’t throw it in a saucepan and cook it for a long time.
It is better to cook steamed vegetables in a steamer for a couple of minutes. That way the vegetable stays crispy, retaining its flavor and valuable ingredients. If you don’t have that device, you can scald the vegetables briefly.
Don’t worry, it sounds much more complicated than it really is. Simply let the water boil briefly and add the vegetables. Then, temper briefly in ice water, and you can serve the delicious vegetables.
It is also important that you always eat broccoli with a little fat.
But what about the calories? Fat is important for your body. Only in this way can you really process all the vitamins. But we are not talking about any type of fat, it is better to use high-quality fats such as olive oil.
In the end, there is only one question to clarify: how good is frozen broccoli? The answer is very simple: very good. Farmers freeze it immediately after harvest.
This is how they ensure that all vitamins are preserved. So it’s as good as freshly bought vegetables.
There are no limits to your recipes. Vegetables are easy to prepare and taste great. Soups are great for cold days. They have almost no calories and they really fill you up.
Broccoli is also his great accompaniment for meat and fish. In this case, the best way is to simply steam the vegetables and serve them without additives. The fat contained in the sauce ensures that your body can process vitamins well.
The popular casseroles with cabbage are also delicious. But be careful: due to the long cooking time, they easily lose valuable ingredients. Therefore, in this case, you should process a little more vegetables than usual.