Broccoli, from the cruciferous or brassicaceae family, is one of the foods most valued for its properties. It is surprising for the important amount of micronutrients that make it a true vegetable treasure.
As a vegetable, it has 90% water and 2.6% fiber. That is why it is light, prebiotic, laxative and highly recommended for its purifying, diuretic and slimming effect, enhanced by potassium.
It stands out for its antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, which protect from the deterioration of cells and tissues and strengthen the immune and nervous systems, among others. Vitamin A in the form of beta carotenes that give it its characteristic green or purple color. Another of its carotenoids, lutein, protects against visual degeneration in the form of cataracts or presbyopia. Vitamins C and E increase the functions of the immune system and protect the skin, nails and hair.
Among the B vitamins, it is rich in B1, which facilitates concentration, in B6, which helps in the formation of digestive enzymes and in folic acid or B9, essential for the development of the fetus, the stages of growth, cardiovascular health and prevention of anemia. It contains a wide range of minerals such as: phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iodine and iron. The latter is easily assimilated as it is accompanied by vitamin C and folic acid. As a source of calcium and magnesium, it is suitable for bone health and the neuronal system.
Broccoli is really essential in the high proportion of phytochemical elements, with high antioxidant power, which have been shown to be active in the prevention of cancers such as mouth or lung cancers. Sinigrin neutralizes precancerous cells that can cause cancers in the digestive tract, stomach, and colon. While the indoles protect against hormonal types, such as breast or prostate. Other compounds eliminate nitrosamines and aflatoxins, which cause liver cancer.
It is usually eaten boiled or steamed, but it is delicious raw, in salad or as an aperitif, alone or marinated in sauce. The heat and the boiling water facilitate the loss of vitamin C and its bioactive agents, especially in long cooking. Steaming or sautéing for 3 to 5 minutes preserves 80% of its components, while maintaining a more intense flavor and a pleasant and crunchy texture. Another excellent way is to take it in sprouted shoots. It deteriorates quickly, because it is very sensitive to environmental ethylene, it must be kept in the refrigerator between 0 and 10ºC, because it is a cold vegetable.
Author:Mercedes Blasco. Master in Nutrition and Healthbonavida099.blogspot.com