Broccoli - Unbelievably Nutritious
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) is a highly nutritious cruciferous vegetable belonging to the same botanical family as cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts and arugula. It is, without a doubt, a powerhouse of nutrients which include a long impressive list of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in good amounts. Numerous studies have confirmed its health-promoting properties that affect immunity, digestion, cardiovascular health, skin, eye health and more. While low in calories, Broccoli is high in nutrients and antioxidants with a unique taste and texture that always gives it a well-earned place in the top superfood list.
Read on to discover more about this unbelievably nutritious vegetable ...
The cultivation of Broccoli began in Italy around 6th century BC. during the time of the Roman Empire. Its name is derived from the Latin word brachium which means branch or arm, aptly describing Broccoli's tree-like appearance featuring a compact flower-head and multiple florets branching from a main stalk. The main stalk grows from about 6 to 10 inches long in mature plants. The flower-head measures anywhere from 4 to 10 inches in diameter.
In the more common cultivar types, the flower-heads are dark green or sage in color. However, purple varieties of this vegetable also exist. Broccoli heads may be eaten raw, slightly steamed, stir-fried or added to soups and main dishes. Cultivated primarily for its flower-head, Broccoli leaves and stalks are also edible and nutritious.
Nutrients and Benefits
Numerous studies indicate that Broccoli contains a wealth of nutrients beneficial to health, including vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Vitamins C, A, B1, B2, B6, B9, E and K.
- Broccoli is exceptionally rich in Vitamin C, providing 89.2 mg per 100 g which is about 150% of the RDA.
- Vitamin A promotes healthy skin and eye health
- Vitamins B1, B2 and B6 are essential for healthy cell growth, free radical protection and to strengthen the immune system. Vitamin B9, or folate, is found in high levels in Broccoli and promotes healthy fetal development. Vitamin E aids healthy skin and heart health.
- Vitamin K is necessary for bone health and normal blood clotting.
Minerals calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc.
- Calcium is needed for bone health as well as regulating muscle and nerve function
- Potassium supports healthy cardiovascular and nerve function Sodium aids heart and liver health
- Magnesium for normal brain function Phosphorus for healthy bones
- Indole-3-carbinol, kaempferol and sulforaphane for healthy cell and tissue growth
- Carotenoids: lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene that promote good eye health
- Quercetin helps regulate blood pressure levels
In addition, Broccoli is high in protein as well as dietary fiber which promotes gastrointestinal health, helps control cholesterol levels and contributes to healthy weight management.
NP Nutra's Broccoli Powder (organic) is certified organic, Kosher and food grade. Produced in a BRC certified facility, this product is ideal for use in a variety of nutraceutical applications, including functional foods and beverages, blends, dietary supplements, pet foods, as well as tablets/capsules.
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