Read The Health Benefits of Broccoli
Very few people would list broccoli as their favorite food. It is a vegetable which possesses a bitter taste and gives off a strong aroma when cooked. Nutrition-wise, however, an aversion to broccoli is indeed unfortunate because it is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Although it might be a long shot, knowing some fun facts about broccoli might convince you to start making it an essential part of your meals.
- Italy is where the broccoli came from. As early as 600 B.C., Romans were already eating the vegetable. In fact, its name is derived from the Italian word “braccio,” which means “arm.”
- The most common type of broccoli is the Calabrese broccoli, which is named after its place of origin: Calabria, Italy.
- Broccoli belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables which also includes cauliflower, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Cross-breeding some of these vegetables have given rise to newer versions of broccoli. The broccoflower, for instance, looks like a pale green-colored cauliflower with a broccoli taste. Another vegetable, broccolini, is a hybrid developed from broccoli and Chinese kale.
- Broccoli grows best in temperatures between 18 to 23 degrees Celsius. You can grow broccoli by sowing but the more popular way is growing the vegetable from seedlings.
- The head of the broccoli is made up of tiny flower buds. If you do not harvest a broccoli on time, the head will be full of yellow flowers. Even when harvested, broccolis need to be kept in a cool temperature to prevent the buds from flowering, which will make the vegetable taste bitter.
- To keep a head of broccoli fresh, store it, unwashed, in a ventilated plastic bag inside the refrigerator and use it within five days.
- Broccolis are extremely good for the health. It has Vitamins A, C and K, as well as the minerals calcium, potassium and iron. In addition, it contains phytochemicals that are known to detoxify the body and prevent many types of diseases, including cancer. It is also anti-inflammatory and can help lower cholesterol levels.
- If you are trying to lose weight, make broccoli a main ingredient in the meals you prepare. It is packed with fiber, which not only aids in digestion but keeps you feeling full. It is also very low in calories, as one cup of chopped raw broccoli has only 31 calories.
- Other creative ways of preparing broccoli is to mix it in soups and salads; or make it into a pesto.
- Eating broccoli raw is one of the best ways to maximize its nutrition potential. It this is too much for your palate, you can steam or roast it for a few minutes. Since cooking destroys some of the valuable nutrients found in broccoli, keep cooking time as short as possible.