Just like spinach, our previous Veggie of the Month, broccoli has a reputation as being the bane of many a child’s dinner experience—a stereotypically hated vegetable. But we say, let’s change our point of view! Broccoli is actually a tight cluster of unopened flower buds that are packed full with highly beneficial nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. So go ahead and eat your flower buds!
Originating in the Mediterranean, broccoli is part of the Brassicaceae (Cruciferous) family, making it a close relative to cabbage (August Seasonal Pick). In fact, it was engineered from a relative of cabbage by an ancient Roman horticultural genius. Broccoli then made its way west, gaining popularity in France and Great Britain, before eventually arriving in the United States.
The flowering vegetable was put on the American map by two Italian brothers who started a vegetable business in San Jose, CA (oh man, we’re so close to vegetable history!). They grew these green goodies from seeds their father sent them from their home country. The brothers were the first American producers to raise and ship large quantities of the vegetable, spreading the word about this highly nutritious vegetable.
Those who love broccoli celebrate its versatility and admire its impressive nutritional facts and many health benefits. Broccoli has known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help support digestion, lower cholesterol, prevent allergic reactions, help combat cancerous activity and so much more.
Vitamins, Minerals & Nutrients:
• Vitamin K: essential in responding to injuries, helps maintain regular blood clotting, supports absorption of calcium (for healthy bones) and protects against internal bleeding.
• Chromium: essential for the metabolic process, controls blood sugar, supports energy production.
• Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): most important of the B vitamins for the processes of life, essential for processing and utilizing fats, carbohydrates, and protein as energy sources; alleviates asthma, hair loss, stress, anxiety and allergies, resists infection, produces neurotransmitters and boosts immunity.
•Choline: vital for methylation (necessary for all life), strengthens membrane structure and supports nervous system activity.
•Folic Acid (vitamin B9): prevents birth defects, heart disorders, cancer and strokes, helpful for mental disorders, supports DNA synthesis and repair.
•Fiber: essential for healthy digestion, regulates cholesterol levels and satiates appetite with lasting fullness.
•Vitamin E: improves immune system and metabolism, boosts stamina and vitality, promotes healthy skin, hair and nails.