Bountiful Benefits of Broccoli
Adding broccoli to your shopping list is probably one of the best things you can do for you…and your family. It is simply jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and cancer fighting compounds, including vitamins A, C, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and even protein. In fact, a serving of broccoli provides a better source of vitamin C than a serving size of most citrus fruits. Broccoli even contains more calcium than a glass of milk! Another plus is the cancer fighting properties naturally contained in broccoli known as isothiocyanates. This sulfur-containing phytochemical is believed to make broccoli a veritable cancer fighting and even preventing powerhouse! And to think all this goodness comes in only 1 cup of broccoli, which has only approximately 30 calories!
Chinese Broccoli…It Looks Just Like Kale!
Whereas broccoli and Chinese broccoli are both cruciferous vegetables, and members of the cabbage group, mustard family of plants, Chinese broccoli actually looks more like kale! Also known as Chinese kale or kailaan, Chinese broccoli can be found primarily in Asian markets, and is well worth the trip. Like its western counterpart, Chinese broccoli is loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. In fact, a 1/2 cup serving size of Chinese broccoli provides an equal source of calcium as 1/2 cup of milk, and two times the amount of vitamin C an adult would need in a day! Moreover, Chinese broccoli contains fiber, vitamin A, potassium and iron…all for only around 10 calories for a 1/2 cup serving!
Broccoflower - Not What You Think!
Broccoflower is really not so much broccoli as it is cauliflower. Also known as green cauliflower, it is actually a cross between cauliflower and the chlorophyll of broccoli, giving it its unique color and appearance. Like broccoli and Chinese broccoli, broccoflower is a member of the mustard family and is a good source of vitamins A, C, folic acid and antioxidants. A serving size of 1/5 of an entire broccoflower head is only approximately 35 calories.
Basics of Buying and Storing Broccoli, Chinese Broccoli and Broccoflower
Broccoli and broccoflower should be firm, crisp and tightly clustered, with no soft or wilted florets. Broccoli should have a rich green color and broccoflower should be yellowish green or pale green in appearance. In both, the color should not be dull. Ordinarily sold in bunches, Chinese broccoli should have firm stems and clean, undamaged leaves. Storing is as easy as your refrigerator. Simply keep wrapped in plastic and use within one week for optimal freshness.
When you think about it, the nutritional benefits of broccoli, Chinese broccoli and broccoflower are so enormous, it is simply a must have in your diet plan. Add to that the ease of selection and storage, and you have a win, win for you, your family, and your palate!
This post is part of the series: Better Believe It’s Broccoli!
Broccoli. Packed with goodness, this powerhouse food is better for you than you think, and easier to prepare than you would ever imagine! From broccoli to Chinese broccoli and broccoflower, this series offers everything you need to know about this amazing category of food from purchase to prep!