There are people who have specific genetic #polymorphisms or gene mutations who require more broccoli than others to detoxify poisons from their body. More about this in my detoxification program, but what I also find super cool about broccoli is that the entire plant, stems, leaves, and florets have important roles in our diet.
Broccoli is part of the cabbage family as a cruciferous vegetable. The name is Italian, stemming from the word, "broccolo," which means "cabbage flower top." The water content in cabbage is far higher than that of broccoli however. Adding these together, shredded, into a salad is quite tasty.
Broccoli, raw and not steamed, offers enough vitamin C in one cup to provide all your needs for an entire day. Broccoli has cancer prevention properties, and can protect from glaucoma due to its vitamin A content, which is also great for your bones, your teeth, your skin, and even in breaking down kidney stones. It can help lower the incidence of type 2 diabetes, prevent anemia, and lower your risk for heart disease. Broccoli adds both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is excellent for your gut biome and elimination of toxins. This cruciferous vegetable is also on the Clean 15 list, so its contamination level is low.
Rumor has it that Thomas Jefferson was such a fan, that he brought seeds of broccoli from Italy around the year 1767. It's incredibly hardy, surviving even the winter in northern states. California offers us about 90 percent of America's supply, which is why watching regulations regarding various chemical toxins in this state is especially important.
These offer higher concentrations of amino acids (glucoraphanin and neoglucobrassicin) and certain detoxifying phytonutrients than the other broccoli tissues.
These are higher in carotenoids, chlorophylls, vitamins E and K, total phenolic content, and antioxidant activity. Compared with other tissues, the leaves were also good sources of calcium and manganese.
The stems have shown a unique profile of detoxifying enzymes. In fact, each tissue had a different gene expression related to these enzymes. Don't throw these in your compost, cut them up real little and add to stir fry or add to scrambled eggs. Add these to soup.
Best Tips for Optimizing Broccoli
Don't freeze it, as you'll destroy myrocinase, which will decrease many of its detoxifying effects. When steaming, only heat about 90 seconds, just to reach the bright green color but not beyond that. Choose the broccoli bunch which are tight and firm to touch and dark green in color. Avoid those which are more limp, turning yellow, or wilting.
Fresh, young broccoli should not taste fibrous, woody, or sulfurous. It can become this way though if left at room temperature. Store unwashed in loose, perforated bags in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Only wash right before eating as broccoli can quickly mold when wet or limp.
What is your favorite broccoli recipe? I am so blessed to have children who all love these "little trees." Ruby will even choose them over macaroni and cheese!