• Monday July 13,2020


Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica Plenck) is a vegetable plant of the cruciferous family. The cauliflower-related plant is rich in minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals.

You should know about broccoli

Like all members of the cabbage family, broccoli comes from wild cabbage. The first broccoli plants probably come from Asia Minor. In Europe, the plant was initially known only in Italy.

The green florets of Broccolis are actually not yet fully developed inflorescences. In contrast to cauliflower, however, the buds can already be clearly recognized in broccoli. The heads of the plant are colored blue-green to dark green.

But there are also varieties in which the roses appear violet, yellow or white. The normal growing season of cauliflower is between 14 and 15 weeks. The broccoli florets are harvested when the middle of the flowers is fully formed and still closed. The closed florets are cut off with a 10 to 15 centimeter long piece of the stalk and the accompanying leaves. From the remaining buds on the side grow later more flower heads, which can then be harvested in due course.

Like all members of the cabbage family, broccoli comes from wild cabbage. First names of the cabbage plants can be found already in ancient times. Both the ancient Greeks and the Romans used leafy cabbage varieties. Among them were also simple cauliflower varieties, which must have been very similar to today's Broccoligewächs. The first broccoli plants probably come from Asia Minor. In Europe, the plant was initially known only in Italy. The princess of Urbino Caterina de 'Medici then brought the broccoli to France in the 16th century. From there he also came to England under the name of Italian asparagus.

The then US President Thomas Jefferson broccoli was then introduced to the United States in the 18th century. Initially, he was supposed to serve only as a trial plant, but quickly found his way onto the American plate.

Today, the main growing areas in Europe are in the western Mediterranean countries. Especially the area around the city of Verona in Italy is known for the Broccolianbau. Broccoli from local cultivation are available in Germany between June and October.

Importance for the health

Broccoli contains many minerals and vitamins. It is rich in potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and sodium. In particular, the calcium content is very high. Thus, broccoli can do a good job of meeting the daily requirement for the quantity element. The cabbage also contains many vitamins from the B group.

These include vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E. Vitamin E, provitamin A and vitamin C are also included. Especially with the content of vitamin C broccoli has the related cauliflow quite a bit ahead. In a gentle preparation, broccoli contains almost twice as much vitamin C as cauliflower.

In addition to minerals and vitamins, broccoli also contains phytochemicals. Secondary plant compounds are also called phytamines. They are used by the plants usually to ward off predators, but have great health benefits for humans. The phytochemicals of Broccolis include flavonoids and glucosinolates. Glucosinolates can store indoles and isothiocyanates. The most important isothiocyanate in broccoli is sulforaphane.

Further, the isothiocyanates are 3-butenyl isothiocyanate, 4-methylsulfinylbutyl isothiocyanate, allyl isothiocyanate and methylsulfinylpropyl isothiocyanate. Broccoli is also rich in protein and complex carbohydrates. Calories and fat are barely contained. 100 grams of broccoli only has 24 kilocalories. At 100 grams comes 3.8 grams of protein and 2.7 grams of carbohydrates. The fat content is only 0.2 grams per 100 grams. With a water content of 89 percent and a fiber content of 3 percent, broccoli is good for weight loss.

Ingredients & Nutrition Facts

nutritional informationQuantity per 100 grams
Calories 34Fat content 0.4 g
Cholesterol 0 mgSodium 33 mg
Potassium 316 mgCarbohydrates 7 g
Protein 2.8 gVitamin C 89.2 mg

Broccoli not only supplies the body with essential vitamins and minerals, it also protects against cancer. Responsible for this effect is the phytochemical sulforaphane. Sulforaphane causes the body to form indole-3-carbinol (IC3). The active ingredients of broccoli have been shown to be effective in combating tumor stem cells. These tumor stem cells usually do not respond well to chemotherapy.

From them, however, new tumor tissue forms again and again, so that the cancer can not be cured without fighting the tumor stem cells. The ingredients of Broccolis block a special signaling pathway in the most aggressive cancer cells and thus fight against the resistance to the chemotherapeutic agents. In experiments with mice, it has been shown that chemotherapy in combination with sulforaphane completely stops tumor growth.

Metastasis to other organs can also be prevented by the active substance from the broccoli. Currently, further studies are in progress to prove that the anti-carcinogenic effects of Broccolis can be transferred to humans. However, to treat cancers, sulforaphane must be extracted from the broccoli and administered in freeze-dried powder form.

Incompatibilities & allergies

Allergic reactions to cabbage are very rare. In the context of broccoli, only contact allergic reactions have so far been described. Broccoli oil and broccoli extract is used in some cosmetics. Incompatibilities on cabbage and broccoli are more common. Many people react to cabbage with stomach upset and flatulence. However, people with histamine intolerance usually tolerate broccoli very well.

Shopping & Kitchen Tips

Broccoli is in Germany between June and October season. The fresher the broccoli is, the more vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals are included. When buying should be taken to ensure that the roses are deep green and not withered. The cabbage should be compact when purchased. The inflorescences should be taut and not open. Under no circumstances should the roses be yellow.

Since broccoli can still flourish after harvest, it should be stored until it is cool and dark. The cabbage keeps best in wrapped in cling film in the vegetable compartment. As broccoli is withering fast, it should be consumed as quickly as possible. Broccoli florets should not be stored with ethyl-producing fruits such as apples or bananas. The broccoli then spoils much faster.

Broccoli can also be frozen. Before freezing, it should be blanched for three minutes. Packed in airtight freezer bags, it can be stored in the freezer for up to 10 months.

preparation tips

Before cooking, the florets should be cut off the stem. All florets should be about the same size so that they are cooked at the same time. The stalk itself can also be consumed. But he must first be freed from its woody bark. The small florets and the peeled stalk should now be peeled thoroughly. Then the broccoli can be consumed raw or blanched briefly. After blanching the cabbage must be quenched with ice water, otherwise it will nachgart. The longer the broccoli is cooked, the more nutrients it loses.

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