The 9th Soul

The Super Vegetable: BROCCOLI

Posted in food, health by Fated Blue on July 14, 2013

VEGETABLES ARE NOT TO BE IGNORED

When one hears the word “vegetables”, the usual thing that comes to mind are these green, leafy plants that just don’t taste good enough. True enough, vegetables are those things that most people don’t like to eat. Some of the reasons are that they taste bad and they’re not meat. But those that do eat vegetables aren’t exactly eating them just because of the health benefits but also because some can get pretty good if you know which to eat and how to eat them.

Vegetables can be part of the appetizer, side dish, or the main course. Some cuisines even have vegetables in a form of dessert. It is due to their culinary flexibility that they are able to achieve this. However, only a few select vegetables can be an all around cooking ingredient but it is still a fact that vegetables are normally good for everyone.

Of course when you speak of vegetables you don’t exactly think of them for their taste but for the many benefits they give us upon consumption. And one such vegetable is considered a giant among others. It’s packed with lots of stuff yet is hated by many children and adults alike. It’s one of the best vegetables ever: The amazing broccoli.

The broccoli has been around for centuries and has been known to for its popular health benefits specially in its potential to prevent multiple cancers. This amazing plant has been popularized through various dishes which include salads and certain juices.

Broccolis have also proven to be an effective inclusion in a weight loss diet. It has high amounts of fiber which promote longer lasting satiety and cleaner digestion.

This article will seek to enhance the knowledge about this super food as well as to entice the majority in its consumption. It will also discuss its many benefits and history as well as why it is one of the most important vegetables to have ever existed.

A SHORT HISTORY

Like everything else, broccoli has its own story to tell. In the world of plants, it is known as Brassica oleracea italica. The plant itself was first cultivated in Rome and was only brought to America shortly during the 16th century by Italian immigrants. Broccoli then was referred to as Italian Asparagus.

But its origins can be traced back all the way to the Mediterranean. It wasn’t exactly broccoli then, however. It was said to be a relative to the cabbage, created by the ancient Etruscans which were geniuses in the line of horticulture.

The broccoli was first called the cabbage cole and, more often than not, vastly mistaken either the cauliflower or the cabbage. But you can’t blame those who initially saw it as something else; the plant resembled both since it is a crossover of two plants.

There are three kinds of the plant in the market namely the Romanesco which is of yellowish green color and can be found during the fall, the Calabrese which is the most common type, and the sprouting which is known for its small budding heads and mostly found during the cold season or winter months. The Calabrese is named after a province in Italy which is Calabria since it was first produced there.

Now broccolis are served all over the world in multiple forms. They come as both appetizer and as part of the main course. Broccolis are virtually very versatile when it comes to serving it. The most preferable method is steaming to get most of the nutrients while boiling and with dressing is a common favorite among vegetable patrons.

Known for its exciting benefits as well as the flavors it can bring to one’s plat, the broccoli is without a doubt one of the best types of foods we have come to understand and remember belongs to the super foods category.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

While popular and abundant, you can’t really help but know exactly what a typical broccoli looks like. Even in today’s information age, people still confuse the plant with other types of leafy vegetables such as the cauliflower.

The broccoli is like an artichoke which is essentially a large edible flower although it barely resembles a typical flower. There are also a bunch of cross-bred broccolis such as the broccoflower which is a combination of both broccoli and, you guessed it, cauliflower. There is also the broccolini which is sometimes referred to as the baby broccoli. The broccolini is a trademarked combination between the typical broccoli plant and the kale.

You can virtually find this plant in any vegetable or produce stands. But ideally, it is best to buy broccoli in cold places since broccolis tend to grow better in lower temperatures and higher altitudes. This will also guarantee its freshness. You also better check if its organic or with pesticides. It’s often indicated on the label and can also be asked about.

Simply put, this plant has grown much more popular than its predecessors and its physical distinction has set it apart and above common vegetables. Surely the broccoli is a one of a kind super food with nothing that resembles it.

BROCCOLI AND CANCER

Vegetables, specially the green leafy ones, have been known to prevent certain cancers due to their very potent antioxidants. The broccoli specially is considered among the highest of the high ranking vegetables in this category. It is not called a super food for nothing.

 Among the many benefits of this wonderful super food, broccoli has been known and proven to be a healthy and preferable food for people suffering from cancer in the liver and colon. The sulfurous compounds, which makes the vegetable actually smell pretty bad, help reduce the tumors in the body. It can also protect women from ovarian cancer.

As far as antioxidants are concerned, broccoli is not lacking in it. Broccoli has lots of antioxidants. Steaming broccoli and not boiling it will give you a good amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body and prevent harmful damage. It also has these things you call phytonutrients that actually help eliminate very toxic compounds found inside the body. One of these phytonutrients is the isotiocyanates which is a pretty strong and potent substance that can help in the fight against cancer cells. Some of those cancer cells are those that would likely cause liver cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, and breast cancer. Eating this vegetable will help protect you against all sorts of grave illnesses.

You can also use this food in conjunction with other cancer-fighting vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, and other green leafy vegetables. Just remember to not overcook any of your vegetables to get the most out of their benefits.

BROCCOLI AS A CLEANSING FOOD

In today’s world, we generally eat our own poison. We all eat things that have all these preservatives and other forms of chemicals that we suffer from the long term effects of consuming processed foods. Cancers rank amongst the highest result of eating these artificially prepared food products. But with broccoli, we can potentially reverse or even alter the effects of these chemicals.

A good and healthy diet is a diet made of high water, high fiber, and high protein foods. Broccoli is the kind of vegetable which accounts for its rather high amount of fiber content. It goes without saying the every leafy vegetable has good fiber content but the broccoli is special. This super food is packed with super amounts of fiber which, if eaten regularly, helps regulate and maintains healthy digestion as well as remove the toxins which remain in our intestines even after so many years.

Even the sulfur compounds found in broccoli help eliminate the bacteria in the stomach which has a very high chance of causing stomach ulcers. Aside from colon cleansing, the broccoli can even act as an antiviral and antibiotic type of food. Now who wouldn’t want to eat broccolis?

Broccolis, since high in fiber, can also be used as a healthy staple in a weight loss diet. From athletes to gymnasts, wrestlers, and even those who are just in it for the sports regularly eat their vegetables and broccoli is one of them.

The plant itself promotes satiety which prevents us from over eating. And the rest of the fiber will then be used to sweep away the otherwise unhealthy remnants from the food we eat which will enable us to acquire a healthy weight. Truth be told, a good diet is a diet with lots and lots of vegetables involved. What better way to create a diet than to have the broccoli as one of the main components?

Beyond vegetable diets, however, the broccoli has earned its reputation as a staple food in most healthy living concepts. It is mainly due to its convenience of having multiple types of nutrients in one plant. For this, parents continue to encourage their kids to eat broccoli despite the rather unpleasant reactions they often get.

SUBHEADING 5: OTHER BENEFITS

Broccoli can do a lot more than what was stated above. The vegetable can aid in achieving your optimal health. It is full of vitamins and minerals than even your average fruit. Take the orange as an example. Eating the same weight of broccoli is said to be ten times better than eating the same weight of oranges. It is due to the fact that a single broccoli contains Vitamins A, B6, C, and E and also minerals like Copper, Folate, Selenium Choline, Manganese, Zinc, Calcium, and Magnesium. All these things are worth so much money in tablet form and you’re getting it with just one piece of vegetable.

It also gives us the benefit of having Beta Carotene which aids in maintaining a healthy vision. The broccoli is also known to be a staple food in patients suffering from bone ailments due to its rather high calcium content. This plant has also been known as a good food to consume when you are recovering from a sickness or from other grave illnesses such as liver cancer or breast cancer.

CONCLUSION

The broccoli is by far one of the healthiest and versatile food ingredients in the face of the Earth. It is healthy because of the amazing benefits it can give you from preventing obesity and easier bowl movements to protection from cancer. This plant is not the type that prefers to grow in unseen places and that is very fortunate for all of us. It is readily accessible and the popularity of this wondrous vegetable has spread throughout the globe.

You can see how versatile this amazing plant is by eating in different ways. You can choose to whether eat them raw or cooked and develop your own taste towards the broccoli dishes you would want to prepare in the near future.

Some of those ways to eat this amazing plant would be simple methods such as serving it with salsa or pesto, having it as a garnish, a side dish to help beautify your dinners or lunches, the ever popular broccoli soup which is very easy to make, eating it as a meal with another popular food like eggs in combining it to make an omelet or as a steak décor. You can also try eating it as sprouts in sandwiches or adding it to your normal burger.

Even better, serve it in a vegetable salad which is the most preferred way of eating this amazing vegetable since you’ll be combining it with other healthy foods. Just take it easy on the dressing or use a healthier dressing so this simple broccoli inspired salad can retain its freshness and zest. Not to mention the health benefits it can potentially give you.

There are vegetables and there is the broccoli. The broccoli has been proven time and time again to be a great addition to any kind of meal, any time of day. The broccoli has demonstrated its prowess throughout history not just as a super healthy vegetable but as a versatile vegetable capable of being served in multiple ways, fresh or cooked.

The broccoli plant truly is a super food among super foods.

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