Vitamins and Minerals
Found Inside Broccoli
Broccoli is considered by many
health professionals to be one of the best foods you can
eat. As one of the most common and best-tasting
cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is a vegetable the
American Cancer Society suggest we eat several times a
week, stating that cruciferous vegetables "might reduce
the incidence of colon, stomach and esophageal
cancers." Here are a few of the questions we attempt
to answer about Broccoli.
- What vitamins in broccoli make Broccoli so
good for us?
- What is the best method for juicing broccoli?
- What are some great buying tips for Broccoli?
Plus, we'll do our best to provide some general information
about Broccoli that you might not find so easily elsewhere
on the Internet.
Let's begin our exploration of
Minerals in Broccoli
Broccoli are probably best known for being loaded with
beta carotene, considered by many experts to be a powerful
cancer fighter.* But beta carotene is not the only
good thing about broccoli. Here is a snapshot of the vitamins
and minerals found in broccoli.
VITAMINS in Broccoli:
- Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Folate (important for pregnant women)
- Trace amounts of Vitamin E
MINERALS in Broccoli:
- Trace amounts of selenium, indol-3 carbonal and
In addition to the above, broccoli also contain omega-3
fatty acids, protein and is an excellent source for dietary
If you eat broccoli, eat it raw for fuller benefit of its
valuable nutrients and fiber, even though it will not provide
you with the same concentration of beta carotene, vitamins and
minerals that juicing will.
You can consume far more in a single serving when you juice
broccoli and will reap the benefits of this remarkable
The next time you think about Broccoli... think about how
they might add a powerful boost to your daily nutrition through
Juicing Tips for
Juicing broccoli can add both flavor and valuable
nutrients to most any home-juiced cocktail... or it can result
in a not-so-palatable drink that is difficult, if not
impossible to swallow.
Here are a few tips for juicing broccoli that may help
turn your juicing experience into something you look forward to
and thoroughly enjoy.
Try juicing broccoli with carrots to enhance the flavor and
increase the beta carotene in your beverage.
Another great mix is broccoli juiced with apples.
Check our Juicing section for a excellent juice recipes
for Buying Broccoli
If you are unable to grow your own Broccoli, then here are a
few tips for buying broccoli that may help you get the
freshest ingredients. We'll also include a few storing tips for
broccoli that you might find helpful.
You want to select broccoli with heads that are tightly
clustered and with no yellow florets. The stalks, which should
be juiced right along with the clustered tops, should be firm
with nice green leaves. Old broccoli has limp, woody
Broccoli is very perishable and should be stored in open
plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper where it will keep for
a week. I've stored broccoli in "green bags" that help keep it
even longer. Since water on the surface will encourage its
degradation, do not wash the broccoli before refrigerating.
This article wouldn't be complete if we didn't
include a little general information about broccoli, as well as
a few helpful links if you want to explore broccoli
Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family and
is closely related to the cauliflower.
Roman farmers called broccoli "the five green
fingers of Jupiter."
Although not much is written of its ancient
beginnings, it is said that the Romans were enamored with
broccoli almost immediately.
In Ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder, an Italian
naturalist and writer, 23 to 79 CE, tells us the Romans grew
and enjoyed broccoli during the first century CE. The vegetable
became a standard favorite in Rome where the variety called
Calabrese was developed. The Calabrese is the most common
variety still eaten in the United States today. Before the
Calabrese variety was cultivated, most Romans were eating
purple sprouting broccoli that turned green when cooked.
During 17th century Europe, broccoli was often
confused with cauliflower as well as cabbage, the names often
used interchangeably. It was even called broccoli cabbage or
Catherine de Medici of Tuscany may have been
the first to introduce broccoli to France when she married
Henry II in 1533, but the first mention of broccoli in French
history is in 1560. Catherine arrived in France with her
Italian chefs and armfuls of vegetables, including
Miller's Gardener's Dictionary, in its 1724
edition, gave one of the earliest accounts of broccoli in the
United Kingdom, referring to it as a stranger in England and
calling it "sprout colli-flower" or "Italian asparagus." This
account assumes that broccoli came from Italy.
Thomas Jefferson, often called the farmer
president, recorded his planting of broccoli, along with
radishes, lettuce, and cauliflower on May 27, 1767.
Broccoli is in the Brassicaceae family and is
classified as Brassica oleracea italica belonging to a family
whose other members include cauliflower, kale, cabbage,
collards, turnips, rutabagas, Brussels sprouts, and Chinese
Sources/Resources for Broccoli
Be sure to check out both our
"Juicing" and our "Smoothies"
sections for delicious recipes and more using