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Vitamins and Minerals Found Inside Broccoli

vitamins and minerals found in broccoliBroccoli 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 Broccoli...

Vitamins and 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:

  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Sulfur
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Trace amounts of selenium, indol-3 carbonal and zinc

In addition to the above, broccoli also contain omega-3 fatty acids, protein and is an excellent source for dietary fiber.

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 vegetable sooner. 

The next time you think about Broccoli... think about how they might add a powerful boost to your daily nutrition through juicing.

Juicing Tips for Juicing Broccoli

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 using broccoli! 

Purchasing Tips 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 stalks.

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.

General Information About Broccoli

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 further.

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 Calabrian cabbage.

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 broccoli.

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 cabbage.

Additional Sources/Resources for Broccoli

juicing broccoli and juicing recipes using broccoli

Be sure to check out both our "Juicing" and our "Smoothies" sections for delicious recipes and more using Broccoli!