Broccoli
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A cruciferous vegetable, Broccoli is considered to be a superfood, replete with vitamin C, folic acid, beta carotene, potassium, selenium and fiber. It is being studied for its anti-cancer properties that include: indole-3-carbinol which halts the growth of cancer cells; 3,3’-Diindolylmethane which helps the immune system ward off bacteria, viruses, and cancer; and glucoraphanin that can be converted into anti-cancer compounds.

Season

Broccoli season is in the Spring through the Fall.

Availability

Broccoli is available year round.

Cultivation

Production

California grows 95% of all U.S. Broccoli.  Each head needs about 5.4 gallons of water to reach maturity. 

Varieties

Purchasing

When purchasing Broccoli, look for dark green heads with more purple color in them. The purple means that the particular head is higher in carotenoids, which are very healthy for us. The green indicates freshness. Also fresher Broccoli heads will  be firmer and naturally compact/held close together.

Storage

To store Broccoli, mist the unwashed heads, wrap loosely in damp paper towels, and refrigerate. Broccoli will last 1-2 weeks refrigerated. Broccoli will keep 6-8 months frozen.

Culinary Uses

Cooking Broccoli properly is integral to its health benefits. Boiling broccoli removes 77% of its benefits, while steaming for 3-4 minutes makes it most healthful in terms of vitamins and absorption, even better than eating it raw.  Steaming 5-10 minutes also reduces its nutrients.  Stir-frying is another option as is microwaving, but a 3-4-minute steam is the best choice.

Portion Size

Allow 1-2 oz of Broccoli per person.

Substitutes

Cauliflower

Nutritional Value

Nutritional Value USDA
BROCCOLI,RAW
Amount Per 100g
Calories 34
%Daily Value*
 
0%
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
1%
Sodium 33mg
6%
Potassium 316mg
2%
Total Carbohydrate 6g
8%
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrition

Broccoli has been widely known to be a valuable source of carotenoids that have antioxidant properties capable of preventing and reducing risks of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Broccoli is high in dietary fiber, vitamins C, K, and A. The leaves contain high amounts of beta carotene. They also contain diindolylmethane and selenium, which offer anti-cancer properties.

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes