Although not all of us are lovers of broccoli, we understand that it is a food that brings many benefits to our health, ideal to incorporate it into our daily diet.
The nutritional value of broccoli provides a variety of vitamins to the body. It is known that this food contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6 and is one of the main sources of vitamin C.
Broccoli also provides provitamin A, which comes in the form of beta carotene.
This vegetable is rich in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. It is a super food!
Although broccoli is native to the Mediterranean, this vegetable was very popular in northern Italy and has now reached the rest of the world.
Broccoli has countless nutritional properties and benefits that contribute to the health of those who eat it. Join us on the journey to know, in depth, everything that has the broccoli for you.
Properties of broccoli
It is well known that the intake of fruits, vegetables and fruits improve the health of those who consume them, as a result they see an improvement in the quality of life.
Due to its many benefits, broccoli is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for consumption.
Among the most relevant properties of this vegetable we have
- It has a high antioxidant power, a characteristic that makes it special to mitigate the natural changes of aging.
- It produces the collagen needed to strengthen the skin cells.
- It exerts a hepatic action that contributes to the elimination of toxins.
- Stimulates the immune system by preventing the appearance of various types of cancer.
- It has antibacterial properties.
- It has a high content of folic acid, iron and chlorophyll.
Benefits of broccoli
Broccoli has a particular flavor that does not admit half measures: you love it or hate it.
However, its benefits are unquestionable. Let’s see some of them:
- It provides few calories and fat.
- It prevents cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
- It has anti-inflammatory power.
- It prevents gastritis.
- It prevents the appearance of cataracts.
- It reduces the risk of macular degeneration.
- Allows you to mitigate the effects of menopause.
- It improves the elasticity of the skin.
- Protects bones, keeping them healthy and strong.
- Because of its high fiber content, it reduces constipation.
Eat it carefully, it can also generate some problems
Even the most beneficial things in life cannot be consumed in excess, breaking the natural balance always generates consequences.
In the case of broccoli is known to slow the functions of the thyroid gland, therefore, is not recommended among people suffering from hypothyroidism.
When broccoli is cooked in the oven, its acidity increases. Research by universities in the UK compares it to the acidity of carbonated drinks
For this reason, it is preferable to avoid eating baked broccoli and opt for eating it fresh or boiled, so you avoid a level of acidity that could cause problems in your teeth, for example.
Do you have problems with your kidneys? Avoid eating raw broccoli!
In any case, the ideal is that – before including any variation in your diet – you consult a nutritionist. He or she will verify your medical history and advise you on the foods that best suit your life.
How do you cook broccoli without losing its nutritional value?
To maintain the nutritional value and take advantage of the nutritional properties of this ingredient is necessary to make the cooking of broccoli properly.
Since many of its components are sensitive to heat and can be reduced after a prolonged cooking process, the benefits generated by their consumption are reduced.
Ideally, it should be eaten raw as the main ingredient of salads. It can also be cooked or steamed, but this process should not exceed 10 minutes.
For its taste, it is recommended to season with basic ingredients such as salt, pepper, vinegar and oil.
The broccoli is a very versatile vegetable that combines perfectly with a large amount of food, can create unique menus with exceptional flavors that the diner can fully enjoy.
Before cooking: Tips for cleaning broccoli
As with most vegetables, proper cleaning of broccoli is necessary to preserve your health and avoid accidental ingestion of bacteria.
To clean broccoli properly, you should remove the leaves that cover it, peel the stem and rub it carefully under the water tap.
The hardest part of the stem should be discarded, leaving only a portion that allows the menu to be highlighted with the crispness of that section of the broccoli. It is also one of the favorite parts of the vegetable lovers.
You should then check the broccoli for any damaged or bruised parts and remove that section with a knife.
To complete the cleaning, place under the tap with plenty of water, making sure to wash the leaves of the broccoli florets and remove any dirt present to avoid cross contamination.
Another way to ensure a clean broccoli is by immersing it in a container with water and vinegar for a few minutes, this will remove any insects or bacteria that have strained into our broccoli bouquet.
To finish this cleaning process you can also use salt, you just need a bowl, add water and a little salt, then you put the broccoli and leave it soaking for a few minutes.
How to preserve the freshness of broccoli?
Even if you don’t like broccoli you must agree that vegetables are best eaten when they are fresh and dent free. That’s how they deliver the best nutrients.
To keep the freshness of broccoli longer and maintain its nutritional properties, it is necessary to follow the recommendations we leave around here:
- When you buy the broccoli you must verify that it is in perfect condition, without bumps or damaged parts.
- If you are going to consume the broccoli near the date of purchase, you can keep it in the refrigerator.
- Remember that you can use it up to 5 days after purchase, as this vegetable will begin to lose its nutrients.
- If at the time of purchase the broccoli is wrapped in clear plastic the ideal is to leave it until the time of preparation. If it comes unwrapped, it is advisable to keep it in the refrigerator in a dark bag. Open holes in the bag so that the broccoli can breathe easily.
- If you need to keep cooked broccoli for a few days, it is best to place it in a hermetically sealed container in the refrigerator. If you want to keep it longer, the freezer is your best choice.
Steps for freezing raw broccoli
In case you want to freeze the broccoli, before cooking it, you can do it taking into account the following tips:
- Clean the broccoli properly.
- Remove excess water and separate the broccoli into florets.
- Place broccoli florets in freezer bags and seal them by removing air from the bag.
- Store the bag inside the freezer
Steps for freezing cooked broccoli
After cooking the broccoli, you can also store it in the refrigerator for later consumption.
If you want it to stay the way it was on day one, follow these tips:
- Remove excess water and wait until the broccoli is cold to release all the moisture, to help you in this process you can use kitchen paper or a centrifuge.
- Place the broccoli florets in the freezer bag, remove the air inside the bag and close it.
- If you do not have freezer bags, you can use film or store the broccoli in airtight containers.
How to thaw broccoli?
After storing broccoli in the freezer, you must prepare it properly to be able to eat it, without losing its benefits.
Defrosting broccoli is the easiest task in the entire preservation process.
Just place the frozen broccoli in boiling salted water and let it cook for 5 minutes. It will be as fresh as the first day.
Remember not to exceed the cooking time, this will prevent the loss of nutrients from the broccoli.