The broccoli is a vegetable that emerged in Europe and has a very ancient origin. It has been cultivated since the time of the Roman Empire and arrived in America in the 1990s, being brought by Italian immigrants. The name broccoli has Italian origins, which comes from the word “brocco”, which means sprout.
Although its cultivation has spread all over the world over time, the country where it is most cultivated today is China. India is also a great producer of this vegetable, as the eastern peoples are the biggest consumers.
The two types of broccoli found in Brazil are broccoli ninja (also called Japanese broccoli) and common broccoli. The ninja has a unique head and is marketed either fresh, clean or frozen. The common broccoli is sold in bunches, containing stalks, leaves and flowers.
The broccoli flowers are used to prepare the most varied types of recipes, which can be steamed, cooked or even raw. The best way to preserve the properties of broccoli, as well as its texture and flavor, is to consume it raw or steamed. Also, when steamed, they make it a great cholesterol-lowering food.
The union of nutrients, vitamins, mineral salts and organic compounds present in broccoli, make this vegetable a food that presents a unique blend and great power over health. Another favorable factor is that it does not contain fat, has a small amount of sodium and also calories, which corresponds to about 30 per serving.
It has fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, manganese, selenium, phosphorus and tryptophan. Compared to organic compounds, it contains a high amount of phytochemicals and antioxidants that are not found in other vegetables. Plus, it provides 100% of the recommended daily vitamin C and K requirement.
BROCCOLI: BENEFITS AND HARMS
Broccoli has a huge variety of nutrients that bring numerous health benefits to the body. Among these benefits is its ability to prevent cancer, allergies and birth defects. In addition, ingesting it helps maintain fitness, protect the body, regulate blood pressure and take care of eye health. Find out more about these and other benefits of broccoli below.
1.Contributes to weight loss
In addition to the fact that broccoli contains a small amount of calories per serving (about 30 calories raw and 54 when cooked), it is also high in fiber, which helps keep you full longer. Another factor that helps in weight loss is the high presence of some micronutrients, such as chromium and calcium.
According to laboratory tests, the sulforaphane present in broccoli, which is a phytochemical, helps to break down fat cells. This means that it works with an effect that promotes fat burning.
The amount of nutrients found in this vegetable varies according to how it is consumed, raw or cooked. Anyway, it provides many nutrients and a low calorie content, which is ideal for those who want to lose weight.
2. It has antioxidant action
Consuming broccoli brings great benefits caused by its antioxidant action. This is because it contains amino acids, sulfur and vitamin C. Toxins and free radicals are more easily removed from the body, which prevents the appearance of various health problems, such as kidney stones, arthritis, gout, edema and rheumatism. The reason for this is because by removing toxins (such as uric acid) the blood is purified.
3. Powerful food against cancer
Broccoli has antioxidants that are very potent in fighting cancer, such as sulforaphane and lutein. These antioxidants work by identifying and neutralizing free radicals that cause damage to the body’s cells. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can result in cancer.
The presence of folic acid is also related to a reduction in the risk of breast cancer and its regular consumption also protects against colon, pancreatic and cervical cancer. Another important factor is that this vegetable belongs to the group of cruciferous vegetables, which help protect against bowel and stomach cancer.
4.Prevents and treats anemia
As broccoli is a vegetable rich in iron and copper, it contributes to red blood cells being produced in greater amounts in the blood. Anemia occurs when these red blood cells shrink and, for that reason, consuming broccoli is a great medicine to renew and maintain proper levels of these red cells.
5.Protects the lung
Because it contains a good amount of sulforaphane, broccoli is an excellent food for killing bacteria that affect the lungs. Studies carried out with this vegetable have proven its effectiveness in treating patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. People who smoke or have a lung disease cannot easily eliminate bacteria and foreign waste, which makes it important to include broccoli in their diet.
6.Protects brain health
Broccoli has a high amount of folic acid, which helps to take care of brain health. Research has shown that consuming at least 400 micrograms of this component daily reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s (a disease that damages the memory of the elderly) by up to 55%.
7. Prevents arthritis
Arthritis, which is inflammation in the joints, can be prevented by eating broccoli. This is due to the presence of sulforaphane, which minimizes the cartilage destruction that causes arthritis. In addition, research has been carried out to confirm whether this substance can also enter the joints and reverse the evolution of arthritis.
8.Protects against heart disease
Ingestion of broccoli brings benefits to heart health, as the presence of potassium, which is a vasodilator, increases blood flow, which relaxes the tension in the coronary veins. This helps in fighting heart attacks.
Furthermore, when steamed, it helps to regulate cholesterol levels, as it provides a better excretion of bile acids. Other positive points that help the heart function properly are the amounts that broccoli contains fiber, omega 3 and beta carotene, which regulate blood pressure.
9.Helps maintain vitamin D balance
Although broccoli is not a source of vitamin D, it plays an important role in balancing the metabolism of vitamin D. This is because this vegetable is rich in vitamins A and K, which help to keep the process balanced. Because of this, the intake of broccoli contributes to ensure better results in vitamin D supplementation.
Despite all these benefits of broccoli, it is not recommended for people with thyroid problems, high gastric acidity or who are allergic to this vegetable, which is very rare. Also, excessive consumption can lead to an overdose of vitamins. However, moderate consumption does not cause this damage.
BROCCOLI: BENEFITS IN BODYBUILDING
The consumption of broccoli is recommended for those who want to gain muscle. The reasons that make this food ideal for hypertrophy training are several, including:
- Muscle fibers restores: Broccoli contains vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals, as well as helping to recover muscles faster after training.
- Promotes Muscle Growth: Consuming broccoli helps supply your muscles with the necessary amount of glucose and oxygen to promote growth. It also regulates hormones that increase testosterone levels, which also contribute to muscle growth.
- Avoid cramps: Muscle contraction is possible due to the presence of calcium in the cells, which makes broccoli suitable for containing this nutrient in abundance. In this way, cramps are avoided by allowing the contraction and relaxation of muscle fibers.
This vegetable is present on most Brazilian tables, due to its flavor, nutritional value and affordable value, as the average price of broccoli is R$ 3.80 per kilo. Here’s how to prepare broccoli in delicious recipes.
RICE WITH BROCCOLI
- 2 bunches of fresh broccoli
- 500 g of rice
- 3 tablespoons of oil
- 20 g of sodium bicarbonate
- 100 g of garlic
- 3 liters water
- salt to taste
- Peel the broccoli and remove the skin using a knife. Cook until tender in salted water (including leaves and stalks) and add baking soda. Drain and set aside.
- Put oil and garlic in a pan and fry until golden. Add the broccoli and saute. Add the cooked rice to the garlic and stir until uniform.
- Mix the rice cooked in garlic and mix until uniform. Baking soda will give the rice a green color.
PASTA WITH BROCCOLI
- 1 pack of broccoli ninja
- 500 g of noodle
- 200 ml of milk
- 1 tablespoon of margarine
- 2 spoons (soup) of cornstarch
- 1 box of cream (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 slices of chopped bacon
- Mozzarella to cover
- green smell to taste
- salt to taste
- Cook the pasta until al dente, adding a pinch of salt and margarine.
- Make the white sauce by putting the milk with cornstarch and margarine on the fire. Always stir until it thickens. If desired, add the cream box.
- Fry bacon with garlic and add broccoli and green scent. Drizzle the braised broccoli with the white sauce and then mix it with the pasta.
Use the mozzarella to cover and place in the oven until it melts.
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