Monday, 22 August 2011



As the growing industrialization is continuously spitting out carcinogens into our environment and cancer of various hues are spreading their tentacles to take an ever increasing toll on human life, an apparent relief has been discovered in lowly fruits and vegetables rich in anti-oxidants, polyphenols and other cancer preventive chemicals. Among these Italian Broccoli, which is simply called as broccoli, a vegetable belonging to the Brassicacae family has proved to be a most potent one. Besides, the unique anti cancer and other medicinal properties, it is also very rich in various nutrients that can ensure sound health and long life. Particularly its vitamin C content is very high.

Nutritional Constituents of Broccoli (per 100g of raw edible part)  Energy=30 kcals :- Carbohydrates, Sugar, Dietary Fibre, Fat, Protein, Water, Vitamin A equivalent, B-Carotene, Thiamin (Vitamin. B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin. B2), Niacin (Vitamin. B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Vitamin. B6, Folate (Vitamin. B9), Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potasium, Zinc.

Green Bud of Broccoli :

Broccoli green Bud
This cool weather crop is rich in vitamin –C, folic acid and soluble dietary fibres. It contains a number of nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties including diindolyl methane and selenium. Particularly 3,-Diindolyl methane is an active modulator of the minnate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activities. Similarly, like other Brassica vegetables, Broccoli is also rich in Glucosinolates, which are metabolized to cancer preventive substances like isothio-cyanates. Glucoraphanin, a compound present in it can be processed into sulphoraphane, a known anti-cancer agent. Broccoli leaf is edible and it contains a lot of beta-carotene. Therefore, a high intake of Broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of many types of cancer, especially prostrate cancer. Recently, a research from the US National Cancer Institute has found that eating broccoli and cauliflower once a week, decreases the aggressiveness of the disease by 45% to 52%. Similar effects have also been observed in case of colon cancer.
Broccoli Green bud

          Methods of storage and cooking have varying impacts on anti-cancer effects of broccoli. Domestic storage of vegetables at ambient temperature in refrigerator shows only minor loss of glucosinolate levels over 7 days. However, when stored at much lower temperature the loss may be upto 33% by fracture of vegetable material during thawing. On the other hand, a total loss of 77% glucosinolate has been observed after boiling it for 30 minutes, but steaming for 2 minutes, microwave cooking for 3 minutes and stir-fry cooking for 5 minutes do not have any significant effect on those, except when the vegetable is finely shredded. Therefore, in order to derive the maximum benefits from broccoli the latter three methods of cooking should be adopted. However, if it is boiled, it should be done with less water, which should be consumed along with the vegetables and the boiling time should be also reduced.
Broccoli Field.

(Source: USDA nutrient database, Kurushetra.)

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