Broccoli (Brassica Oleracea)

I remember when I used to cockily pronounce that ‘Man didn’t climb all the way to the top of the food chain to eat carrots’. It was funny but its very silly if you look at it seriously.  I never liked salad either, I’d say ‘Am I a goat?’ While I really wasn’t a goat, I was very stupid. Sadly, this type of behaviour isn’t one that can just be ousted one day. I have challenged myself so far, and my mindset about vegetables, had to change first. When this began to happen, I started to fall in love with some of them. Broccoli for example, this I avoided, just because I thought it tasted awful, but when I tasted steamed broccoli with rice, amazing! But the question is, why would I want to get this on my taste buds in the first place?

Other Names : Calabrese

A Little History:

Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous or cabbage family of vegetables. Broccoli developed from a wild cabbage native to Europe. There are indications that it has been known in Europe for 2,000 years. It was improved upon by the Romans and later-day Italians. It is now cultivated all over the world. It is one of the most nutrient-dense foods.

Key Constituents: Proteins, Glucosinate, Glucoraphanin, Carotenoids, Iron, Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin C (More than Citrus), Vitamin E, Calcium, Lutein

Action: Anti-Cancer, Diuretic,

Uses:

People mainly use it for the prevention of cancer (Bladder, Breast, Colorectal, Prostate, Stomach) and to boost immune functions. It is also good for chronic fatigue syndrome, anaemia, stress-related problems and for women planning pregnancy because it protects against birth defects. It is also useful for skin problems  (Vit A and E) and recurrent infections. It helps those with chronic heat conditions because it is a ‘cooling’ food. It brightens the eyes, used for eye inflammation and nearsightedness (abundant Vit A)

Dosage/Preparation:

Broccoli should be eaten raw or lightly steamed (best), not boiled or overcooked, to maintain its nourishment. Remember to eat Organic!

Notes:

Avoid in cases of thyroid deficiency and low Iodine because Raw Broccoli contains some chemicals which disrupt the body’s ability to use Iodine (goitrogenous)

Research:

Preliminary studies show that , in order to cut the risk of cancer in half, the average person would have to eat about two pounds of broccoli or similar vegetables per week.

In Japan where the incidence of colon cancer is extremely low, the average intake of glucosinolates is 100mg a day, In Britian where there is a high incidence of the cancer, it comprises less than a quarter of this amount.

The American National Cancer Institute recommended this for President Reagan as part of his diet when he had a cancer scare.

Broccoli is well researched and still continues to be researched, papers are available in libraries and on the internet.

Books Consulted

  • Staying Healthy with Nutrition – Elson M.Haas, MD with Buck Levin, PhD, RD
  • Healing with Whole Foods – Paul Pitchford
  • Foods For Mind and Body – Micheal Van Straten
  • Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (2009)
  • The Encyclopedia of Healing foods – Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND with Lara Pirzanno, MA, LMT
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