Broccoli belongs to a family of vegetables called cruciferous vegetables and its close relatives include brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. Broccoli contains sulforophane, a sulfur-containing compound present in cruciferous vegetables. Researchers are studying the anti-cancer properties of sulforophane and have come to some interesting conclusions, although more research is needed.
As if that's not enough, a cup of cooked broccoli offers as much vitamin C as an orange, and is a good source of beta-carotene. Broccoli contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc too. It also provides fiber and is low in calories.
Broccoli is a great source of vitamins K and C, a good source of folate (folic acid) and also provides potassium, fiber.
Vitamin K – essential for the functioning of many proteins involved in blood clotting
Vitamin C – builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals.
Fiber – diets high in fiber promote digestive health. A high fiber intake can also help lower cholesterol.
Potassium – a mineral and electrolyte that is essential for the function of nerves and heart contraction.
Folate – is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells in the body.
Cooking with Broccoli
Cooking methods can impact the nutrient content and health benefits of broccoli. Boiling can leach up to 90% of the valuable nutrients from broccoli, while steaming, roasting, stir-frying, and microwaving tends to preserve the nutrients.