The Incredible Broccoli
It's a mean, green, superfood machine — broccoli. Well, it’s not actually mean, but broccoli is a true superfood that offers plenty of super benefits to those who choose to include it in their diet. Low in fat and calories, but high in vitamins and minerals, the veggie is 90% water and goes well with so many foods!
Here at Baked Smart Cookie, we value living a healthy lifestyle, and a big part of that is the foods that we eat. And broccoli should be a food that you eat.
With this in mind, let’s dig a little deeper into the benefits of broccoli and how you can incorporate it into your lifestyle. Even though broccoli is typically considered a no-go for children, there are plenty of ways to get them to eat the superfood.
Brassica oleracea italica, otherwise known as broccoli, is a member of the cabbage family that is native to the Mediterranean region. The veggie was originally cultivated by an ancient Italian civilization that existed during the times of the Roman Empire.
The food would find its way throughout Europe, arriving in England in the mid-18th century, where it was known as “Italian asparagus.”
Finally, it was introduced in the United States during the 1920s, but didn’t become popular until the 1980s.
According to the USDA, each American eats approximately 6.6 pounds of the veggie per year because of its high nutrient density. Due to its many health benefits and different ways it can be used, the consumption of this tasty green superfood has tripled over the past 30 years.
Interestingly, you likely won’t find broccoli growing in the wild because it was developed through mindful cultivation over the centuries.
Another factoid is that broccoli is derived from the wild mustard plant. Other popular types of veggies and foods that have derived from the mustard plant include cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts.
How Is Broccoli Grown?
When it comes to agricultural practices, the ideal growing conditions for broccoli include cool weather, full sun, water, and rich soil.
Broccoli plants usually need at least six hours of daily sun and plenty of moist, organic soil to ensure continued growth. It takes 55 to 80 days to grow broccoli from a seed to a full-grown plant.
The central head of the vegetable is then cut when they are still green and tight.
The Many Vitamins & Benefits of Broccoli
Broccoli is distinctively one of the major superfoods out there. In broccoli, you can find:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K1
- And plenty of other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
In one cup of broccoli, you can find:
- 31 calories
- 2.5 grams of protein
- 6 grams of carbs
- 1.5 grams of sugar
- 2.4 grams of fiber
- 0.4 grams of fat
Our bodies create molecules known as free radicals during natural body processes. In large amounts, free radicals can be toxic, and as a result, can cause cell damage that can then lead to cancer and other conditions.
Thankfully, foods like broccoli provide plenty of powerful antioxidants that attack these free radicals, protecting you and your health.
A Few of the Health Benefits of Broccoli
Supports Immune System
If you are looking for ways to maintain good gut health, then look no further than broccoli. The food is simple to make and incorporate into your diet, and will leave you with a happy gut.
What makes it so good for gut health is the sulfur-containing compounds found in it. These compounds help to support the production of glutathione, which helps with maintaining the integrity of your gut lining and supports its ability to repair itself.
Good for Heart Health
If you were to consume broccoli regularly, it would positively affect your heart by lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease. What makes this possible is that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli help regulate the buildup of calcium in the blood vessels, which prevents the calcification that occurs with cardiovascular disease.
Broccoli is also known to help fight inflammation and is great at helping you to manage existing inflammatory conditions like type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory skin conditions, and bowel disease.
Baked Smart Cookies: Perfect for Children Who Don’t Eat Veggies
As we’ve just shown, broccoli is an excellent superfood that offers a wide range of health benefits. From heart health to brain health, broccoli is an excellent food for your entire body. Whether you bake, steam, boil, slice, dice, or eat the veggie raw, there’s plenty of delicious recipes that you can find online that your entire family is sure to enjoy.
But if your little one is still grossed out by broccoli, then do we have a secret weapon for you.
Our delicious, nutritious cookies are made with a variety of scrumptious fruits and veggies - including broccoli. Not only have we packed all these amazing ingredients into one cookie, but these treats are also vegan, non-GMO, peanut-free, and soy-free.
So go ahead and place your order today.