Mini encyclopedia



Broccoli, also known as the green cauliflowers or calabrese are relatives of the cauliflower and are becoming more and more popular in Poland, since they have a lot of nutritional values, vitamins, mineral salts and other biologically active elements. Moreover, they are low in calories. Broccoli are resistant to ground frosts and thus they are perfectly suitable for cultivation in the Polish climate. In Poland broccoli are available all year round, either fresh, or frozen.

The broccoli?s colour is varied from green to violet, depending on the type of broccoli, cultivation system or storage time. In the fruit and vegetable ranks they come first as far as cancer prevention is concerned. The active, cancer-fighting elements are sulphoraphane, beta-carotene, isothiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol and chlorophyll, which show anticancer properties in the area of large intestine, prostate, breasts, cervix, gullet, stomach, skin, lungs, trachea, larynx and oral cavity. Broccoli are a good source of minerals such as: potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, sulphur and vitamins: A (beta-carotene), B1, B2, B6, C, K, PP, pantothenoic and  folic acids. As vegetables, broccoli are a natural source of  fibre. Moreover, broccoli are recommended to diabetics (large amount of chromium), people fighting with high level of cholesterol, suffering from heart problems, anaemia, calcium deficiency and arthritis.

When buying fresh broccoli, we ought to make sure that their florettes are unbroken and unstained. The leaves that surround them should not be yellow.

Broccoli can be eaten raw. However, a far more common method of preparing them is cooking, which should not take more than few to several minutes in lightly salted boiling water. Further cooking can cause a significant loss of vitamins and minerals. Apart from the broccoli florettes, the thick, succulent stem is also edible. Broccoli are often used for decorating salads and can be included in mixed vegetable dishes. Their germs, which are a concentrated source of nutrient elements and healthy compounds, are also becoming more and more popular.  Broccoli enjoy popularity among body-builders, since they support the work of adrenal glands, strengthen the joints and lower the level of cortisol ? a hormone released while the person is on a low-calorie diet or as a result of overtraining, which causes the breakdown of muscle fibres.

Broccoli is known mainly for its anticancer influence, which is true. The sulphoraphane, which broccoli and other cabbage-related vegetables contain, also prevents cancer by stimulating the liver to produce enzymes which remove carcinogenic elements. In addition, broccoli influence the recovery of the immune system, brain and bones.