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Broccoli ranks among the top 20 foods in regards to ANDI score (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index), which measures vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content in relation to caloric content.
One cup of broccoli has as much vitamin C as an orange and provides over 100% of our daily requirement for vitamins C and K. It is also a good source of fiber, vitamin A, folate and potassium.
The sulforaphane in broccoli has many health benefits. It can lower blood sugar and help prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity. Sulforaphane also has cancer fighting properties. It can improve brain health and help prevent mental illness like schizophrenia.
Studies show that calcium and sulforaphane in broccoli can preserve cartilage between joints and can slow osteoarthritis as well as build strong bones.
The carotenoids in broccoli can lower the chances of getting heart disease and boost the immune system.
The vitamin K in broccoli helps blood to coagulate which helps wounds heal and may help prevent or treat osteoporosis. (This should be taken into consideration for those on blood thinner medication because it might counter the effects.).
The fiber in broccoli can act as an anti-inflammatory and may prevent colorectal cancer.
The potassium in broccoli can help relax the blood vessels and lower risk of high blood pressure and stroke (AHA)
The glucosinolates and vitamin C in broccoli are powerful antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative cell damage and aging. They also help reduce cancer risk in many tissues including lung, bladder, and prostate. They can also help prevent cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and anemia.
All parts of the broccoli plant are packed with nutrition including the leaves, stems and florets. Seeds and florets have nearly 3 times the healthful glucosinolates and about twice as many polyphenols compared to the stems. There is also a high concentration of vitamins and minerals in broccoli microgreens.
Where is Broccoli Grown
Broccoli is a cool weather crop. It is usually planted in early spring or mid- to late summer and harvested in fall and winter.
Broccoli is planted year-round in California with the major harvest from mid-October through December.
Broccoli production is relatively sustainable without major damage to air, water, land, or soil and does not require deforestation or slash and burn agriculture. Pollution is minimized if sustainable agriculture practices are used without pesticides.
A study conducted by the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Service tested a total of 7 on-farm no-till farming trials in Virginia and North Carolina that found the establishment of high-biomass cover crops on permanent raised beds, farmscaping, and no-till sidedressing were an effective combination for producing organic broccoli 2004-5 https://projects.sare.org/sare_project/ls03-149/
A study showed that broccoli microgreen production has a significantly smaller environmental impact than mature broccoli and most other vegetables. Microgreens require a fraction of the land and can be produced in urban areas close to where they are sold. The study found that broccoli microgreens would require 158–236 times less water than it does to grow a nutritionally equivalent amount of mature vegetables in the fields of California’s Central Valley. Microgreens take 93–95% less time to grow and do not need fertilizer, pesticides, or the energy-demanding transportation.
Broccoli is harvested by hand, requiring large numbers of farm workers to harvest, pack and process. This provides employment and income for thousands of workers as well as tax revenue. It also opens the possibility of abuse depending on employers, regulation, and oversight.
Broccoli and broccoli microgreens is a sustainable and relatively inexpensive crop that is fairly easy to grow with the potential to provide the nutrition needed to combat malnutrition and related illness which is a problem that impacts over two-thirds of the world population in rich and poor countries. Broccoli is another crop that can help communities and subsistence farming to build food security and food equity.
Broccoli appears on the Environmental Working Group’s 2019 list of 15 “clean” vegetables. This means that the risk of contamination is low.
The American Heart Association
Where is broccoli grown?