This green beauty is one of my most celebrated vegetables nowadays, although my Dad will tell you that when I was small I would find very ‘creative’ ways of making sure the broc never made it to my mouth – sometimes it would magically disappear off my plate.
This vegetable gives us so many super-nutrients, I really cannot sing its praises enough. It is part of the Brassica family (the same group as kale, cauliflower and cabbage) and is an amazing source of not only immune system-boosting vitamin C, but also bone-strengthening vitamin K and folate.
Broccoli contains large amounts of organosulfur phytonutrients called glucosinolates which, when broken down (by chewing), become sulfur-rich compounds which have been shown to be effective at killing cancer stem cells (CSCs) and hindering the growth of tumours.
Not only does this super kick-ass phytonutrient kill off CSCs, it also seems to stimulate a variety of antioxidant defence pathways in ours bodies that can actively reduce oxidative stress – slowing down the decline in our immune system that happens the older we get.
Raw broccoli provides significantly more of these beneficial phytonutrients than cooked broccoli, as cooking locks the sulfur compounds in, meaning its unavailable to your body. If you need to cook your broc a little bit, do so but make sure it still has a bit of crunch!