Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Side Step Nutrition Scams and Frauds; Eat Broccoli

By Isaac Robert Toussie

People have said that it is of course important to watch out for food scams, as fraud could exist on food labels. I, Isaac Toussie, pardon the thought, think that today, when so many people are concerned about issues like housing and work place discrimination, fashion, entertainment, real estate, mortgages, vacations and the like, issues like food quality and food awareness may become unnecessarily overshadowed. My (Isaac Toussie) opinion is that Broccoli is an excellent nutritional resource.

A cruciferous vegetable that originally came from southern Europe, in the regions by the Mediterranean Sea, broccoli can be traced back to ancient Rome, where it was developed from wild broccoli that resembled collard greens. The name "broccoli" comes from the Latin word brachium, or branch. Broccoli is a very popular vegetable and it is a staple of healthy diets around the world, especially in the United States. It is often called a super-food because scientific research continues to discover nutritional benefit after nutritional benefit. First, broccoli contains one of the highest concentrations of health promoting sulfur compounds like sulforaphane and isothiocyanates, increasing the livers power to make enzymes that neutralize potentially toxic substances in the body. Broccoli is also rich in the powerful phytonutrient antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids concentrated in the lens of our eyes. Furthermore, broccoli provides Vitamins A and C along with folic acid for a healthy heart. Broccoli that is dark green contains more chlorophyll, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C, while those with more purplish heads contain more flavanoids.

Being from the cruciferous family places broccoli among the ranks of cauliflower, kale, collard greens, cabbages, mustard greens, and Brussels Sprouts. Some varieties of broccoli are green broccoli, broccolini, broccoflower, broccoli raab, and broccoli sprouts.

Green broccoli, my (Isaac Toussie) personal favorite, sometimes called sprouting broccoli but also known as Italian Green or Calabrese Broccoli, is the most popular kind of broccoli, and the most commonly found in supermarkets today. Its named after the famous geographical area of Italy where its reputed to have been first grown. It has light green stalks topped with clusters of dark green, often purplish florets. Broccolini is, as its Italian diminutive would suggest, baby broccoli, but its actually a cross between green broccoli and kale. This is the best kind of broccoli to serve raw. Broccoflower is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, and more like cauliflower than broccoli. Broccoli raab is intensely flavorful, with a pleasant slightly bitter taste. It has more leaves and a longer stem than common green broccoli, and though its stem is tender enough and needs no peeling, the bottom last inch or two should be discarded as it is wood-like and tough. Broccoli raab is otherwise similar enough to regular broccoli to serve as a substitute for the latter in most recipes. Finally, broccoli sprouts are just sprouts from broccoli seeds, and have become popular for their high concentrations of healthy phytonutrients.

This article posted by Isaac Toussie, has been posted only for informational and human interest purposes and not for medical or advisory purposes. It does not necessarily constitute the opinions or conclusions of the provider, and the reader should not rely upon the validity of any of the information contained herein. The reader should consult a doctor, nutritionist, and similar medical professionals when seeking advice about food, nutrition, diet, and physiology.

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