Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Consumption of Broccoli has Risen 940% in the Last 25 Years in the United States


Broccoli is classified in the Italica cultivar group of the species Brassica oleracea. Broccoli has large flower heads, usually green in color, arranged in a tree-like structure on branches sprouting from a thick, edible stalk. The mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves. Broccoli resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivar group of the same species.

You'll want to include broccoli as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy broccoli and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups. Read more on... How to Enjoy the Recommended Daily Serving of Fruits and Vegetables.

The main reason behind this astonishing rise in broccoli consumption is its fresh taste and convenience, and the success with which it fits into new, lighter styles of cooking. However, it’s also a very healthy food, and is often included in the list of ‘superfoods’. It’s low in calories and fat, and high in vitamins, minerals, fibre and disease-fighting substances – though only if eaten fresh and either raw or lightly cooked. It’s high in minerals such as potassium, which help control blood pressure, and calcium, which guards against bone degeneration. It’s also rich in the antioxidant substances that many people believe slow ageing and protect against heart disease, and in fibre, which protects the body against cancer and helps control blood sugar levels.

For similar reasons, carrot consumption has also risen, fitting well into the takeaway salads that are now such a common way of lunching. Of all the salad ingredients, it’s the longest lasting and most colorful. Once the refuge of health fanatics, carrot juice too has become a popular drink, often called the ‘miracle drink’ for its health benefits. Carrot juice is one of the richest sources of vitamin A that can be used in the daily diet. It also ranks high as a source of the other vitamins, especially those of the B complex. Its mineral content is equally rich, and includes calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, chlorine, sulphur and iron.

Learn about the health benefits of eating broccoli at... Broccoli Benefits.

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