Broccoli 101: There’s a reason why cruciferous vegetables like broccoli were given to us since childhood whether we liked the taste or not - They’re packed with an incredible amount of fiber, vitamins (especially Vitamin K), minerals and anti-cancer antioxidants! Loved around the world, broccoli is part of almost all popular cuisines.
Food For Thought:
Broccoli is one of the “newer” vegetables - native to the Eastern Mediterranean, brought to England around mid 18th century but didn’t get hip to the US until the 1920’s.
Some folks will argue (I’ve also seen a few “woke” memes) that because broccoli is a hybrid man-made vegetable, we shouldn’t eat it.
To them I say:
1. After all these years you’re still trying to find a way to not eat your broccoli, smh.
2. Hybrid fruits and vegetables are created by cross-pollinating two closely related species of the same genus or two cultivars/varieties within the same species. Technically, every fruit/vegetable if you traced back far enough is a natural hybrid.
Random natural hybridization which happens all the time is essentially how new species of plants arise – over time. Artificial hybridization like broccoli, operates on the same principle as natural hybridization, only with authorial intent.
3. There’s a difference, a huge difference, between hybridization of fruits/vegetables and GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) fruits/vegetables. “GMOs involve the combining of DNA molecules from disparate sources into a single molecule to form a new set of genes. The organism that receives this new DNA molecule gets modified, or new, genes, including ones that improve a plant’s hardiness, imbue it with powerful endogenous pesticides and/or herbicides, to lengthen its shelf life - that’s not what broccoli is about.
4. Yes, if you want to keep arguing, certain hybrids can be created by Dr. Evil to have an increase in not so great things, like gluten. But is that the case with Broccoli? Nah. So “it’s a hybrid vegetable” is not a valid reason to not eat it, especially when *Refer to all the benefits of broccoli*.
Now that we got that out the way, let’s go to a couple noteworthy broccoli concerns:
1. Go as local as possible: If possible always choose organic broccoli. Broccoli is usually one of the most chemically sprayed vegetables each year. Eat the entire vegetable, stalk included, not just the floret (head) and to preserve the most nutrients - choose a steaming cooking method.
2. Thyroid Concern: Not to fear according to the research, it would take a large amount of cruciferous vegetables to cause any type of hypothyroidism. It also appears to be a risk primarily for people who have an existing iodine deficiency.
Last Word: Eat up! I only listed 3 health benefits but I could have easily run off 10+, Enjoy!