Do you know that a cup of broccoli contains as much protein as a cup of corn or rice, but the great news is that it has less than half the calories? So what better way to eat right than adding broccoli to that meal?
Now if you already love broccoli and you want to grow then in Facharbeit schreiben lassen your garden, that is a great thing to do because broccoli is an easy plant to grow, and you get one big head per plant or several florets depending on the variety of the plant you are growing.
Today we dig into the nutritious world of broccoli.
Broccoli And Its Varieties
Broccoli, whose botanical name is Brassica oleracea, is an edible leafy plant in the cabbage family that produces large flower heads, usually dark green, and is arranged in a tree-like structure with branches that stick out from a thick light green stalk.
Broccoli looks very much like cauliflower, and it doesn’t come as a surprise because they are from the same botanical family.
There are over ten cultivars of broccoli that you find around, and other ‘ broccoli cousins’ that are common. Here are the varieties, arranged in alphabetical order:
These are compact and heat-tolerant broccoli varieties, a hybrid that grows well in the South in the winter and can also be grown for harvest in spring and fall.
It takes about ten weeks for this variety to reach maturity, and at this time, the size of the head would have reached 6 inches. This variety produced side shoots even after you pick the original crown.
This broccoli variety thrives in zones 3 to 10, and they mature about 65 days after being planted. They produce medium to large green heads and characteristic sprouting side shoots following the first harvest.
This broccoli hybrid variety is meant for a tropical environment like zones 7 to 11 because it is highly heat tolerant. The head is green in color, usually small to medium in size.
This Italian heirloom thrives in Zones 3-10. It produces miniature to medium blue-green heads that mature at different rates, which is excellent for a home garden since you can harvest your broccoli when you need to without storing them. The earliest maturing head of this variety takes 50 days to mature.
5. Eastern Magic
This flavorful broccoli cultivar grows well in both springs and falls in the colder northeastern regions of the US and Canada. It matures in 60 to 65 days and can grow even in summer.
6. Green Magic
This variety has a unique buttery flavor and grows best in Zones 3-9. The broccoli head’s size is medium and smooth and matures in about 60 days.
7. Purple Sprouting
This cold-hardy variety does not produce one large broccoli head but many small, purplish florets. This variety is suitable for Zones 2-11. In areas where the climate is not extreme, it is possible to have three successive harvest periods.
This cultivar has unique chartreuse pointed spiral florets, and they grow in Zones 3-10, but you have to start the seeds indoors and get them into the ground as soon as possible in early spring or sow in late fall, but you should try to avoid midsummer heat.
They have bright yellow-green broccoli with heads that exhibit a fractal pattern, green leaves, and a nutty flavor. Read also Do Broccoli Plants Produce more than One Head?
9. Sun King
It is a heat-tolerant cultivar that thrives in zones 1-11. They have a very delicious flavor, are blue-green, and the head can grow to 6 to 8 inches in diameter. It takes them ten weeks to reach maturity.
10. Waltham 29
This broccoli variety is noted for its cold tolerance, large blue-green main heads, and proliferation of side shoots. They thrive in Zones 3-10. It matures non-uniformly, which makes for continual harvesting throughout the growing season. It takes 85 days for them to reach maturity.
How Many Heads of Broccoli Per Plant
Broccoli is one of those vegetables that is available all year round. It is nutritious and versatile. Now, most varieties of broccoli produce one main head per plant, which weighs about 8 ounces (225 g).
A few varieties produce a number of tiny florets, and one such variety is Calabrese. It is grown commercially in many countries and represents the vast majority of production.
They produce a primary head and several smaller florets on the side shoot. Still, these smaller florets appear after the primary broccoli head, and the advantage is that it extends the harvest period.
However, broccoli plants can be harvested 2 or 3 times within about three months, even for those varieties that produce only one head per time.
Such a plant first produces a large central head, and when they mature and are cut, the plant will produce smaller side heads for several weeks. This trimmer head should be harvested when the heads are small, tight, and firm. When you see the flower beginning to bud, then you should harvest the broccoli immediately, so they don’t become bitter.
Is Broccoli Nutritious?
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable from the same family as cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. It is high in nutrients and can be enjoyed both cooked or raw, but if you want to get the best from your broccoli, gently steam them.
Raw broccoli contains the following a lot of water and a few calories. A cup of this raw veggie contains the following:
- Calories: 31
- Water: 89%
- Protein: 2.5 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Sugar: 1.5 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
The carbs in broccoli are mostly fiber and sugar. These are primarily simple sugar like fructose, glucose, and sucrose, with slight amounts of lactose and maltose, which are more healthy and easily digestible than starch or complex sugar.
The high fiber content of broccoli aids digestion and helps in weight loss because they give a feeling of fullness, which means less food is being consumed, and hence more weight is lost. Fibre also promotes gut health, which helps to prevent various diseases.
29% of the dry weight of broccoli is protein; this figure is relatively high compared to most vegetables, and proteins are the building blocks of the body needed for both growth and maintenance.
Broccoli also contains many vitamins, including vitamin C, necessary for immune function and skin health. Vitamin K1 is necessary for blood clotting and bone health, and vitamin B9 is known as folate and is needed for average tissue growth and cell function.
Potassium, a beneficial mineral necessary for blood pressure control and heart disease prevention, is also found in broccoli, manganese, iron, and other trace elements that help the body function well.
Health benefits of broccoli
Even though broccoli is not the most delicious vegetable, like carrots, they have a spicy taste due to its sulfur-containing compounds. They are, however, very beneficial to health. Some of its health benefits include:
It May Help in Cancer Prevention
Cancer is linked to oxidative stress, and broccoli is loaded with compounds believed to protect against cancer, like Isothiocyanates, which act against cancer formation at the molecular level by reducing oxidative stress.
For cancer prevention, it is best to eat young broccoli sprouts, which contain about 20–100 times higher amounts of compounds that may prevent cancer.
It Can Lower cholesterol levels In The Body.
Studies have shown that steamed broccoli is beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels by causing more cholesterol in the body to be used up through some complex biological process, thereby reducing the total amount found in the body.
It Is Great For The Health Of The Eye
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two chemical compounds in the body found in broccoli, and they are associated with a decreased risk of age-related eye disorders. Broccoli also contains vitamin A, which is required for eye health.
While most people do not have any side effects or allergies as they consume broccoli, it is essential to note that consuming a high amount of broccoli may harm the thyroid gland in sensitive individuals. Still, the dilemma is that cooking broccoli on high heat can reduce these effects, which will also reduce the nutrient content.
Secondly, people taking the blood thinner warfarin should speak to their doctor before consuming more broccoli because it might interfere with their medication.
Broccoli is not a very delicious vegetable but it is very nutritious and has many health benefits. It has a lot of varieties that produce only one big head initially and may later produce other smaller sprouts when harvested. Others produce multiple small florets that are tender.
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The trick about getting more than one harvest from your broccoli plant is to harvest the head while leaving some of the stems in the soil, and given the suitable condition, broccoli florets will sprout from them.