Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) is a cruciferous vegetable related to cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. It is high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. It also boasts more protein than most other vegetables. It may be eaten raw, but recent research suggests that gentle steaming is best for maximum health benefits. Steaming also eliminates the risk of contaminaton.
The nutrition facts for 1 cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli are:
Protein: 2.5 grams
Carbs: 6 grams
Sugar: 1.5 grams
Fiber: 2.4 grams
Fat: 0.4 grams
Vitamin C: 140% of the DV
Vitamin K1: Broccoli contains high amounts of vitamin K1
Folate (vitamin B9)
Others: Broccoli also contains numerous other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. In fact, it provides a little bit of almost every nutrient you need.
Broccoli is still one of the super plant foods when it comes to nutrition, but questions have been raised about a certain hybrid. Even though it is not genetically modified, Monsanto is involved in the project. This article from Planet Natural details the controversy, but it may be biased since they are selling an alternative product (heirloom seeds).
Some environmentally and politically conscientious people may boycott the product. Marion Nestle, a New York University nutrition professor and author of FoodPolitics says that it’s just part of Monsanto’s drive to control the seed and food industry. “Should one corporation have that level of control over things people depend on?” she asks. The article also states that Bjokman and Monsanto say they don’t intend to use genetic engineering techniques when it comes to broccoli. Monsanto has already engineered both GMO summer squash and sweet corn.
Personally, I will continue to buy and consume whatever broccoli looks freshest without researching exactly where it came from. If it’s labeled organic and reasonably priced, I will probably give it preference.