Broccoli is a plant of the cabbage Family. It is classified as the Italica cultivar group of the species Brassica. Broccoli is a cool weather crop that does poorly in hot summer weather. It grows best when exposed to an average daily temperature between 65 and 75 degrees F. The majority (99%) of the United States croccoli crop is grown in California and Arizona. Other cultivar groups of Brassica oleracea include cabbage, cauli Flower, kale and collard greens, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts. Chinese broccoli is also a cultivar group od brassica oleracea.
Cultivation, Nutrition Value and Preparation
Broccoli is high in Vitamin C and soluble Fibre and contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties including diindolylmethane and selenium. A single serving provides more than 30 mg of Vitamin C and a half cup provides 52 mg of Vitamin C. Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphane, though the benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled more than ten minutes. A high intake of broccoli has been Found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Broccoli leaf is also edile and contains Far more beta-carotene than the Florets.
Broccoli is usually boiled or steamed, but may be eaten raw and has become popular as a raw vegetable in hors-d’oeuvre trays. Although boiling has been shown to reduce the levels of suspected anticancer compounds in broccoli, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving and stir Frying have been shown not to reduce the presence of these compounds.
Broccoli is also high in vitamin K.
FAO reports that in 2008, China and India were the top producers of Cauli Flower and broccoli. About half of all cauli Flower is raised in China and one Fourth in India. In Europe, production has been in Spain since about 1990. In North America, production is primarily in California. The seasonal average FOB shipping – point price For cauli Flower in 2004 was $33.00 per 100 pounds ($0.73/kg) according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.