In Broccoli, broccoli, Food item, Information by Sue Marshall

Coming from the same food group as cabbage and cauliflower and is sometimes known by its Italian name, calebreseAlong with the green or more loosely packed purple sprouting broccoli, tenderstem is available all year round, itat its best from the end of July to the end of October. 

Broccoli deteriorates faster when in contact with the air, supermarkets often wrap it in cellophane. It boils or steams in 3-6 minutes, depending on the size of floret. In stir-fries, cook it for a couple of minutes, until tender. 

Reassuringly grassy green, broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol. Recent research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. This kaempferol connection helps to explain the unique anti-inflammatory benefits of broccoli.  

The UK population generally suffers from a slight deficiency in Vitamin D, which is made by the skin in sunlight. The lack of sunlight leads to the sub-optimal vitamin D. However, broccoli can help as supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A keeps our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores through vitamin D supplements, broccoli may be an ideal food to include in the diet.  

Love me tender 

Tenderstem has its origins in Japan where it was developed using classical plant breeding techniques. It was developed to combine the best eating qualities of traditional broccoli and Chinese Kale to create a sweet and tender stem brassica with good texture.  It has a mild, distinctive flavour and a texture more akin to asparagus than traditional broccoli and it’s deliciously succulent. As the name suggests, tenderstem is tender from floret to stem so you can eat the whole vegetable, unlike ordinary broccoli, which tends to have a thicker, and sometimes woody, stem. A 100g portion of tenderstem provides the full daily requirement of vitamin C.  

Decreased risk of heart attacks and strokes may also eventually be linked to intake of broccoli, which has already been proven to have cholesterol-lowering ability. The B-complex vitamins in broccoli can also make a major contribution to our cardiovascular health. Three B vitamins especially important for lowering our risk of atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack are vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate. By making an important contribution to our B6 and folate intake, broccoli can help lower the risk of some cardiovascular problems. 

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