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Broccoli is a large green plant with a flowering head that is a member of the cabbage plant family, brassicaceae, and its scientific name is Brassica oleracea. It originated in Italy more than 2,000 years ago; in Roman times, broccoli was considered a highly valuable crop! Broccoli grows best when daytime temperatures are between 64 and 73 degrees F, so it’s considered a cold weather crop and would be in season in the U.S. during the fall.
As we all probably know, broccoli is an awesome source of nutrition! 100g of broccoli has more than 100% of your RDV of vitamin C as well as almost 100% of the plant form of vitamin K, phylloquinone. Additionally, broccoli is a good source of some of the B vitamins (when consumed raw) and manganese, and it provides at least a trace amount of all of the remaining dietary vitamins and minerals! Broccoli is notorious for being bitter, especially amongst the kiddos, but at least part of that bitterness is explained by the presence of phytonutrients!! Specifically, isothiocyanates and polyphenols. So, eating our broccoli is totally worth it for both meeting your nutritional needs and for the many benefits of consuming antioxidants!!!
If you can, you should pick up your broccoli from a local farmers’ market, because the vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content will likely be much higher. But, if you can’t do that, you can find it at your grocery store.