Almost all people ever hear about broccoli plants. It’s a safe to eat plant that comes from cabbage family. Broccoli has big flower-head that we can eat as a food. Later, we will learn about its nutritional benefits and how to plant it from seeds to harvesting.
However, it’s imperative to start from the basic knowledge about this healthy plant. It the aspect of terminology, broccoli has the meaning of cabbage’s flowering crown. People often use it for steamed or boiled food. Some others love to eat it raw. Broccoli has green huge flower heads. We can see it as tree-like shape structure plant.
There are some leaves that surround the flower heads mass. Some of us can’t differentiate broccoli plants with cauliflower. Both cauliflower and broccoli come from the same species. They are in diverse cultivar group though.
In Roman Empire, this green plant has become a unique and valuable food among locals. Later it was brought to England by Peter Scheemakers and was introduced in United States by immigrants. It gained its first wide recognition since 1920s. If we talk about broccoli, we can find many types of it. We can even learn it from a particular herbal encyclopedia in different media.
Broccoli Nutritional Benefits
When it comes to discuss about broccoli nutritional benefits, we can earn many healthy benefits from this healthy plant. Broccoli gives us with a significant cholesterol-lowering benefit.
It’s advisable to cook broccoli plants by steaming. If you steam it, the fiber components will bind well when we eat it. As a result, we can lower our cholesterol levels significantly.
Raw broccoli is good as well to lower cholesterol. However, it’s just not as much as steamed broccoli. Aside from its benefit to reduce cholesterol levels, broccoli has good impact on our detoxification system. This healthy plant consists of many substances that can support human body’s detoxification process.
We can take many broccoli nutritional benefits by eating it raw or steamed. It gives us abundant amount of vitamin D which can overcome deficiency in its substance. Broccoli helps us to balance metabolism. It’s a perfect food to include in our diet.
Also, broccoli is rich of kaempferol. Recent study has shown the benefit of kaemferol to reduce the impact of allergy in our body.
Broccoli has special anti-inflammatory substance that can become the part to encounter allergies.
However, kids are avoiding this kind of plant when it comes to healthy eating. Parents should be creative to cook broccoli plants.
Mushy and soft texture is the main indication of overcooked broccoli. It has lost flavor and nutrients.
Overall, broccoli plants have abundant nutrients. It’s high in vitamin, potassium, fiber, protein, and other nutrients. This plant is also rich of antioxidants, so we can take advantages from it as health booster.
Antioxidants will help our body to defuse free radicals that may trigger cancerous cells. Free radicals will affect our metabolism. They may damage our cells and cause cancer. Broccoli has the major aim to fulfill our need of antioxidants.
Moreover, broccoli also has many other nutrients, especially phytochemicals. Phytochemicals in this plant are quite excellent for our immune system.
The Fun in Planting Broccoli Seeds
How to Grow Broccoli? When it comes in planting broccoli seeds, we need to find a reason to do so. Broccoli is cultivated not only for its taste, but also its abundant level of nutrients that can increase our health.
Cultivating broccoli in our garden becomes a good idea to help the children eating their vegetables, especially if they are in the growing process.
Growing broccoli plants help the kids to appreciate this healthy food. Due to its natural characteristics, this plant will grow well in northwest climate that has cool weather. It means that we should learn its basic plant characteristic before growing at our garden.
Before planting broccoli seeds, we must ensure the soil is given sufficient amount of compost and fertilizer. A common mistake is that we plant it lately in the spring. It will be bad to see our broccoli heads start to bloom soon after they are forming. This phase usually occurs during summer.
It’s advisable to start planting broccoli plants indoor weeks before the last winter. Watering is important part of broccoli cultivation. A soaker hose will be a huge help in this process. If we are going to use transplants, the roots should be handled perfectly. Don’t let them flopping over the soil.
How to Care Broccoli Plant? To cultivate good broccoli plants, we need to provide good amount of water. Broccoli requires much water, especially when they are forming heads. Keep the soil moist, especially during the growing season.
If we let the soil dry while planting broccoli seeds, the plants will be stunt, or even worse. As the time goes by, the plant will grow bigger, so we need to provide larger space. Often times, it’s quite hard to take care of broccoli plant.
However, we can use appropriate thinning method to make the plant healthy and nutritious. The common pests that we should deal with are root maggots, flea beetles, and Aphids.
Harvesting Broccoli: Is it the perfect time to harvest broccoli plants? We can harvest it already when the buds come in dark green color. The buds should be tight and close to blooming. We shouldn’t wait too long. As soon as there are small yellow flowers popping out, we can harvest them already.
Use a sharp knife to cute the main broccoli heads off its stalk. We should cut them 5 inches beneath the head. A swift cut will do actually. We must avoid cutting at the stem part as it may cause damages to the plant. Moreover, it may reduce the chances for harvesting later.
After we harvest its main head, we can continue harvesting the side part of this plant. We can tell the perfect time to harvest the side shoots by looking at the florets’ size. If they seem ready to harvest, we can cut them off carefully.
At the first time, we may get troubles to harvest broccoli plants. Now that we learn something about it, so we can cut the broccoli heads off with confidence. Proper planting broccoli seeds and harvesting may end up in better result of nutritious broccoli plant in our garden.