BROCCOLI (Brassica oleracea): Is an edible green plant in the cabbage family, whose large flowering head is used as a vegetable. The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means "the flowering crest of a cabbage", and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning 'small nail' or 'sprout'. Broccoli is usually boiled or steamed but may be eaten raw. (I often eat raw cauliflower but have never tried broccoli raw, so that is something new I can try).
"Broccoli can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you cook it by steaming (I am sure microwaving it would do just as well). The fibre-related components in broccoli do a better job binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it is easier for bile acids to be secreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol level.
Raw broccoli still has cholesterol-lowering ability...just not so much (OK then, maybe I won't bother trying it raw).
Broccoli also has a strong, positive impact on our body's detoxification system. and researchers have recently identified one of the key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucoraphan, gluconasturtian and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in the body's detox process, including activation, neutralisation and elimination of unwanted contaminants. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) are the detox-regulating molecules made from broccoli's glucosinolates, and they help control the process at a genetic level.
Broccoli may help us sole our vitamin D deficiency epidemic. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamins K and A help keep 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."
(NOTE: We eat broccoli nearly every day during the cooler months and really do enjoy it (April-October) but I still seem to seem to be low in vitamin D and take a capsule daily. I must admit I do not get out into the sun very much and that may account for my own deficiency).
"One cup of chopped, cooked broccoli contains 55 calories and is very low GI."
This information obtained from "The World Healthiest Foods" website for which many thanks.