Broccoli is one of the most commonly available vegetables in North America, and it is known for its’ high nutritional content. Nutritional research has demonstrated that the antioxidant activity of broccoli is higher than it is in carrots, cauliflower, white onion, potato, pea and snap beans.
Broccoli shoots are the sprouts from germinated seeds and are approximately 8 to 11 days old at harvest. Germination involves converting stored substances in the seeds into new structures and compounds. Due to the unique properties associated with this stage of plant development shoots are highly nutritious and packed with vitamins and antioxidants at rates higher than in the mature plant. For example, broccoli shoots contain over 15 times the protein and 3 to 5 times the vitamin C in the mature plant.
Broccoli shoots are high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals important to human health including selenium, calcium, manganese, and potassium. The protein content of broccoli shoots is comparable to that of high protein foods such as beans and legume sprouts, and the vitamin C in broccoli shoots is three times that contained in an orange or a serving of strawberries. The amount of vitamin C is higher in broccoli shoots than in many other types of shoots including radish (70.7 mg/100g) and red cabbage (147 mg/100g). The vitamin C content in broccoli shoots differs among the varieties, which is related to the work of plant breeders and the many varieties of broccoli that have been developed across the world.
|Plant Species||Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)||Carotenoid (Beta Carotene/ Vitamin A)||Carotenoid (Lutein/ Zeaxanthin)||Carotenoid (Violaxanthin)||Protein (day 8 – day 11)||Iron|
|Broccoli shoots||160-350 mg/100g||2.17 mg/100g||4.35 mg/100g||0.99 mg/100g||38 – 43 g/100g||1.90-2.11 mg/100g|
Broccoli shoots are the subject of a great deal of scientific interest. Recent scientific research indicates that the plant chemicals in broccoli shoots possess remarkable properties that may be advantageous to human health. Broccoli shoots are a rich source of the plant compound sulforaphane, with higher rates than found in the mature plant. Sulforaphane has been demonstrated to protect cells from tissue damage associated with oxidative stress and acts to detoxify cancer causing chemicals in both humans and animals. Sulforaphane also acts against the bacterium helicobacter, which has been implicated in gastrointestinal inflammation and illness such as duodenal and gastric ulcers, and stomach lymphomas.