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Broccoli
Peak Season for this Fresh Food
by Fran Werner

Broccoli is in the peak of its season. While broccoli is available year-round, it is at its best from October through March when it has the best flavor and is the least expensive.

Broccoli's unique flavor and incredible nutritional value have made it one of the most popular vegetables in the United States. And it is a great choice for the calorie conscious: one cup of cooked broccoli contains only 44 calories!

Nutritional Value
Like other cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale), broccoli contains unique health-promoting sulfur-containing compounds and a wealth of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

Broccoli provides
• 206 percent of the daily value for vitamin C
• 46 percent DV for vitamin A
• 24 percent DV for folate
• 19 percent DV for dietary fiber
• almost 10 percent DV for calcium

Selection
Choose bunches that are dark green. Good color indicates high-nutrient value. Florets that are dark green, purplish, or bluish green contain more beta-carotene and vitamin C than paler or yellowing ones. Choose bunches with stalks that are very firm. Stalks that bend or seem rubbery are of poor quality. Avoid broccoli with open, flowering, discolored or water-soaked bud clusters and tough, woody stems.

Storage
Store broccoli unwashed, in an open plastic bag, and place in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. It is best if used within a day or two after purchasing.

Fran Werner is a certified lifestyle and weight management consultant as well as a certified personal trainer specializing in weight management. She is the owner/director of Lifestyle Consulting. You can contact her at (512) 794-3848 or by E-mail at fran@lifestyleconsulting.com. Visit her interactive Web site at www.lifestyleconsulting.com.

 

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