February 17, 2012 admin


LUDHIANA, FEBRUARY 17: A vegetable of Italian origin, broccoli is high in Vitamin C as well as dietary fiber and contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties. Highlighting the health benefits of broccoli, the experts of Food Science and Technology (FST), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), have advised people, to include broccoli in daily diet for good health and for protection from various types of diseases. The Head of FST, Dr K.S. Minhas, explained that broccoli, most closely resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivar group of the same species. The USA is the largest producer of broccoli in the world whereas in India, it ranks fourth after cauliflower, cabbage and knol-khol, he divulged.
            The PAU experts including Dr Poonam Aggarwal and Dr Swati Kapoor told that broccoli has large flower heads, usually green in colour and are arranged in a tree-like fashion on branches sprouting from a thick, edible stalk. The mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves, said they, adding that the vegetable grows best when exposed to an average daily temperature between 18 and 23I0; C. Broccoli is harvested before the flowers on the head bloom bright yellow.
            Describing about the varieties of broccoli, Dr Aggarwal said that “Pusa Broccoli KTS-1,” “Palam, Samridhi” and “Palam Vichitra” are some of the varieties grown in India. The variety “Punjab Broccoli – 1” has been developed by the PAU.  Consumed in the form of salads and cooked vegetable, broccoli can be processed to develop value added nutritional products, she suggested. It can be steamed, steeped, pickled and dehydrated and can be made into traditional delicacy of Punjab i.e. ‘Saag’ which is rich in antioxidant compounds. Dr Aggarwal observed that these value added products can add variety in the daily diet of the common people along with the health benefits related to the phyto chemicals present in broccoli.
            Dr Kapoor told that broccoli has the highest levels of carotenoids in the brassica family. It is particularly rich in lutein and also provides a modest amount of β-carotene. The consumption of broccoli is also beneficial in the prevention of heart disease and lowering of cholesterol levels, particularly, when it is steamed, she added. It also prevents Vitamin D deficiency and detoxifies the body. Dr Kapoor emphasized the inclusion of broccoli in daily diet for good health.

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