The healthy diet movement over the past years is unbelievable…. So much so that guru’s all over the world are constantly “discovering” and promoting countless new ideas and solutions. The truth, as always, is somewhere in between…
I came across an article which concluded that broccoli leaves are a super food which should be consumed often; and if this is done you will never need to drink milk ever again since they will offer you all of the calcium needed… I immediately started up a conversation with Kitchen Lab’s nutritionist Chistos…
Broccoli leaves are those leaves that are attached to the broccoli and are usually just cut off and discarded! They look like kale or collard greens and although they have the same characteristic broccoli taste will become hard and bitter to the taste if they are not cut off in time.
Do you really get calcium from broccoli leaves?
You can get quite good amounts of calcium from the rape-seed or cruciferous vegetable family, such as broccoli, cabbage, radishes, bok choy, rocket etc. Their bioavailability is actually comparable to that of milk. But by the term bioavailability, as Christos explains to me, we mean the amount of nutritional ingredients that are finally “absorbed” by our bodies from what we eat.
Broccoli leaves give us 200 g (about 10%) of our bodies needs in calcium and this means that you have to consume large amounts on a daily basis in order to reach the amount of calcium needed. The truth is that they offer us large amounts of Vitamin C.. almost all of the recommended daily amount, as long as you don’t sauté or boil them too much. They also offer us a large amount of fiber which are necessary for intestinal health. On the other hand, their protein content is very small, as in most vegetables.
So my dear friends, if someone offers you broccoli leaves, eat them because they are very beneficial to your health! But as I said, they don’t include everything you need… as of course no one type of food does on its own. A variety of fresh ingredients combined with a love of cooking will give you all you need to stay healthy!