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Since the Roman Empire - and probably long before that since it is native to the Mediterranean - broccoli has been considered a beneficial vegetable among Italians. A cousin of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli rabé, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts, broccoli is high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, it contains an anticancer compound, reduces the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, and it could reverse the damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels. It is also a winter vegetable, one that can stay fresh for a long time without refrigeration.
When first introduced in England, it was called "Italian asparagus", but when it was introduced to the United States it kept its name. The first mention we found is in the Burlington Free Press on August 11, 1837. Only after the 1910 it becomes a staple in the American diet, probably because of the big wave of Italian immigration.
There are many types of broccoli so you can’t say you don’t like it; our favorites are broccoli rabé and broccolo romanesco, the perfect mix of broccoli and cauliflower. You can steam broccoli to keep all its beneficial properties, you can boil or sauteed it, but you can also make a fantastic juice with it, mixing it with carot juice and a bit of lemon juice. It is better than any vitamin pill, and at least we know that it works while there are no tangible health benefits in most vitamin supplements.
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