Brilliant brassicas

Eat your way to a healthier heart

Broccoli has its feet - or roots - firmly in the superfoods category. One medium serving contains 175 per cent of your daily calcium requirements and just two florets count as a one of your Five A Day. It's a seriously healthy option, packed with antioxidants which help your body fight cancer-causing free radicals and is a major source of folate - a naturally occurring folic acid - which scientists believe helps in the fight against heart disease.

The superveg reared its bright bobbly head again recently when researchers at the University of Warwick discovered it may help in undoing the damage done by diabetes to blood vessels around the heart. Diabetics are up to five times more likely to suffer from heart related diseases, and broccoli contains sulforaphane, which spurs the creation of enzymes which protect these vessels.

So Mum knew what she was on about when she said to eat your greens. Including broccoli as one of your Five A Day will keep you on the healthy track. Try steaming the heads then tossing with some olive oil, garlic and chilli for a zingy side dish with a difference.

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