I have read many times that vegetables in the cruciferous family are very good for me. Some cruciferous vegetables are dark green, such as the florets on broccoli, and some are white, such as cauliflower. Are they all equally good? Are they good in different ways?
Also, the supermarkets sell broccoli coleslaw that seems to be mostly shredded broccoli stems that are very light green. Are these stems as good for you as the dark green florets? Do the light green stems have any good stuff in them?
Broccoli and cauliflower are indeed both members of the cabbage family. Despite their color difference, they have very similar biochemical properties. Both contain loads of phytochemicals, substances that are thought to block the action of cancer-causing free radicals. You can't go wrong eating either broccoli or cauliflower, although most nutritionists consider broccoli the "super vegetable" because it's particularly high in folic acid and vitamins A and C. It's best to eat broccoli and cauliflower raw or slightly steamed so they retain most of their phytochemicals.
As for coleslaw made with broccoli stalks, the florets and stalks are similar in nutritional composition, except that the florets contain much more vitamin A and the stalks may contain slightly more fiber.
-- Shari RoanCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times