Romanesco, a vegetable with excellent properties that you cannot miss

Known as romanesco cabbage, romanesco broccoli, tower cabbage or simply romanesco, it is a pleasant vegetable with a characteristic fractal design or geometric pattern that self-replicates in a golden ratio spiral.

It can be seen more and more present in some markets, although it is not yet as well known as other vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli . In general, romanesco is increasingly popular, in addition to its beauty, due to its milder and slightly sweet taste than white cauliflower, but above all because it stands out in nutritional benefits and as it is satiating and provides few calories it is very consumed especially in weight loss diets .

Romanesco is mainly fresh during the fall and winter, being a seasonal vegetable in the colder months. Here you have Romanesco Ecológico . It has a shorter collection period than the rest of the cauliflowers since the pre-inflorescence, due to the direct incidence of solar radiation, tends to open and acquire reddish tones.

In this article we are going to discover what are the nutrients of romanesco, what beneficial properties it has, how it is better to cook it to take advantage of its benefits and the contraindications of consuming romanesco.

Nutritional value of Romanesco

It is a vegetable with low caloric power, very rich in fiber and vitamins A, of group B and C. It can be consumed both raw or cooked, considering that the nutritional value can change as a result of cooking or the way in which it is prepared. .

For every 100 grams the romanesco has approximately:

Proteins: 2.48 gr; Lipids: 0.34 gr; Carbohydrates: 4.55 gr; Carbohydrates: 5.4 gr; Calcium: 22 mgr; Phosphorus: 72 mgr; Iron 1.1 mgr; Vitamin A: 90 IU; Vitamin B1: 110 mgr; Vitamin B2: 100 mgr; Vitamin C: 69 mgr; Potassium: 395 mg; Magnesium: 72 mg. The fiber contribution is 2 grams.

Romanesco has an energy value of only 32 calories.

Some values ​​are very similar to cauliflower and broccoli, although it stands out in a higher proportion of some nutrients such as calcium, iron and magnesium, which makes it a highly recommended vegetable as a complement to the previous ones.

10 benefits of consuming romanesco

The two main properties of romanesco are:

  1. Antioxidant : The photochemical elements of its composition, such as beta-carotene, indoles and isothiocyanate, make it recommended for the prevention of degenerative diseases and for the stimulation of the immune system. This characteristic also promotes the formation of enzymes that eliminate toxins.
  2. Slimming : What makes it a key element in slimming diets is its low energy value and diuretic properties, compared to the great contribution of vitamins and minerals that this vegetable has.

Along the same lines, the antioxidant power and the nutritional contributions with low caloric power, make it a food that contributes to:

  1. Strengthen the immune system , by the action of folates that participate in the formation of antibodies of the immune system.
  2. Facilitate the elimination of waste and avoid fluid retention , since more than 90% of romanesco is water.
  3. Promote intestinal transit, with the contribution of fibers and B vitamins that collaborate in the functioning of the digestive system .
  4. Improve the appearance of the skin , with the contribution, among others, of group B vitamins, which is related to the production of antibodies and red blood cells, as well as the production of energy and the maintenance of the epithelial tissue of the mucous membranes and the good condition of the skin.
  5. Keep blood sugar levels (glycemia) stable.
  6. Prevent osteoporosis and improve bone health , due to the action of folic acid or B9 that intervenes in the formation of collagen, bones, teeth and red blood cells, favoring the absorption of iron.
  7. Improve cognitive abilities (among which are memory, learning or language) and prevent their deterioration. The contribution of vitamins is important to metabolize carbohydrates, so the low content of these in romanesco contributes to improve metabolism and avoid neurological and mental disorders (such as fatigue, loss of concentration, irritability or depression).
  8. Helps prevent cancer.

In this last aspect, it is important to note that romanesco, as well as other cruciferous vegetables of the genus Brassica, are the only ones that contain glucosinolates (thioglycosides; beta-thioglucosides and N-hydroxy-sulfates), which are of great interest for the prevention of cell damage mediated by different carcinogenic agents.

These components, when metabolized by the enzyme mirosianasase, give rise to the formation of indoles and isothiocyanates, which are capable of modulating the enzymatic activities of biotransformation of xenobiotic agents that help prevent the formation of carcinogenic substances and prevent them from reaching key cells. .

Many vegetables contain these substances, however, romanesco has been found to contain up to thirty types of these blocking agents.


Different ways you can consume it

What is the best way to eat romanesco so that it retains the maximum of its properties? It is recommended to consume it raw, since cooking could paralyze the formation of isothiocyanates and the loss of nutrients. For this it is important that the romanesco is organically grown to avoid ingesting pesticide residues.

The first thing is to wash it and separate the bouquets. Both raw and steamed or, ultimately boiled (as it loses more nutrients), it can be incorporated into salads and sautéed with legumes, rice and other vegetables.

If you are going to cook it, the ideal is to steam it for a maximum of 5 minutes and, to prevent it from continuing to cook, immediately pass it through ice water.

There are also many recipes to make it include it in cooking recipes such as gratins, soups or creams, just like it is done with broccoli and cauliflower. However, some people prefer it as part of the decoration taking advantage of the beauty of its natural design.


Romanesco contraindications

People suffering from hypothyroidism should consume them with caution. This is because components of crucifers, such as isothiocyanates, compete in the body for iodine. In this sense, it is preferable that they consume them cooked and only a few times a week, also taking a good intake of food with iodine intake and controlling the interaction with medications.

For people who are taking anticoagulant medication it is also advisable to consider interactions, since indoles can increase liver metabolism.

Finally, no food acts only on the entire body, so it is important to eat a diet rich in plant-based, seasonal and organically grown foods to obtain the best benefits from each of them and maintain good health.

Sources consulted

  • “Romanesco. First studies of its agronomic behavior in the Valencian Mediterranean coast ”. JV Maroto, S. Lopez-Galarza, J. Alagarda, B. Pascual, A. San Bautista, A. Bardisi and MS Bono. Chair of Horticulture and Herbaceous Crops. Polytechnic university of Valencia. 1994.
  • “The cultivation of” Romanesco “. A productive possibility in Valencian horticulture ”, JV Maroto Borrego. Polytechnic university of Valencia. nineteen ninety six
  • “In Winter the Healthy thing is to eat Cabbages”, Ángeles Carbajal Azcona. Nutrition Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Complutense University of Madrid. IV Conference on Gastronomy, Health and Technology. 2015.
  • “Plantation of Romanesco”, Cooperative Group Cajamar. Informative Bulletin Center of Experiences of Paiporta.
  • “Feasibility project for the creation of a romanesco production and marketing company located in the city of Latacunga, Cotopaxi province and its subsequent distribution to the markets in the downtown area of ​​the city of Quito”, Lorena Patricia León Campos. Salesian Polytechnic University Quito Headquarters, 2013.
  • “What non-nutritive, but relevant to health, components do foods of the genus Brassica contain ? What diseases can they prevent? ” Juan Antonio Gilabert Santos. Bachelor of Food Science and Technology. 2013.
  • “Cauliflower, Brassica oleracea var. botrytis ”, Spanish Nutrition Foundation.

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