We studied the nutritional components and functional activities of 6 parts (flower bud, stem, lower main stalk, leaf stalk, leaf, root) of raw whole broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica). Flower buds showed the highest levels of vitamin C (188.2 mg/100 g) and S-methylmethionine (16.7 mg/100 g). The buds contained 64.9 mg/100 g of polyphenols. Moreover, they exhibited the highest histamine release inhibitory activity. The vitamin C, S-methylmethionine and polyphenol contents of the leaves were 18%, 29% and 3.1 times those of flower buds, respectively. The leaves showed histamine release inhibitory activity and leukotriene release inhibitory activity. Additionally, the leaves tended to decrease IgE production. The leaves also showed anti-allergic activity as compared with flower buds. The vitamin C, S-methylmethionine and polyphenol contents of the roots were 13%, 25% and 83% of those of flower buds, respectively. Notably, aqueous extracts of roots produced the highest proliferative arrest in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. These results suggest that useful components exist not only in the edible flower buds but in all parts of broccoli.
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