Rapini means “little turnip” in Italian. This name is also used to refer to broccoli raab (Brassica ruvo) shoots, which are harvested before flowering and have a more pungent broccoli taste. The health benefits of rapini are huge. Rapini is good for your bones due to a high content of vitamin K. Just one half cup of rapini contains 169 micrograms of vitamin K, a daily dose enough to keep bones from thinning. It is a good source of folate and vitamin B6; nutrients that help enhance overall heart health. Because it’s high in fiber and low in calories, broccoli rabe can also help you lose weight and reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes.
Thanks to its broad nutritional profile, rapini or broccoli rabe can offer a whole host of health benefits to those who have the courage to befriend this relatively unknown member of the Brassica family of plants.
Rapini is known for its bitter taste and is much more common in Italian cuisines. You can reduce the bitterness of rapini by briefly blanching in salted, boiling water and then placing in ice water. But, nevertheless a little bitterness is good for the body as it helps with digestion. Rapini contains the B vitamin folate which is helpful in preventing heart disease. Broccoli rabe might also help prevent certain types of cancer like colon. According to a research paper published in the September 1996 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a high consumption of brassica vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of cancer. It also alleviates the common cold and prevents alopecia.
Rapini is one of the many cruciferous vegetables that contain sulphur. Sulphur contains specific compound called methyl solfonyl methane (MSM) that assists detoxification of the liver. Antioxidants in rapini vegetable like vitamin C may reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin C helps the body make collagen, too; collagen is a major component of cartilage that aids in joint flexibility, may reduce your risk of arthritis and keeps your skin and hair healthy and beautiful. Research shows vitamin C may also slow bone loss and decrease the risk of fractures.