How to improve brassica nutritional health benefits

Brassica vegetables all contain various health promoting compounds including vitamin C and glucosinolates. A good balanced crop nutrition programme is needed to achieve good levels of these compounds.

Sulphur improves several of brassicas health benefits

Good sulphur nutrition leads to an increase in compounds known to improve human health. These include phenolic compounds and glucosinolates. Phenolic compounds - namely caffeic acid derivates and flavonols - have been linked to the reduction of chronic diseases and reduced risks of cancer. Glucosinolates, as well as adding to taste and improving a plant’s ability to resist stress, are also anticarcinogens.

Effect of sulphur on broccoli flavour compounds

Effect of sulphur on cauliflower flavour

Manganese increases vitamin C content

Manganese is required for chlorophyll formation and oxide-reduction reactions in cells, and increases vitamin C contents. It is also involved in the metabolism and synthesis of proteins. Crops that are well supplied with manganese have higher vitamin C contents. Effect of manganese on cauliflower vitamin C content

Potassium deficiency can reduce vitamin C content

Several studies have also shown that potassium supply increases vitamin C levels in the crop.

Effect of potassium on cabbage yield and vitamin C

Calcium levels need to be maintained in the crop

Brassica vegetables contain useful levels of calcium which has proven health benefits in the human diet. This nutrient ensures vigorous leaf, root and canopy growth and has important roles for crop quality too. Although the total calcium uptake of brassica crops is high, the quantity of it which is finally removed from the field at harvest is usually relatively low.  To maintain levels a good supply of calcium from the soil is needed.

Macronutrient uptake and removal by broccoli

Macronutrient requirements in brassicas and typical values

Vegetable brassica agronomy and fertiliser advice
Vegetable brassica agronomy and fertiliser advice

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