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Broccoli: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) is a vegetable from the cabbage family like kale and cauliflower. Broccoli is a rich source of many nutrients and antioxidants. It is beneficial for the immune system, digestive system, and cardiovascular system. Also, it is very low in calories and fat-free vegetable.

Broccoli plant bears flower-heads of around 4-10 inches wide, dark green to purple color depending on the type of cultivar. The central dense stalk averages between 6-10 inches in length and is nutritious for both the stem and the fleshy flower heads.

While this green veggie can be eaten both raw and baked, new research indicates that gentle steaming is the most effective for wellbeing.

broccoli-nutrition-value-facts

Nutrition Profile of Broccoli

Broccoli contains more protein than any other vegetable. It is an excellent source of vitamin k, vitamin c, potassium, and iron.

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica) nutrition profile, fresh, raw, per 100 g.(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 34 Kcal 1.5%
Carbohydrates 6.64 g 5%
Protein 2.82 g 5%
Total Fat 0.37 g 1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 2.60 g 7%
Vitamins
Folates 63 µg 16%
Niacin 0.639 mg 4%
Pantothenic acid 0.573 mg 12%
Pyridoxine 0.175 mg 13%
Riboflavin 0.117 mg 9%
Thiamin 0.071 mg 6%
Vitamin A 623 IU 21%
Vitamin C 89.2 mg 149%
Vitamin E 0.17 mg 1.5%
Vitamin K 101.6 μg 85%
Electrolytes
Sodium 33 mg 2%
Potassium 316 mg 7%
Minerals
Calcium 47 mg 5%
Copper 0.049 mg 5.5%
Iron 0.73 mg 9%
Magnesium 21 mg 5%
Manganese 0.210 mg 9%
Selenium 2.5 µg 5%
Zinc 0.41 mg 4%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-β 361 µg
Crypto-xanthin-β 1 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 1403 µg

 

Carbohydrates

Broccoli contains 7 grams of carbs per 100 grams of serving. One-third of carbs come from fiber which is heart-friendly and rest is natural sugar. The sugars are fructose, glucose, and sucrose, with small amounts of lactose and maltose.

Protein

Broccoli has higher protein content than most vegetables. Protein is a building block of our body. 100 grams of broccoli gives 3 grams of protein due to high water content.

Fat

Broccoli has just a drop of fat, which is free from cholesterol. However, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), it contains a small number of omega-3 fatty acids.

Vitamin and Minerals

It is an outstanding source of immune-boosting vitamin C that offers more than 81 mg or around 135 percent of your daily requirements. It also offers an excellent supply of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health and wound healing. You should eat 116 percent of the recommended daily intake in a single-cup broccoli serving. It has also a good supply of vitamin A, folate, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, and iron.

 

Health Benefits of Broccoli

health-benefits-of-broccoli

Bone health

Calcium and collagen combine to make bones solid. About 99 percent of the calcium in the bones and teeth is found in the blood. For the production of collagen, the body always requires vitamin C. Both are in broccoli. Also, vitamin K present in broccoli which is vital for healthy bones.

Heart friendly

The most popular vegetables categorized as cruciferous vegetables are now the broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. Many research found that there is a link between higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables and better heart health, including a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart, and stoke.

Weight loss

Broccoli is one of the vegetables with fewer calories; contains just 34 calories per 100 g. It is however rich in dietary fiber. Fiber is the indigestible component of carbohydrate, it can help reduce cholesterol, improve bowel wellbeing, control blood glucose, and help lose weight.

Eye health

Two of the main carotenoids in broccoli, lutein, and zeaxanthin, are linked with a decreased incidence of eye problems associated with aging. The deficiency of vitamin A can induce night blindness and can be reversed with an improved level of vitamin A.

Cancer prevention

High intake of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale may decrease the risk of some forms of cancer, including prostate, lung, and breast. Also, high fiber in broccoli can decrease the risk of colon cancer.

 

Allergies and Adverse Effect

Broccoli’s allergies are very rarely found in people. You can feel your lips and tongue-tingling because broccoli has protein similar to those in mugwort pollen. This protein can induce a reaction when you take it. It may lead to the swollen throat in very few cases.

Individuals taking thinner warfarin in the blood should check with their health care provider before raising their consumption of broccoli, as their high content of vitamin K1 may interfere with this drug.

Like other members of the cruciferous family, broccoli produces “goitrogens” which can induce thyroid gland swelling, and should thus be prevented in people with thyroid disease.

How to cook and eat

Broccoli can be consumed raw, such as crudite or slaw, or cooked using a number of methods of cooking. Wind, s auté, or roast it to complement your main meal, or make soup using the stems.

Blanching is a cooking procedure that temporarily immerses food in salted boiling water (about 30 seconds) and then immediately cools down in ice water. Through blanching the broccoli first, you will preserve a perfect green hue— this will not only improve broccoli flavor but also help soften the stems. Broccoli blanching can also assist in reducing bitterness.

Stop overcooking, because it will not only make it less physically pleasing, it will also reduce vitamin and mineral supply.

 

Bottomline

Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins, Minerals, and fiber. Various methods of cooking can influence the nutrient composition of the vegetable, but broccoli is a good addition to your diet, whether cooked or fresh.

Bear in mind, however, that good health comes from no single meal. Broccoli is just one of many healthy foods that can contribute to optimum health. Including this nutritious vegetable in a healthy, balanced diet can help you more easily achieve your health goals.