If you are reading this, then you must enjoy munching on those tree-shaped veggies. You’ve guessed it, today, we’re going to talk about good old broccoli nutrition and its many health benefits. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable belonging to the Brassica genus of plants. Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet, and when cooked properly, can add a delicious kick to any meal.
There are several varieties of broccoli, much more than what your local grocery store currently may carry. Most grocery stores carry calabrese broccoli, destiny broccoli, and belstar broccoli. But we’ve seen other varieties emerge in today’s market. Broccolini, a variety with longer, thinner stalks and tall, and narrow florets are becoming very popular. Rapini can also be found in various supermarkets, although it resembles the least like broccoli.
Broccoli Nutrition Facts
The following broccoli nutrition information for one cup (91g):
- Calories: 31
- Fat: 0.3g
- Sodium: 30mg
- Carbohydrates: 6g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Sugars: 1.5g
- Protein: 2.5g
Vitamins & Minerals
Broccoli is packed with minerals and vitamins. It’s an excellent source of immune-boosting vitamin C and wound healing vitamin K. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin A, folate, manganese, potassium, and other B vitamins.
Broccoli Health Benefits
Broccoli has several health benefits, including:
At less than 50 calories a cup, broccoli is a popular vegetable to munch on if you are looking to lose weight. It’s high in fiber, the indigestible part of a carbohydrate that helps decrease cholesterol, regulate blood sugars, and promote bowel health. Eating foods that are high in fiber makes you feel full longer after mealtime.
Better Heart Health
Many studies have associated a higher intake of broccoli to better heart health, including a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, ischemic heart, and stroke. This may be one of many reasons why the American Heart Association includes broccoli in their healthy eating guide that features fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Broccoli has potent immune-boosting properties, just like other cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. Broccoli contains elements that deplete estrogens, which typically cause cancer. Study shows that broccoli is remarkably suitable for preventing breast as well as uterus cancer.
High in Antioxidant
Broccoli carries powerful antioxidants that can help the body in many different ways. As aforementioned, broccoli is very concentrated with vitamin C, making it ideal for immunity.
Furthermore, broccoli is enriched with flavonoids, which help recycle vitamin C effectively and other potent antioxidants such as carotenoid lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin.
Better Bone Health
Broccoli carries powerful antioxidants that can help the body in many different ways. As aforementioned, broccoli is very concentrated with vitamin C, making it ideal for immunity. Along with calcium, broccoli is loaded with other essential nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus, making it extremely suitable for kids, seniors, and lactating moms.
Since broccoli is abundant in fiber, it can help your body get cleared of toxins through the digestive tract. Other than that, broccoli’s high antioxidant contents help in detoxifying the body. Furthermore, broccoli contains some phytonutrients that assist in the body’s detox process and compounds such as isothiocyanates to help detox at the cellular level.
Although broccoli allergies are extremely rare, some isolated occurrences have been reported. Broccoli, along with several other related vegetables, have proteins similar to those in mugwort pollen and can induce a reaction when you consume them. Symptoms include a tingling on your tongue or lips. In rarer cases, this can advance to a swollen throat or anaphylaxis.
How to Store Broccoli
To store broccoli, put it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Take it out of the produce bag to provide adequate ventilation. Keep the broccoli dry until you are ready to use it.
To freeze broccoli, cook for 2–3 minutes then put it into cold water to stop the cooking process. Store in sealed bags in the freezer for up to 300 days.
If you are concerned about the smell of broccoli and wonder if it means that the broccoli has gone bad, fear not, that is not the case. Broccoli contains a collection of substances called glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds. These substances give broccoli its strong smell. Putting a piece of bread at the bottom of the pot when cooking can help absorb the pungent odor.
Broccoli is one of the world’s most popular vegetables for a reason (or several). It’s super easy to prepare and can be enjoyed both uncooked and cooked. It contains many nutrients, including compounds called isothiocyanates, which have many health benefits. Broccoli is also a great source of fiber and protein, both of which carry their own set of benefits.
Consider adding this cruciferous vegetable to your menu if you’re looking to enhance your meals’ nutritional value.