Broccoli tends to get more accolades for it’s reputation of being pushed off the plates of kids around the world. But, it probably should be notorious for being one of the healthiest veggies.

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga and turnips. 

If you are trying to eat healthier, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli should be at the very top of your grocery list.

Nutritional Benefits

  • Broccoli is concentrated in phytonutrients, especially in one particular phytonutrient category—glucosinolates. The isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from broccoli’s glucosinolates are one of the keys to broccoli’s cancer-preventive benefits.
  • At approximately 1 gram of dietary fiber for every 10 calories, you don’t have to eat much broccoli to get a large amount of your daily requirement!
  • Recent studies continue to show intake of broccoli as being able to lower levels of the “bad” LDL-cholesterol in our bloodstream
  • Broccoli is considered as an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, chromium and folate. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), potassium and copper. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin B1, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron, niacin and selenium.

Best Ways to Use

  • Toss whole pasta with olive oil, pine nuts and steamed broccoli florets. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Purée cooked broccoli and cauliflower, then combine with seasonings of your choice to make a simple, yet delicious, soup.
  • Add broccoli florets and chopped stalks to omelets.
  • Snack on raw broccoli throughout the day with some Greek yogurt or hummus.

Overcooked broccoli becomes soft and mushy, and along with this loss in texture comes a loss in flavor and nutrients.