Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables.
It is rich in a sulfur-containing plant compound known as glucosinolate, as well as sulforaphane, a by-product of glucosinolate.
Sulforaphane is significant in that it has been shown to have a protective effect against cancer.
In one animal study, sulforaphane was able to reduce the size and number of breast cancer cells while also blocking tumor growth in mice.
Eating broccoli may help prevent other types of chronic disease, too.
A 2010 animal study found that consuming broccoli sprouts could protect the heart from disease-causing oxidative stress by significantly lowering levels of oxidants.
In addition to its ability to prevent disease, broccoli is also loaded with nutrients.
A cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli provides 116% of your daily vitamin K needs, 135% of the daily vitamin C requirement and a good amount of folate, manganese and potassium.
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) is a cruciferous vegetable related to cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
These vegetables are known for their beneficial health effects.
Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. It also boasts more protein than most other vegetables.
This green veggie can be enjoyed both raw and cooked, but recent research shows that gentle steaming provides the most health benefits.
Raw broccoli contains almost 90% water, 7% carbs, 3% protein, and almost no fat.
Broccoli is very low in calories, providing only 31 calories per cup (91 grams).
The nutrition facts for 1 cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli are:
- Calories: 31
- Water: 89%
- Protein: 2.5 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Sugar: 1.5 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
Broccoli’s carbs mainly consist of fiber and sugars.
The sugars are fructose, glucose, and sucrose, with small amounts of lactose and maltose.
However, the total carb content is very low, with only 3.5 grams of digestible carbs per cup (91 grams).
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet.
It can promote gut health, help prevent various diseases, and aid weight loss.
One cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli provides 2.3 grams of fiber, which is about 5–10% of the Daily Value.
Proteins are the building blocks of your body, necessary for both growth and maintenance.
Broccoli is relatively high in protein, which makes up 29% of its dry weight, compared to most vegetables.
However, because of its high water content, 1 cup (91 grams) of broccoli only provides 3 grams of protein.
Broccoli contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin C. An antioxidant, this vitamin is important for immune function and skin health. A 1/2-cup (45-gram) serving of raw broccoli provides almost 70% of the DV.
- Vitamin K1. Broccoli contains high amounts of vitamin K1, which is important for blood clotting and may promote bone health.
- Folate (vitamin B9). Particularly important for pregnant women, folate is needed for normal tissue growth and cell function.
- Potassium. An essential mineral, potassium is beneficial for blood pressure control and heart disease prevention.
- Manganese. This trace element is found in high amounts in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
- Iron. An essential mineral, iron has many important functions in your body, such as the transport of oxygen in red blood cells.
Broccoli also contains numerous other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. In fact, it provides a little bit of almost every nutrient you need.