Top 14 Health Benefits of Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Broccoli benefits include helping to reduce inflammation, stabilize blood sugar and strengthen the immune system.

Broccoli is a green vegetable that vaguely resembles a miniature plant. It belongs to the plant species known as Brassica oleracea.

It is closely related to cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale and cauliflower – all edible plants collectively referred to as cruciferous vegetables.

There are three main varieties of broccoli:

Calabrese Broccoli
Sprouted Broccoli
Cauliflower – despite its name, is a type of broccoli
Here are the top 14 health benefits of broccoli.

1. Packed with vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds
One of the biggest benefits of broccoli is its nutritional content. It is loaded with a wide array of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other bioactive compounds.

One cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli packs (1):

Carbohydrates: 6 g
Protein: 2.6 grams
Fat: 0.3 grams
Fiber: 2.4 grams
Vitamin C: 135% of the RDI
Vitamin A: 11% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 116% of the RDI
Vitamin B9 (folate): 14% of the RDI
Potassium: 8% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 6% of the RDI
Selenium: 3% of the RDI
Broccoli can be eaten cooked or raw – both are perfectly healthy but offer different nutritional profiles.

Different cooking methods, such as boiling, microwaving, stir-frying and steaming, change the nutritional composition of vegetables, especially vitamin C, as well as reduce soluble protein and sugar. Steaming seems to have the fewest negative effects (2 trusted sources).

Still, raw or cooked, broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C. Just half a cup (78 grams) of cooked broccoli provides 84% of the daily intake (RDI) — more than half as much as an orange can ( 3Trusted Source , 4Trusted Source ).

Summary Broccoli
It is a rich source of multiple vitamins, minerals and fiber. Different cooking
Methods can affect the nutrient composition of a vegetable, but broccoli is one
A healthy addition to your diet whether cooked or raw.

2. Contains powerful antioxidants that provide health-protective effects
Broccoli’s antioxidant content may be one of its major boons for human health ( 5Trusted Source ).

Antioxidants are molecules that prevent or neutralize cell damage caused by free radicals. This can reduce inflammation and have an overall health-protective effect.

Broccoli contains high levels of glucoraphanin, a compound that is converted to a powerful antioxidant called sulforaphane during digestion (6).

Test-tube and animal studies indicate that sulforaphane may provide multiple health benefits, including lowering blood sugar, cholesterol levels, oxidative stress, and the development of chronic diseases. However, more research is needed to understand its role in humans ( 7Trusted Source ).

Broccoli also contains measurable amounts of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which may prevent oxidative stress and cellular damage to your eyes (8Trusted Source).

Summary Broccoli
Contains multiple powerful antioxidants that can support healthy cells and
tissues throughout your body.

3. Bioactive compounds may contribute to reducing inflammation
Broccoli contains several bioactive compounds that have been shown to reduce inflammation in your body’s tissues.

It is theorized that multiple compounds work synergistically to support this effect, although some also appear to work independently ( 5Trusted Source ).

Kaempferol, a flavonoid in broccoli, has shown strong anti-inflammatory abilities in both animal and test-tube studies ( 9Trusted Source , 10Trusted Source ).

A small human study in tobacco smokers also found that eating broccoli significantly reduced markers of inflammation ( 11Trusted Source ).

While these results are promising, more research is needed to better understand how broccoli consumption affects inflammation in humans.

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