10 Reasons to Eat Broccoli Every Day

“Eat your broccoli!” Whoever told you that when you were a fussy kid at the dinner table wasn’t wrong. Broccoli is a powerful superfood — rich in nutrients that pack a punch against many health problems. Need convincing? Here are 10 excellent reasons to eat your broccoli every day.

1. Broccoli is high in essential nutrients

Broccoli has been deemed a superfood for good reason. From stalk to florets, it’s teaming with many vitamins, minerals and more. One cup of chopped, raw broccoli contains:

  • Calories: 31
  • Carbohydrates: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Protein: 2.6 grams
  • Vitamin A: 11% of the recommended daily value
  • Vitamin C: 135% DV
  • Vitamin K: 116% DV
  • Folate: 14% DV
  • Calcium: 4% DV
  • Iron: 4% DV
  • Potassium: 8% DV

Just be warned that certain cooking methods might cause broccoli to lose some of its benefits. Steaming appears to be the optimal method to retain broccoli’s nutrients, so use that as often as you can.

2. It’s a low-calorie, filling food

If you’re aiming to lose some extra weight, broccoli should be one of your go-to foods. It’s low in calories, yet its fiber content will fill you up. Plus, that fiber can help to aid digestion and reduce constipation, regardless of your weight-loss goals.

3. Broccoli is powerful brain food

Broccoli also might be able to help support healthy brain function. A study on older adults found just one serving per day of a green leafy vegetable might slow cognitive decline due to aging. Plus, according to Healthline, a bioactive compound in broccoli has “the potential to support brain function after an event of reduced oxygenation to the brain.” But more research still must be done on the topic.

4. Cruciferous vegetables fight cancer

grouping of cruciferous vegetables

Many components of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, have been linked to lower cancer risk. For instance, the fiber in these vegetables provides a “convincingly lower risk” of colorectal cancer, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. And the vegetables’ carotenoids likely lower a person’s risk of mouth, pharynx, larynx and lung cancers. Plus, studies have shown the glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables decrease inflammation in the body and work to suppress cancer growth.

Unfortunately, new research suggests not everyone benefits equally from eating their veggies. “Scientists recently found that about half of the population does not carry a specific gene involved in determining how long the body retains — and utilizes — protective cruciferous compounds from the diet,” according to the institute.

5. Broccoli is good to your heart

There have been several studies linking broccoli to good heart health. For starters, any fiber-rich food helps to protect against heart disease. “Fiber’s role in preventing heart disease is thought to stem from its ability to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol,” according to Harvard Medical School. “It also fills you up, which helps you eat less and perhaps lose weight.”

Healthline also cites research showing the antioxidants in broccoli might help to prevent heart attacks. And one study in which patients received broccoli sprout powder found it was able to reduce bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol in the body.

6. It could help manage Type 2 diabetes

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain the naturally occurring compound sulforaphane. And a recent study found this chemical shows promise in managing blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes.

“When the researchers gave concentrated broccoli sprout extracts to 97 human type 2 diabetes patients in a 12-week randomized placebo-controlled trial, obese participants who entered the study with dysregulated disease demonstrated significantly decreased fasting blood glucose levels compared to controls,” according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This is especially good news for those who can’t take certain diabetes medications due to kidney damage risks.

7. It supports your immune system

Our immune systems need vitamin C to perform at their best. And though it may not be round and orange, broccoli is still an excellent source of the vitamin. In fact, a cup of raw broccoli gives you more than the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. So if you feel a cold coming on, it couldn’t hurt to cook up some broccoli.

8. It helps maintain healthy bones

Broccoli contains nutrients — including vitamin K, calcium and phosphorus — that are vital to bone health, according to Healthline. And some preliminary research suggests broccoli’s antioxidants also might protect against osteoarthritis. Plus, those same nutrients can improve your oral health, and they might even be able to prevent some dental diseases, including periodontitis and oral cancers.

9. It might reduce sun damage on your skin

If you plan to have fun in the sun, consider packing some broccoli with your sunscreen. “Research indicates that bioactive compounds in broccoli may protect against UV radiation damage which leads to skin cancer,” according to Healthline. Some studies have shown treatments with broccoli extract were able to reduce cancer development after exposure to UV radiation. But more research must be done to fully understand broccoli’s protective effects.

10. Broccoli works in many different cuisines

Broccoli soup in a white bowl on a light slate background

Broccoli gets a bad rap as a food people don’t like. But it’s actually a versatile vegetable that tastes great in many styles of cooking. For instance, get your comfort food fix with this recipe for vegan macaroni and cheese with broccoli. Or keep it a little lighter with this creamy spinach and broccoli soup.

No matter what you cook, make sure you know how to pick and prepare the best broccoli possible. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends choosing broccoli with “compact, firm heads heavy for their size with no soft spots and no off-odors.” Refrigerate your broccoli for up to five days, and wait to wash it until you’re ready to use it. And to retain nutrients, avoid boiling your greens. Instead, try steaming, microwaving, stir-frying or sautéing — or crunch on a stalk raw. Your body will thank you.

Main image credit: Mizina/Getty Images

77 comments

Jan S
Jan S28 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Graham P
Graham P4 months ago

Every day on my shopping list.

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Louise R
Past Member 4 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Rose B
Rose Becke5 months ago

Eat it everyday

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Marija M
Marija M5 months ago

Love it...tks.

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Daniel N
Past Member 5 months ago

thanks very much

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