About Broccoli

Broccoli Nutritional Profile


Energy value (calories per serving): Low

Protein: High

Fat: Low

Saturated fat: Low

Cholesterol: None

Carbohydrates: Moderate

Fiber: Very high

Sodium: Low

Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, folate, vitamin C

Major mineral contribution: Calcium


About the Nutrients in Broccoli


Broccoli is very high-fiber food, an excellent source of vitamin A, the B vitamin folate, and vitamin C. It also has some vitamin E and vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin manufactured primarily by bacteria living in our intestinal tract.


One fresh, cooked broccoli spear has 5 g dietary fiber, 2,500 IU vitamin A (50 percent of the RDA for a man, 63 percent of the RDA for a woman), 90 mcg folate (45 percent of the RDA for a man, 50 percent of the RDA for a woman), and 134 mg vitamin C (220 percent of the RDA for an adult).


The Most Nutritious Way to Serve Broccoli


Raw. Studies at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, show that raw broccoli has up to 40 percent more vitamin C than broccoli that has been cooked or frozen.


Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Broccoli


Anti-flatulence diet

Low-fiber diet


Buying Broccoli


Look for: Broccoli with tightly closed buds. The stalk, leaves, and florets should be fresh, firm, and brightly colored. Broccoli is usually green; some varieties are tinged with purple.


Avoid: Broccoli with woody stalk or florets that are open or turning yellow. When the green chlorophyll pigments fade enough to let the yellow carotenoids underneath show through, the buds are about to bloom and the broccoli is past its prime.


Storing Broccoli


Pack broccoli in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator or in the vegetable crisper to protect its vitamin C. At 32 F, fresh broccoli can hold onto its vitamin C for as long as two weeks. Keep broccoli out of the light; like heat, light destroys vitamin C.

More Cooking Guide