FIBER: broccoli



Broccoli has always been a go-to staple for me. Why? I am not really sure, except I always remember it as a vegetable on my plate as a child, as one of the main sides in many frozen meals, as a main player on the vegetable tray, and as a holiday staple.

I love to cook with broccoli. I also love it in my salads, as a snack, warm side, or part of soup or chili.

Do you eat broccoli? When you eat broccoli is it raw, cooked, covered in dressing/dip, or part of soup? Do you like broccoli? Do you know if broccoli is good for you? Do you know why it is good for you?

DID YOU KNOW? Broccoli is green and purple.

“Purple sprouting broccoli has been cultivated since Roman times. As the name suggests, purple sprouting gets its name from the purple color of the head of the plant. Part of the reason it has become popular is due to the mild flavor.”

“Purple broccoli is also called broccoli of Sicily, and is very similar to common broccoli, except that the trusses have a purple color and are smaller, but its flavor is the same as that for traditional broccoli.”

DID YOU KNOW? Broccoli has fiber.

“A cup of raw broccoli has 2.4 grams of fiber. That translates to about 9 percent of the 28 grams of fiber women under the age of 30 need each day and almost 10 percent of the 25 grams women over the age of 30 require each day. It’s 7 percent of the 34 grams of fiber men under the age of 30 should have each day and about 6 percent of the 31 grams men older than 30 need daily.”

“One cup of cooked broccoli contains about 5 grams of dietary fiber. In fact, lightly steaming broccoli helps preserve its nutritional content, the Bastyr Center for Natural Health notes.”

Broccoli is a good source of both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber that our bodies need.

DID YOU KNOW? Calabrese is the most common variety of broccoli.

“Calabrese broccoli is the most common type you’ll see in the United States – both in grocery stores and gardens. This is the broccoli you think of when you hear the word “broccoli”, with bushy florets and a bluish-green hue. Calabrese is of Italian origin, named for its place of origin, Calabria, and has been one of the most commonly-grown vegetables since.”

For more information on varieties of broccoli, check out: or

DID YOU KNOW? Broccoli is also a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

“Want something high in Vitamin C but don’t feel like eating fruit? Broccoli is very high in Vitamin C, making 1 cup of chopped broccoli the Vitamin C equivalent of an orange. One cup of raw chopped broccoli will give you your entire daily needed intake.

Broccoli is also very high in Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps fight cancer within your cells, as well as keep your eyes healthy and stave off glaucoma and other eye degenerative diseases. It also helps to promote healthy skin, break down urinary stones (a big issue with the summer heat and dehydration) and maintain healthy bones and teeth.”

DID YOU KNOW? Thomas Jefferson was a fan of broccoli.

“Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, was a fan of broccoli, importing the seeds from Italy to plant at Monticello. He recorded planting the vegetable there as early as May of 1767. However, it did not become popular in the US until the 1920s.

Broccoli originated in Italy off of the Mediterranean. It has been eaten there since the time of the ancient Romans in the 6th Century BC.”

DID YOU KNOW? Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family.

“Broccoli’s name is derived from the Italian word broccolo, meaning the flowering top of a cabbage, and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning “small nail” or “sprout.”


“There is no sign for broccoli in American Sign Language (you just have to spell it out).

California is responsible for 90 percent of the broccoli grown in the United States.

China is the world’s largest broccoli producer, producing more than 8 million tons of the vegetable every year.

Broccoli was once known as Italian asparagus before finding its current name, which root lies in the Latin for “arm.”

The little florets of broccoli are buds ready to bloom: when left unharvested, broccoli will burst into a bunch of yellow flowers.”

DID YOU KNOW?  Broccoli is a nutrient powerhouse, helps with digestion, great for your heart, great for your bones, and a cancer-fighter.

“Broccoli is packed full of phytochemicals and antioxidants, including more vitamin C than an orange, more than 200 mg of potassium in just a half-cup serving, an unusually strong combination of vitamin A and vitamin K, and even a decent amount of protein (about 4 grams!).

If you’re facing digestive issues, broccoli’s fiber content may help. Just a cup of cooked broccoli contains 21 percent of your daily value of fiber. And the mere process of digesting broccoli sprouts has been proven to support the defensive system against oxidative stress in the colon.

Several different studies on flavonoid-rich foods have shown that while there is no across-the-board benefit of flavonoids when it comes to cardiovascular disease, several studies have shown that broccoli is an outlier: one study found that broccoli, along with tea and apples, had an inverse association with risk for cardiovascular disease in women, and another 1999 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that while flavonoid intake did not lower risk of cardiovascular disease in menopausal women, broccoli consumption did.

Not only does broccoli contain calcium, it also contains all-important vitamin K, which improves the absorption of calcium, making it a double-hitter against bone diseases. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recommends that those at risk for osteoporosis up their intake of broccoli to prevent or even reverse the damage.

The negative link between broccoli and cancer has been studied extensively, due in large part to the presence of sulforaphane. Aside from its DNA protection, sulforaphane fights cancer at all stages.

“Sulforaphane can attack cancer cells before they even begin to metastasize,” says Goldstein, who also notes that the compound can inhibit the enzyme deacetylase, which is involved in the progression of cancer cells.

To take even better advantage of this, you may want to seek out a specially engineered broccoli, a “super broccoli” that Justice says contains two to three times more glucoraphanin than regular broccoli. But don’t worry — it’s not a GMO.

A 2013 study also looked into the ways in which this compound could be used to target cancer stem cells with staggering results. Suffice to say, broccoli should be a big part of any anti-carcinogenic diet.”

DID YOU KNOW? There are many yummy recipes for broccoli.

Broccoli is more than a veggie side; it can be a whole meal or a flavorful way to dress up any meal, even a Thanksgiving or Holiday meal. For some fun recipes, check out Cooking with Grams.

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If you are interested in growing your own broccoli, check out these sites: – growing broccoli in a container; or; or

Until next Monday, please enjoy and share. I’d love to hear from all of you about broccoli, dishes you enjoy and other fun facts.

Elizabeth Fischer
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