Broccoli is a delicious vegetable popularly eaten around the world. It’s related to cauliflower and cabbage and packs a lot of different nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
Because of that, it’s often deemed to be incredibly healthy and good for weight loss and muscle building.
If you’ve ever tried doing any of these, you know how important nutrition is for these journeys.
So, it’s vital to know whether the food you eat helps you or not. So, is broccoli fattening or helpful for weight loss and muscle building?
Is broccoli fattening?
Broccoli contains very few calories but a lot of essential nutrients. It packs a lot of fiber and protein in a single serving, which are both nutrients necessary to ensure healthy weight loss and muscle growth.
What’s more, it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals that keep you healthy and provide you with a great dose of powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants. So, all of that paired with how easy it is to add to any diet make broccoli an incredibly healthy veggie.
How many calories are in broccoli?
A one-cup serving of cooked broccoli contains around 55 calories. This is very little, so you can eat as much broccoli as you want even if you’re looking to drop some pounds.
Broccoli also contains very little sugar and a great amount of fiber. This combo makes broccoli a wonderful veggie for a diet aimed at healthy and steady weight loss.
What’s more, broccoli is a great source of several important vitamins and minerals that help keep your digestive system healthy, further benefiting weight management.
Some people also enjoy adding raw broccoli to their salads or even use it as a side dish for their dinners. One cup of raw broccoli contains around 31 calories.
It has a much crunchier taste than cooked broccoli, so adding it to salads is a great idea. It’s still a great source of various nutrients, including fiber, protein, vitamin C, and manganese.
So, if you prefer raw over boiled broccoli, you can still reap many health benefits; just make sure you wash it thoroughly first.
Is broccoli good for you?
Aside from being low in calories and rich in weight loss-friendly fiber and protein, broccoli makes for a great source of various micronutrients and plant compounds.
For example, a single serving provides you with more vitamin C than you need per day. This vitamin boosts your immune system and helps your body fight against diseases and viruses. It also works as a powerful antioxidant.
Speaking of antioxidants, broccoli is very rich in several of them. These plant compounds help remove free radicals from your body, preventing oxidative stress and damage to your cells.
This reduces your risk of several chronic conditions, such as heart disease and cancer. Additionally, the antioxidants found in broccoli contribute to the health of your eyes, lungs, and heart while reducing inflammation in your body.
So, eating broccoli can help you load up on these powerful compounds.
Broccoli also contains more than your daily need for vitamin K. This fat-soluble micronutrient plays a crucial role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and blood calcium levels regulation.
Your body also needs vitamin K to produce a special protein that helps with blood clotting, which prevents excessive bleeding.
Since it’s a fat-soluble vitamin, you have to consume foods containing it with a source of some healthy fats to ensure absorption.
For broccoli, you could try adding it to salads with avocado or nuts. You can even eat cooked broccoli with fatty fish like salmon or mackerel.
Should you eat broccoli when trying to lose weight?
Broccoli is very low in calories, which already makes it a very good vegetable for a weight loss-friendly diet.
Consuming foods low in calories but highly nutritious helps you stay full for longer, which leads to eating fewer calories each day.
In order to lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit. So, adding broccoli to your diet can help you do that by providing you with fewer calories but more nutrients.
Another way that broccoli helps you lose weight is because of the fiber it contains. One cup of cooked broccoli packs as much as 5.2 g of fiber, which is 20% of your daily recommended need for this nutrient.
Fiber helps food move through the digestive tract, easing digestion and preventing indigestion. It also increases the feeling of fullness after eating, so you’re less likely to ingest too many calories.
In addition, fiber helps feed the ‘good’ gut bacteria in your stomach, contributing to the health of your digestive system.
Broccoli also contains a good dose of protein. One cup of cooked broccoli has 3.8 g of protein, around 8% of how much you need per day.
While this might not seem like a lot, broccoli is actually considered a high-protein vegetable, calorie for calorie.
Protein helps you build lean muscle mass and protects it from becoming an energy source when you’re in a calorie deficit. Because of that, eating lots of high-protein foods can aid in weight loss.
Is Chinese broccoli fattening?
Chinese broccoli differs from regular broccoli in appearance and texture but also in nutrition. Firstly, it tastes more bitter and earthy than regular broccoli.
One cup of cooked Chinese broccoli contains only about 19 calories, making it a very good food for a weight loss diet. It also provides you with 2.2 g of fiber in a single serving, which, as you know, is an important nutrient for weight loss.
So, even if your goal isn’t losing weight, eating some Chinese broccoli every once in a while can be incredibly good for you.
Broccoli is an incredibly healthy and versatile veggie. It’s loaded with essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, so it’s definitely not fattening. In fact, eating it can even help you lose weight or gain lean muscle mass thanks to the fiber and protein it contains.
So, if you’re looking for a new veggie for your meals, try giving broccoli a shot and reap great health benefits along the way.
Alicia is the senior content editor and writer here at Food FAQ. She has extensive experience with acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, and various supplements. When not eating food for “research”, she’s watching “Friends” for the 100th time.