Broccoli – Brassica oleracea Italica


Broccoli - Brassica oleracea Italica

Broccoli Quick Facts
Name: Broccoli
Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea Italica
Origin Italy
Colors Deep sage to dark green to purplish-green, depending upon the variety
Shapes Head shaped like cauliflower consisting of tiny flower buds
Flesh colors Deep sage to dark green to purplish-green
Taste Fresh mild taste
Calories 49 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin K (164.58%)
Vitamin C (101.00%)
Vitamin B9 (37.75%)
Vitamin B6 (21.54%)
Vitamin B5 (17.24%)
Health benefits Helps Wound Healing, Prevents Kidney Stones, Mental and Emotional Disorders, Lowers Risk of Gout, Internal Bleeding, Weight Loss Effects, High Blood Pressure, Bone Health, Immunity, Proper Eye Care, Heart Diseases, Stomach Disorders, Skin Care, Detoxification, Cancer Prevention
Broccoli scientifically known as Brassica oleracea (Italica Group) belongs to cruciferous vegetable family which includes cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, collard greens, rutabaga, arugula and turnip. The word Broccoli originates from Italian word broccolo, which means “the flowering crest of a cabbage”, and is also minuscule form of brocco, which means “small nail” or “sprout”. It is native to eastern Mediterranean region. Some common names of Broccoli include Green Heading Broccoli, Cape Broccoli, Asparagus Broccoli, Purple Heading Broccoli, Broccoli, Winter Cauliflower, Calabrese, Heading Broccoli and Sprouting Broccoli. Broccoli is an all-star food along with several health benefits. Although it is low in calories and is full of important vitamins and minerals. Romanesco Broccoli, Heading Broccoli, Purple cauliflower, Chinese broccoli, Italian Broccoli, Broccoli Raab, Sprouting Broccoli, Calabrese broccoli, and sprouting broccoli are some popular varieties of Broccoli.


Broccoli is a glabrous, erect, annual or biennial herb sized 80-130 cm tall found growing in cool, moist sub-temperate climate. Normally it prefers well-drained, fertile loamy, moist, sandy loam or loamy clay soils, rich in organic matter and an alkaline along with adequate soil boron. Broccoli plant has tap root system with un-branched, waxy stem thickening upwards. Leaves are thick, slightly leathery, smooth simple, oblong, alternate, lamina blade ovate to oblong, up to 80 cm × 40 cm, greyish blue to green, shortly petiolate and exstipulate. Flower is bisexual cross shaped, tetramerous flowers on 1–2 cm pedicel, along with four erect, oblong sepals; four yellow obovate, clawed petals. Flower usually blooms from May to August.


Broccoli is a cool-season crop, which is full of important nutrients. Mature broccoli plant bears about 4-10 inches wide, deep sage to dark green to purplish green color flower-heads dependent on the cultivar type. Its central thick stalk measures about 6-10 inches in length. Both stalk and fleshy flower heads are edible. Broccoli features fresh mild taste. Fruit is slender, linear silique which is a long edible pod 4.5-10 cm long and 3-6 mm wide. Siliques typically consist of 20 to 60 seeds. Seeds are usually brown or black that is small and round in shape. It is best to buy broccoli from June to October when it’s in season.


Broccoli is considered to have originated from Italy. During ancient Roman times, it was developed from wild cabbage, a plant that more looks like collards than broccoli. It was then spread throughout the Near East where it was treasured for its comestible flower heads and was consequently brought back to Italy where it was further cultivated. During colonial times, broccoli was introduced to the United States, promoted by Italian immigrants who transported this prized vegetable with them to the New World.

Nutritional Value

Apart from their fresh mild taste Broccoli is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 140 gram of broccoli offers 197.5 µg of Vitamin K (phylloquinone), 90.9 mg of Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid), 151 µg of Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid), 0.28 mg of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), 0.862 mg of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), 108 µg of Vitamin A, 2.03 mg of Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), 94 mg of Phosphorus, P and 0.172 mg of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).  Moreover many Amino acids like 0.048 g of Tryptophan, 0.193 g of Valine, 0.129 g of Isoleucine, 0.134 g of Threonine, 0.088 g of Histidine and 0.217 g of Lysine are also found in 140 gram of this Broccoli.

Nutritional value of Broccoli
Serving Size: 1stalk,small Cup, 140 g

Calories 49 Kcal. Calories from Fat 5.13 Kcal.

Proximity Amount % DV
Water 124.95 g N/D
Energy 49 Kcal N/D
Energy 204 kJ N/D
Total dietary Fiber 4.6 g 12.11%
Carbohydrate 10.05 g 7.73%
Protein 3.33 g 6.66%
Total Fat (lipid) 0.57 g 1.63%
Ash 1.08 g N/D
Total Sugars 1.95 g N/D
Sucrose 0.11 g N/D
Glucose (dextrose) 0.69 g N/D
Fructose 1.04 g N/D

Minerals Amount % DV
Phosphorus, P 94 mg 13.43%
Manganese, Mn 0.272 mg 11.83%
Iron, Fe 0.94 mg 11.75%
Copper, Cu 0.085 mg 9.44%
Potassium, K 410 mg 8.72%
Magnesium, Mg 29 mg 6.90%
Zinc, Zn 0.63 mg 5.73%
Calcium, Ca 56 mg 5.60%
Selenium, Se 2.2 µg 4.00%
Sodium, Na 57 mg 3.80%
Fluoride 5.6 µg 0.14%

Vitamins Amount % DV
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 197.5 µg 164.58%
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 90.9 mg 101.00%
Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid) 151 µg 37.75%
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.28 mg 21.54%
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.862 mg 17.24%
Vitamin A 108 µg 15.43%
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 2.03 mg 13.53%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.172 mg 13.23%
Choline 56.1 mg 10.20%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.088 mg 7.33%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.774 mg 4.84%
Beta Carotene 1301 µg N/D
Lutein + zeaxanthin 1512 µg N/D
Tocopherol, beta 0.01 mg N/D
Tocopherol, gamma 0.35 mg N/D

Lipids Amount % DV
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.111 g 0.17%
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.238 g 1.40%
Lauric acid (dodecanoic acid) 12:00 0.003 g N/D
Palmitic acid 16:00 (Hexadecanoic acid) 0.078 g N/D
Stearic acid 18:00 (Octadecanoic acid) 0.018 g N/D
20:00 0.006g
Behenic acid (docosanoic acid) 22:00 0.007 g N/D
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.056 g N/D
Palmitoleic acid 16:1 (hexadecenoic acid) 0.013 g N/D
17:01 0.003 g
Oleic acid 18:1 (octadecenoic acid) 0.041 g N/D
Linoleic acid 18:2 (octadecadienoic acid) 0.071 g N/D
Linolenic acid 18:3 (Octadecatrienoic acid) 0.167 g N/D

Amino Acids Amount % DV
Tryptophan 0.048 g 10.91%
Valine 0.193 g 9.14%
Isoleucine 0.129 g 7.72%
Threonine 0.134 g 7.61%
Histidine 0.088 g 7.14%
Lysine 0.217 g 6.49%
Leucine 0.206 g 5.57%
Tyrosine 0.084 g 2.89%
Cystine 0.043 g 2.57%
Methionine 0.06g N/D
Phenylalanine 0.162g N/D
Arginine 0.28 g N/D
Alanine 0.16 g N/D
Aspartic acid 0.461 g N/D
Glutamic acid 0.769 g N/D
Glycine 0.141 g N/D
Proline 0.155 g N/D
Serine 0.181 g N/D
Kaempferol 1.5 mg N/D
Quercetin 1.9 mg N/D

*Above mentioned Percent Daily Values (%DVs) are based on 2,000 calorie diet intake. Daily values (DVs) may be different depending upon your daily calorie needs. Mentioned values are recommended by a U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are not recommendations. Calculations are based on average age of 19 to 50 years and weighs 194 lbs.

Health benefits of Broccoli

Vegetables have a remarkable way of offering extensive benefits to your health, and broccoli is no exclusion. Regular consumptions of broccoli, provides dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of super-nutrients which support optimal, body-wide health.

1. Cancer Prevention

Cancer is considered by the rapid growing of abnormal cells, beyond their normal boundaries, and is frequently related to oxidative stress.Broccoli is loaded with compounds that are supposed to have defensive effects against cancer.

Research suggests that consumption of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, is related to reduced risk of many cancers which includes lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, gastric and pancreatic cancer.(1),(2)

2. Detoxification

Broccoli consists of vitamin-C, sulphur and certain amino acids, which make broccoli a very good detoxifier. Broccoli consumption helps to eliminate free radicals as well as harmful toxins like uric acid from the body, thereby cleansing the blood and keeping away problems related to toxins such as itches, boils, gout, rheumatism, rashes, arthritis, renal calculi, skin diseases like eczema and hardening of the skin.(3)

3. Skin Care

Antioxidants like Vitamin C and beta-carotene along with other helper vitamins like vitamin B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A & K, omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids and folate are present in the broccoli which helps to keep skin healthy and glowing. All of them help to take good care of the skin and leave it radiant, healthy, and glowing. One of the phytonutrients, glucoraphanin which is present in broccoli has been associated with reversing the negative effects of sun exposure. So regular consumption of broccoli is essential to keep skin healthy and glowing.(4)

4. Stomach Disorders

Fiber is essential for healthy digestive system. Broccoli is rich in fiber or roughage, the crucial dietary component that can cure nearly all stomach disorders simply by curing constipation. As we all know that constipation is the root of almost all the stomach disorders. The fiber adds to the bulkiness of the food, retains water and forms healthy bowel movements. Apart from that magnesium and the vitamins that are present in the broccoli also cure acidity, ease proper digestion and absorption of nutrients from the food and calm the stomach by reducing inflammation.(5)

5. Heart Diseases

Apart from very high fiber content, broccoli consists of significant amounts of beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids and other essential vitamins which help to decrease bad cholesterol and keep the heart functioning appropriately by regulating blood-pressure. Furthermore, the potassium found in broccoli is a vasodilator which can boost blood flow and oxygenation of essential organs by relaxing tension and stress of veins and blood vessels.(6)

6. Proper Eye Care

Broccoli is loaded with beta-carotene, Zeaxanthin, phosphorus, vitamin A, as well as other vitamins like B complex, C and E which are extremely good for optical health. These nutrients and vitamins helps to protect eyes from macular degeneration as well as cataracts, while also repairing almost all damage done from by radiation.(7)

7. Immunity

Vitamin C, beta-carotene as well as other vitamins and minerals, mainly selenium, copper, zinc, phosphorus is responsible for green and purple color of broccoli. These compounds present in broccoli are actually great immune system strengtheners which protect from numerous infections.(8)

8. Bone Health

Regular broccoli consumption is extremely beneficial for kids, pregnant women, lactating women and old people because it consists of calcium and other nutrients like magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. That’s because these are the people most susceptible to osteoporosis, weakening of bones and teeth, and calcium deficiency so broccoli must be consumed regularly by those individuals.(9)

9. High Blood Pressure

Mineral, chromium which is found plentifully in broccoli, helps in the proper functioning of insulin and controls blood sugar, thus regulating blood pressure too. Vitamins, which make all our systems function properly, are also found plenty in broccoli, along with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids which help to regulate blood pressure even more, therefore include broccoli into your diet for some real heart health protection!(10)

10. Weight Loss Effects

Broccoli is one of the beneficial foods for all those who are trying to lose unwanted body weight. Broccoli consists of very low quantity of calorie and comprises less than 1% fat. Apart from that vitamin c can also be found in raw or lightly steamed broccoli and it has shown to enhance the body’s fat burning capabilities throughout a workout. Different research also concluded that body uses vitamin C to make carnitine, a compound which inspires the body to turn fat into fuel, rather than store it as body fat.

11. Internal Bleeding

Vitamin K present in considerable amount in broccoli helps in decreasing the risk of bleeding within the liver, jaundice or the combination of long term use of antibiotics or aspirin. Some problems in gastrointestinal system due to decrease of vitamin comprise Crohn’s disease, obstructions, sprue, and colitis. These problems are due to a decreased content of Vitamin K.

12. Lowers Risk of Gout

Broccoli consists of huge quantity of Vitamin C that is required for lowering the risk of gout. It is a painful, arthritis type condition mostly troubling the big toe. Usually big toe becomes stiff, painful and inflamed due to excessive uric acid resulting to crystals formed in joints.

13. Mental and Emotional Disorders

Vitamin B9 found abundantly in broccoli is supportive for treating numerous mental and emotional illnesses. For example, it is supportive in treating anxiety and depression, which are regarded two of the most common mental health problems suffered by several people in today’s modern world.

14. Prevents Kidney Stones

Research has proven that taking vitamin B6 together with other minerals, like magnesium, is beneficial to prevent as well as treat kidney stones. Vitamin B6 found in broccoli is commonly useful in patients who are at an increased risk for kidney stones due to other ailments.

15. Helps Wound Healing

Broccoli consists of sufficient quantity of Vitamin B5 which is essential for the treatment of skin reactions after radiation therapy and may speed up wound and cut healing. Additionally it also delays the appearance of premature aging, like wrinkles and dark spots on the skin.

How to Eat

  • Flowering head consisting of unopened flower buds and fleshy upper portion of the stem is consumed as vegetables.
  • Flower head is divided into smaller bits and can be eaten raw or lightly cooked, steam, microwave and stir-fry and eaten as mixed salads or in pickles.
  • Stems need to be cooked longer.
  • Broccoli is available as quick- frozen vegetables and processed in dried mixtures of soup vegetables.
  • It also compliments soups and other vegetable dishes.

Other Traditional uses and benefits of Broccoli

  • Juice of the broccoli leaves is used to treat warts.


  • Just like other members of the cruciferous family, broccoli consists of “goitrogens” which might cause swelling of thyroid gland and consequently, should be evaded in individuals with thyroid dysfunction.

Broccoli – Brassica oleracea Italica Facts

Broccoli is an erect, glabrous, annual or biennial herb, native to eastern Mediterranean region.It  is a cool-weather crop that does poorly in hot summer climate. It is loaded with essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins.

Name Broccoli
Scientific Name Brassica oleracea Italica
Native Italy
Common/English Name Winter Cauliflower , Asparagus Broccoli, Broccoli, Sprouting Broccoli, Cape Broccoli, Purple Heading Broccoli, Heading Broccoli, Calabrese, Green Heading Broccoli
Name in Other Languages French : Brocoli Asperge
Greek : Brókola
Turkish : Brokoli
Breton : Brouskaolenn
Croatian : Kelj-Pupčar
Dhivehi : Burokol
Frisian : Brokolli
Dutch : Broccolikiemen
Arabic : Brokli
Latvian : Brokoli
Japanese : Burokkorii
Spanish : Brécol
Icelandic : Spergilkál
Macedonian : Brokoli
Thai : Br̆xkh Kho Lī̀
Esperanto : Brokolo
Albanian : Brokoli
Gaelic : Callish Rangagh
Haitian : Bwokoli ( Creole )
Hungarian : Brokkoli
Eastonian : Asparkapsas
India : Phulagobhi
Polish : Brokul
Afrikaans : Spruitjes
Czech : Brokolice
Italian : Cavolo B
Chinese : Gaai Choi Fa
Finnish : Parsakaali
Romanian : Broccoli
Norwegian : Bróculo
Swedish : Sparriskål
Catalan : Broquil
Slováščina : Brokolica
Portuguese : Brócolis
Brazil : Arroz De Brócolis
Korean : Beu Ro Kol Li
Malaysia : Brokaoli
Danish : Broccoli
Serbian : Brokoli
Indonesian : Brokali
Czech : Brokolice
Maltese : Brokkli
Philippines : Brokoli ( Cebuano )
Russian : Brokoli
German : Braunkohl
Vietnamese : Cải Bông Xanh
Sicilian : Bròcculu
Lithuanian : Brokolis
Provencale : Brokoli
Ukrainian : Brokoli
Slovenčina : Brokolica
Plant Growth Habit Glabrous, erect, annual or biennial herb
Growing Climate Cool, moist sub-temperate climate
Soil Well-drained, fertile loamy, moist, sandy loam or loamy clay soils, rich in organic matter and an alkaline with sufficient soil boron.
Plant Size 80-130cm tall
Root Tap root system
Stem Un-branched, waxy stem thickening upward
Leaf Leaves are thick, somewhat leathery, smooth oblong, simple,
alternate, lamina blade ovate to oblong, up to 80 cm × 40 cm, greyish blue to green, shortly petiolate and exstipulate
Flowering Season May to August
Flower Bisexual cross shaped, tetramerous flowers on 1–2 cm pedicel, with four erect, oblong sepals; four yellow obovate, clawed petals
Broccoli shape & size Head shaped like cauliflower consisting of tiny flower buds
Broccoli color Deep sage to dark green to purplish-green, depending upon the variety.
Broccoli Taste Fresh mild taste
Fruit Slender, linear silique that is a long edible pod 4.5-10 cm long and 3-6 mm wide. Siliques typically contain from 20 to 60 seeds.
Seed Brown or black that are small and round in shape
Varieties/Types Sprouting broccoli, Chinese broccoli,  Broccoli Raab, Purple cauliflower, Romanesco Broccoli,  Italian Broccoli, Heading Broccoli, Sprouting Broccoli, and Calabrese broccoli
Season Jul to September
Major Nutrition Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 197.5 µg (164.58%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 90.9 mg (101.00%)
Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid) 151 µg (37.75%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.28 mg (21.54%)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.862 mg (17.24%)
Vitamin A 108 µg (15.43%)
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 2.03 mg (13.53%)
Phosphorus, P 94 mg (13.43%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.172 mg (13.23%)
Total dietary Fiber 4.6 g (12.11%)
Manganese, Mn 0.272 mg (11.83%)
Iron, Fe 0.94 mg (11.75%)
Tryptophan 0.048 g (10.91%)
Choline 56.1 mg (10.20%)
Health Benefits
  • Helps Wound Healing
  • Prevents Kidney Stones
  • Mental and Emotional Disorders
  • Lowers Risk of Gout
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Weight Loss Effects
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Bone Health, Immunity
  • Proper Eye Care
  • Heart Diseases
  • Stomach Disorders
  • Skin Care
  • Detoxification
  • Cancer Prevention
Calories in 1cup (140gm) 49 Kcal

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea Italica) Scientific Classification

Scientific name Brassica oleracea Italica
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheobionta
Order Capparales
Family Brassicaceae ⁄ Cruciferae
Genus Brassica L.
Species Brassica oleracea L.
Super division Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Sub Class Dilleniidae