Nutrients And Calories In Steamed Broccoli – All You Need To Know
If there is one vegetable my nieces would eat, it would be broccoli. In fact, it’s a popular dinner request! We like to steam this cruciferous vegetable as we believe that’s the best way to get the nutrients from it. But did you know there are calories in steamed broccoli too?
Today, we’ll talk more about everybody’s tolerable vegetable - broccoli! Let’s take a look at what we’re actually getting from these rich greens, and what some loosely call “free food”, shall we?
#1 - Carbohydrates
For half a cup portion of steamed broccoli or about 100 grams, you get 7 grams of carbohydrates. “Carbs” has earned a stigma in the fitness world, and most dieters, especially the rookies, try to avoid them. However, since carbohydrates work in such a way that they and increase and reduce body weight, you should be conscious of which carbohydrates to choose.
Fiber-rich vegetables like broccoli is an excellent source of good carbohydrates. It is mainly complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Not sure what bad carbohydrates are? They’re simply sugars that have little nutritional value or none at all.
#2 - Protein
Yes, plants have protein too! Half a cup of steamed broccoli contains around 3 grams of protein. But is it enough to meet the required daily protein intake? No. Proteins are either complete or incomplete. A complete protein contains sufficient amount of all the eight amino acids required.
Protein from broccoli has all the eight amino acids, but not enough amount of each, which makes it technically an incomplete protein. How do you get complete protein with broccoli? By pairing it with other protein-rich foods like roasted walnuts as a side dish, or slivers of low-fat cheese as a topping.
#3 - Fiber
For every half a cup of steamed broccoli, you get 2.5 grams of fiber. Why do you need fiber anyway? You need fiber because it makes your stomach and intestines work efficiently during digestion. A sufficient amount of fiber also lowers your risk of a heart disease.
Does steaming take away some of the fibers? It does, but only in small amounts. The fibers that escape are never in large quantities that it’s valid to say steaming is NOT the worse way to have broccoli. Looking for ways to spice up your steamed broccoli dish? Top it off with some fresh herbs or sprinkle with cracked black pepper!
Wondering how to steam broccoli without a steamer? Watch this video here!
#4 - Vitamins
A single serving of broccoli can give you over 60 milligrams of Vitamin C, and that’s meeting the recommended daily intake for people 19 years old and above. Why do we need Vitamin C? Well, its primary role is to boost the immune system.
A half cup serving of broccoli also provides you with 1207 IU of Vitamin A. Does steaming broccoli reduce the amount of Vitamin A in the vegetable? Steaming is good for preserving water-soluble vitamins. While it may slightly reduce the amount of Vitamin C, it’s unclear if the amount of Vitamin A is affected during steaming.
Fat-soluble Vitamins E and K are also present in broccoli, as well as folate or Vitamin B9.
#5 - Minerals
A half cup of steamed broccoli gives you 8% of the recommended daily potassium intake and 5% of daily value of phosphorus. What are these minerals for? While you don’t need and want high content of potassium and phosphorus in your body, you need potassium to regulate your blood pressure, and you need phosphorus to keep your bones strong.
You also get roughly the same amount of calcium and sodium from half a cup of steamed broccoli. Other minerals you can get from steamed broccoli are manganese, copper, zinc, selenium, and iron. The truth is, broccoli has a little bit of everything your body needs.
#6 - Phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are nutrients that have been scientifically proven to provide health benefits. How do they differ from the nutrients we listed above? Well, the word “Phyto” means ‘plants’ in Greek, and that deserves its own category. You can’t relate it to carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals.
You need phytonutrients for optimal cellular function. Steamed broccoli is rich in phytonutrients. It has anti-cancer properties because of its sulforaphane content. Sulforaphane is considered one of the most powerful non-carcinogen found in food. Aside from having anti-cancer properties, it also has anti-diabetes properties. These phytonutrients in broccoli improve your overall health and body functions.
#7 - Calories
You would think a powerhouse like broccoli won’t have any calorie in it, wouldn’t you? But it does. For every 85 grams of steamed broccoli, you get 25 calories. 38% of these calories in steamed broccoli are from the proteins it contains, and 63% from the carbs.
If you add butter or cheese to your steamed broccoli dish, naturally, you get more calories. But aren’t calories bad? Technically, calories are neither good nor bad.
What makes you think that calories are bad is when you eat a particular food in excessive amounts without being physically active, then you create a noticeable caloric imbalance. In other words, you get unhealthily fat.
Did You Know?
# 1 - Broccoli may reduce or delay the onset of ALS
Since broccoli is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a study concerning ALS patients revealed that taking a-linolenic acid lowers ALS risk. ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a degenerative disease where the muscles receive no nourishment. ALS is also called Lou Gehrig’s disease.
#2 - Broccoli may help prevent congenital disabilities
Aside from its nutritional value that’s obviously beneficial for pregnant women, broccoli has folate content that helps prevent congenital disabilities. When you’re pregnant, your body naturally becomes deficient in nutrients since the baby’s using most of them up. Folic-rich broccoli must be added to a pregnant woman’s diet.
#3 - Broccoli is good for iron-deficiency anemia
A low level of red blood cells indicate anemia. How do you get it? You get it when you’re iron-deprived. Broccoli is rich in iron; and steamed or boiled broccoli are a great remedy against anemia. You also need copper for red blood cell production, and you can get it from broccoli as well.
#4 - Broccoli can cure stomach aches
If you’re having any problem with your stomach, it’s most likely a fiber deficiency. A sufficient amount of fiber in your diet prevents constipation. And we all know that constipation is the root of almost all stomach disorders, right?
Another common stomach disorder is acidity. It’s a good thing broccoli contains magnesium and other vitamins essential for countering acidity and soothing any inflammation in your stomach.
#5 - Broccoli may give you glowing skin.
Broccoli is packed with antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene. What do antioxidants do to your skin? They keep it glowing and radiant, and they fight lines caused by aging. When shopping for broccolis, go for the richer green color. The greener, the better. Darker green flowerets on broccoli mean it contains more nutrients.
#6 - Broccoli helps prevent cataracts
Not only is broccoli good for the skin, heart, and bones, but also for your eyes! Broccoli contains zeaxanthin, an antioxidant located in the eye. How does it work? Zeaxanthin filters high-energy blue wavelengths of light that are generally harmful to your ocular health.
As with lutein, zeaxanthin is deposited in high quantity in your eye’s retina. Our body does not naturally produce zeaxanthin, so a good amount of broccoli in your diet will help maintain your eyes’ healthy cells.
#7 - Broccoli may slow down bone damage
Thanks to its chemical sulforaphane, people who have arthritis may stop worrying about permanent joint damage. This compound apparently blocks the destructive enzymes that would otherwise damage the joints. Not only sulforaphane is responsible for reducing chronic inflammation, but also broccoli’s omega-3 fatty acids and the isothiocyanates.
#8 - Protesting farmers shipped 10 tons of broccoli to The White House
Then-President George H.W. Bush was very vocal about his dislike of broccoli. On national television, he openly declared, albeit slightly jokingly, these very words: ““I do not like broccoli... And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!”. Following that statement, enraged broccoli farmers sent a reported 10 tons of broccoli to The White House.
The vegetables were donated to local homeless shelters, and since then have become a hot topic and a long-standing joke during Bush’s presidency.
Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s rich in vitamins, proteins, minerals, carbohydrates, and phytonutrients. Contrary to what many believe, broccoli contains calories. Why? Because the composition of these proteins and carbohydrates include calories!
Why steamed broccoli? Steaming has long been one of the best cooking methods, especially of broccoli, because there’s no significant nutrient loss when you steam it.
Did you find the article eye-opening? If you did, please don’t hesitate to share it! In the comments below, tell us how you prefer to cook your broccoli. We could all use a new recipe if anyone’s willing to share!