What happens when you eat broccoli daily?

Eating broccoli every day can have numerous health benefits thanks to its rich nutrient profile. Broccoli is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and various bioactive compounds that provide a range of potential effects. Consistently eating broccoli may improve cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, boost detoxification, protect against certain cancers, stabilize blood sugar, support eye health, improve digestion and more.

What is broccoli?

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which also includes cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage. It originated in Italy and has been grown for over 2,000 years. Broccoli is considered an extremely healthy vegetable due to its impressive array of nutrients. Just one cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli contains (1):

  • Vitamin K: 135% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin C: 135% of the DV
  • Folate: 14% of the DV
  • Potassium: 11% of the DV
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Vitamin B6: 7% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 6% of the DV
  • Manganese: 6% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 6% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 5% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 5% of the DV
  • Iron: 4% of the DV
  • Zinc: 4% of the DV

Additionally, broccoli is rich in antioxidants like kaempferol, quercetin, lutein, carotenoids and glucoraphanin, which have been linked to many health benefits.

Nutritional benefits of eating broccoli daily

Here is a detailed look at some of the top health benefits associated with eating broccoli daily:

Lowers cholesterol

Several studies have found that eating broccoli can lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health. In one study in over 950 adults, each daily serving of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli was linked to a 6.6% decrease in total cholesterol and a 12.2% reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol (2). Multiple animal studies have also found that compounds in broccoli like sulforaphane and chromium could reduce cholesterol levels.

Detoxifies the body

Broccoli contains special compounds called isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. These anti-carcinogenic compounds help neutralize and eliminate toxins and carcinogens from the body. Indole-3-carbinol helps stimulate detoxification enzymes, while sulforaphane triggers the production of certain cytochrome P450 enzymes that detoxify dangerous compounds (3).

Protects against cancer

Studies show that the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in broccoli could protect against certain types of cancer. Multiple test-tube studies indicate that sulforaphane has powerful anticancer properties and can selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed (4). Some research also suggests that increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may be associated with a lower risk of prostate, colorectal, breast and lung cancers (5).

Regulates blood sugar

Eating broccoli has been associated with better blood sugar control. In one study, people with diabetes who ate one or two servings of broccoli per day had a significant decrease in insulin resistance and reduced markers of oxidative stress (6). Broccoli is also high in fiber, which can slow digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes.

Supports eye health

Two key antioxidants found in broccoli — lutein and zeaxanthin — play an important role in eye health. These compounds accumulate in the retina of the eye and have been linked to a decreased risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), two common causes of blindness (7).

Boosts digestion

The fiber content of broccoli helps promote regularity and maintain digestive health. Broccoli also contains glucoraphanin, a compound that can be converted into an anti-inflammatory compound called sulforaphane, which may benefit digestive issues like gastric ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease (8).

Potential downsides of eating too much broccoli

Although broccoli is highly nutritious and associated with many health benefits, there are some downsides to consider with very high intake:

  • Thyroid issues: Broccoli contains goitrogens, compounds that may impair thyroid function and lead to goiter formation by interfering with iodine uptake in some individuals. Those with thyroid issues should moderate intake.
  • Blood thinning: High amounts of vitamin K from broccoli could interfere with blood thinning medications.
  • Gas and bloating: Some of the sugars found in broccoli may cause gas and bloating issues in some people.

Additionally, cooking broccoli may significantly reduce the availability of certain nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin K (9). For this reason, it’s recommended to enjoy broccoli raw or lightly cooked to get the most benefits.

How much broccoli should you eat per day?

Most nutrition organizations recommend at least 2–3 cups of vegetables per day as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, there is no specific recommended daily intake for broccoli itself.

Aim to incorporate at least a few servings of broccoli per week, along with a variety of other nutritious vegetables like spinach, carrots, beets, bell peppers and mushrooms.

If you’re not getting enough vegetables in your diet, increasing your intake to 1–2 cups of broccoli per day can be an easy way to bump up your nutrient consumption and improve your health.

How to add more broccoli to your diet

Here are some simple ways to incorporate more broccoli into your meals and snacks:

  • Chop raw broccoli into salads, wraps, tacos or grain bowls
  • Roast broccoli florets and drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and parmesan cheese
  • Steam or sauté broccoli as a side dish for lunch or dinner
  • Add broccoli to omelets, frittatas, stir-fries and pasta dishes
  • Blend into smoothies for a nutritional boost
  • Dip raw broccoli florets into hummus, guacamole or nut butter for a healthy snack
  • Toss broccoli sprouts into sandwiches, tacos and burgers

Whole broccoli vs. supplements

While broccoli extract supplements containing concentrated doses of sulforaphane and other beneficial compounds are available, it’s best to get broccoli nutrients from whole food sources whenever possible. Broccoli supplements may not provide the well-rounded nutritional profile that the vegetable itself supplies.

Additionally, research shows that eating broccoli provides better sulforaphane absorption than supplements alone (10). For this reason, it’s recommended to focus on incorporating broccoli into a balanced diet rather than relying on supplements to obtain benefits.

Broccoli recipes

Here are some healthy and delicious broccoli recipe ideas to help you eat more broccoli:

Broccoli Cheese Soup


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Cook onion, carrots and celery 5 minutes until tender.
  2. Whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes.
  3. Gradually add broth and milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add broccoli and cook 5 minutes until tender.
  5. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Cook until cheese is melted.

Garlic Roasted Broccoli


  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. On a baking sheet, toss broccoli florets with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast 15 minutes, until broccoli is tender.
  4. Remove from oven and toss with lemon juice.
  5. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Lemony Broccoli Salad


  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Toss to coat and let sit 15 minutes to soften broccoli.
  3. Mix in Parmesan cheese.

The bottom line

Eating broccoli daily can be an easy and effective way to boost vitamin, antioxidant and fiber intake. Broccoli is rich in nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, folate and potassium. It also contains various bioactive compounds with potential health benefits.

Research shows that regularly eating broccoli could aid blood sugar control, improve eye health, support detoxification, reduce inflammation and protect against certain cancers. However, very high amounts may impair thyroid function.

Aim for 1–2 cups per day along with a variety of other vegetables for optimal health. Broccoli can be enjoyed raw or cooked in dishes like soups, stir-fries, salads and more.

Incorporating broccoli into a balanced diet on a regular basis may help boost nutrition and promote better health.

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