Similar to broccoli, broccolini is a cruciferous vegetable that has a delicate texture and impressive nutritional profile. It is a hybrid between broccoli and Chinese broccoli, also known as gai lan. The goal behind creating this hybrid was to create a more flavorful member of the Brassica family. Not only is it easy to prepare, but it is also much tastier than traditional broccoli. It’s a green vegetable that you probably won’t fight your parents about eating. Imagine that!
Nutritional Content Of Broccolini
Broccoli and broccolini are similar, but not the same. If you like one, you are bound to like the other! Broccolini has a thinner stalk with a texture that is comparable to asparagus spears. Because of the longer, fibrous stems, you may not be able enjoy it raw like you would broccoli florets and stems. Nutritionally, broccolini resembles broccoli, and you can learn more about that below. The following nutritional amounts are based off a 100-gram serving of broccolini:
- Calories: 35
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Protein: 3.5 grams
- Iron: 7% of the daily value (DV)
- Calcium: 4% of the DV
- Potassium: 6% of the DV
In addition to the above nutritional information, broccolini contains several micronutrients, including vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Continue reading to learn more about why you should incorporate this vegetable into your diet.
May Boost Heart Health
One study looked at 1,226 Australian women over the age of 70 with no diagnosed atherosclerosis. The researchers noted that the women in the study who had a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables were able to reduce the risk of death from blocked arteries. Eating more cruciferous vegetables like broccolini also works to reduce inflammation, according to test-tube studies. Researchers attribute this ability to the sulforaphane in broccolini, a compound that may also prevent the narrowing of arteries. In fact, one study found that eating broccolini and other cruciferous vegetables was protective against plaque blockages in the arteries.
Helps Maintain Good Eyesight
As you age, it’s natural for your vision to decline. While broccolini may not be able to fully repair your vision, it can help you maintain good eyesight as you age. This is due to the fact that broccoli contains a lot of vitamin A, which helps your eyes produce pigments that make it possible to see the full spectrum of light. Several studies found that people with low vitamin A levels experienced nyctalopia, which is the inability to see dim light or see at night.
May Control Blood Sugar
According to health experts, one of the best ways to help regulate blood sugar is to eat foods that are rich in fiber. Broccolini happens to be a great source of fiber, which the body digests more slowly. The slow digestion time helps to keep you full for longer, which works to prevent blood sugar spikes from occurring. Compare that to foods that the body can digest quickly, e.g. sugary beverages, candy, and refined carbohydrates. A 12-week study monitored people with type 2 diabetes. For the duration of the study, each of them regularly took broccoli sprout extract with the equivalent of 150 micromoles of sulforaphane. The researchers found that this extract was effective at lowering fasting blood sugar levels and improving HgA1c, a marker of blood sugar control.
May Offer Anti-Cancer Benefits
A 17-year-long study with 88,184 middle-aged people with no history of cancer, heart attack, or stroke found that eating cruciferous vegetables every day decreased the risk of death. The sulforaphane in broccolini exhibits antioxidant properties that may inhibit the growth and activation of cancer cells. Data from case-control studies found that maintaining a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables was able to protect against certain cancers. More research is needed on the anti-cancer potential of broccolini, but initial research is promising.