The nutritional value of broccoli is very high, even among vegetables. It's a very good source of vitamins A, C, and K. It's a good source of vitamin E and some B vitamins, especially folate. The nutritional value of broccoli also includes minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Broccoli is very low in fat and calories and is a also good source of protein and fiber.
One half a cup of cooked broccoli, or about 3 ounces (78 g), contains about a quarter of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin A. This is in the form of beta carotene, which the body can use to make vitamin A as needed. The same half cup offers about as much vitamin C as a similarly sized serving of orange, making it an excellent source of this vitamin. It also contains more than the RDA for vitamin K.
Broccoli is a good source of some of the B vitamins, including vitamins B2, B5, and B6. It's an especially good source of folate, which is also found in other dark green vegetables. The nutritional value of broccoli includes about 25 percent of the RDA for folate. A serving of broccoli can also contribute to the daily need for vitamin E.
The nutritional value of broccoli also includes minerals. It's a very good source of potassium, which can be lacking in the Western diet. One serving provides about 10 percent of the RDA for this mineral. It's also one of the better vegetable sources of calcium. Broccoli is a good source of magnesium and magnesium and also provides small amounts of other minerals.
One serving of cooked broccoli contains about 3 grams of dietary fiber. This includes insoluble fiber as well as soluble fiber. It's a good vegetable source of protein, with amounts comparable to some grains but lower in overall calories. Three ounces of cooked broccoli contain only about 30 calories.
Broccoli may offer more nutritional value than can be seen in its vitamins and minerals. It's a good source of the carotenoid lutein, which is thought to be important for preventing age-related vision loss. It also contains flavanoids and other plant-based compounds that could help ward off other chronic diseases.
Broccoli is available frozen and raw. When frozen, it's usually blanched quickly, which shouldn't greatly affect the nutritional value of broccoli. It's often recommended that this vegetable be steamed rather than boiled so fewer vitamins and minerals are lost in the cooking water.