Eating 1–2 cups of steamed broccoli 3 times a week is good for weight loss. Broccoli is low in calories, controls hunger, and it’s packed with fat-burning compounds, such as vitamins A, C, E, K, GABA, boron, chlorophyll, carotenoids, folic acid, and sulforaphane!
Broccoli is low in calories!
Above all, broccoli is good for weight loss because it’s pretty low in calories. Cooked broccoli has only 35 calories per 100g! Moreover, a whole stalk has fewer than 100 calories!
A cup of boiled broccoli has about 55 calories. So, people who want to lose weight can eat as much broccoli as they want. Even 3–4 cups of broccoli a day won’t make you fat. In fact, most people can’t eat such large amounts!
Caloric deficit is key for losing weight. We lose weight, only when we consume fewer calories than we burn. Eating lots of filling, low-calorie foods makes dieting easy. Fruits and vegetables are the best options.
Protein in broccoli supports weight loss
Additionally, broccoli is one of the richest vegetables in protein. In fact, about 7% of its calories come from protein. A medium stalk contains about 4.3 grams of protein.
Following a high-protein diet promotes weight loss. Protein has the highest thermic effect among macronutrients. We burn up to 30% of protein during digestion.
In fact, foods high in water, fiber, and protein have the highest satiating score.
Therefore, you could eat broccoli with other high-protein foods, such as legumes, or whole-wheat bread to feel full for hours!
Fiber in broccoli controls hunger
Moreover, broccoli is an excellent dietary source of fiber. it has 3.3 grams of fiber per 100g. This amount is 12% of the recommended daily intake!
Fiber is good for weight loss, as it keeps us full for a long time. Fiber absorbs water, and expands, increasing food volume in the stomach. Also, it slows down digestion.
On the contrary, low fiber intake increases the risk of obesity.
Furthermore, broccoli is beneficial for gastrointestinal microbiota. Fiber in broccoli, along with other phytonutrients, such as glucosinolates, are metabolized by gastrointestinal microbes. A healthy gastrointestinal microbiota is vital for good health. Also, it plays a key role in energy metabolism.
Water in broccoli hydrates the body
Additionally, broccoli is 90% water! First, foods high in water are super filling, while they’re low in calories. Most noteworthy, the water in broccoli hydrates the body. It’s crucial to be properly hydrated in order to burn belly fat.
Vitamin C in broccoli promotes fat burn
Also, broccoli is good for weight loss because it’s one of the richest foods in vitamin C. Raw broccoli contains 91 mg of vitamin C per 100g, or 100% of the Daily Value! So, a small floret of boiled broccoli provides 100% of the DV.
Prefer to steam broccoli in order to preserve most vitamin C. Vitamin C is pretty vulnerable to heat.
Vitamin C is good for weight loss. It helps the body burn fat for energy. Furthermore, vitamin C enhances iron absorption. Broccoli contains decent amounts of iron as well.
Vitamin K for losing belly fat
Moreover, broccoli is particularly rich in vitamin K1. It has 141 mcg of vitamin K1 per 100g, or 115% of the DV! Besides broccoli floret, the stem and leaves are excellent sources of vitamin K1 as well. In fact, broccoli leaves have 3 times more vitamin K than florets! Yes, broccoli leaves are edible.
Vitamin K is beneficial for weight loss, as it plays a key role in fat and glucose metabolism.
Broccoli leaves are high in vitamin E
Furthermore, broccoli leaves are pretty rich in vitamin E. They provide about 20% of the DV per 100g. On the contrary, florets and stems contain negligible amounts of vitamin E.
Vitamin E may improve insulin sensitivity, reduce oxidative stress, and inflammation!
The best dietary sources of vitamin E are seeds and nuts, such as sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts! Spinach is also high in vitamin E.
Carotenoids in broccoli promote weight loss
Additionally, broccoli is an excellent natural source of carotenoids. Fresh broccoli florets have 93 mcg of beta-carotene, and 745 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin per 100g. Also, they contain high amounts of violaxanthin and neoxanthin! Broccoli leaves contain about 5 times more carotenoids, though! Broccoli leaves are more nutrient-dense than florets!
It’s crucial for obese people to consume high amounts of carotenoids from fruits and vegetables. Obese and overweight people tend to have lower blood concentrations of carotenoids. Carotenoids prevent the development of obesity. Actually, they enhance weight loss, as they promote fat burn.[9,10,11]
Other common foods high in carotenoids, which are good for weight loss, are kale, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and spinach!
Chlorophyll in broccoli for weight loss
Chlorophyll is the green pigments of plants. Broccoli is pretty high in chlorophyll. Especially, broccoli leaves! Florets have about 100 mg, stems 16 mg, and leaves 525 mg of chlorophyll per 100g (dry weight), respectively.
Consuming foods rich in chlorophyll is good for weight loss, as chlorophyll may improve glucose tolerance, and fight inflammation.
Also, foods containing chlorophyll are very filling.
Broccoli is packed with phytochemicals which promote weight loss
Furthermore, broccoli is good for weight loss because it’s a good dietary source of sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a phytochemical mainly found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage. This plant compound prevents obesity, as it:[14,15]
- increases metabolism
- improves insulin resistance
- fights obesity-induced inflammation
- burns belly fat
But, raw broccoli doesn’t contain sulforaphane. It contains its inactive form, called glucoraphanin. We have to chop or chew broccoli to get sulforaphane.
Moreover, broccoli is one of the richest foods in folic acid. Folic acid is necessary for weight loss, as it’s involved in protein and lipid metabolism.
Broccoli contains high amounts of GABA
Additionally, broccoli is one of the richest foods in GABA. It has about 77 nmol/g of GABA (dry weight).
GABA is beneficial for weight loss. This chemical may increase Human Growth Hormone, reduce appetite, improve sleep quality, and insulin sensitivity!
Boron in broccoli helps lose weight
Also, broccoli contains moderate amounts of boron. This trace mineral may increase sex hormone levels, such as testosterone, reduce inflammation, prevent vitamin D deficiency, and help lose weight. We can get more than enough boron from our diet. See the whole list of foods high in boron here.
How much broccoli should I eat a day to lose weight?
Broccoli is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense superfood. You can eat as much broccoli as you want. Practically, you can’t gain weight from broccoli.
Consuming broccoli regularly, as part of a healthy, well-balanced, hypocaloric diet, is good for weight loss. You could eat broccoli 2–3 times a week, or even more.
According to a study, a weekly dose of broccoli of 400 grams (about 2 medium florets) helps reduce the risk of certain types of cancers.
Just remember to steam broccoli and chew it thoroughly. Boiling destroys its powerful phytochemicals, while chewing makes them more bioavailable.