You can eat broccoli leaves. They’re edible, delicious, and packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and protein! Also, you can eat the broccoli crown & stem! You can use them in many recipes, instead of spinach or kale.
Are broccoli leaves toxic?
Absolutely not. Broccoli leaves are edible. You can eat many parts of the broccoli plant. You can eat the broccoli crown, the broccoli stem and broccoli leaves (1).
The only poisonous parts of broccoli are the seeds. You absolutely shouldn’t eat broccoli when the flowers are mature. Seeds in flowers can be toxic. We actually eat immature flowers of broccoli.
But what leaves of broccoli are actually edible? All of them.
Certainly, we can eat the small broccoli leaves that are near to the broccoli head. Furthermore, if you grow broccoli of your own, you can eat the large leaves that surround the head of broccoli. Prefer to eat the smaller broccoli leaves, though. They’re more tender.
Health benefits of eating broccoli leaves
Broccoli leaves have so many health benefits. Certainly, they’re pretty nutritious food.
According to the USDA, 100g of broccoli leaves has (2):
- only 28 calories,
- almost 3g of protein!!!
- 2.3g of dietary fiber,
- 48 mg of calcium,
- 0.9 mg of iron,
- 66 mg of phosphorus,
- 0.4 mg of zinc,
- 93 mg of vitamin C,
- 16,000 IU of vitamin A.
Moreover, broccoli leaves are good for the human body as they’re rich in antioxidants. For instance, broccoli leaves are particularly rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. Powerful antioxidants.
Eat broccoli leaves to boost vitamin C intake
Most noteworthy, broccoli leaves are pretty rich in vitamin C. 100g contains more vitamin C than the daily recommended intake. We should consume at least 90 mg of vitamin C per day. Eat broccoli leaves to consume more than you need…
Broccoli florets are also particularly high in vitamin C (3).
You can see here the list of the richest foods in vitamin C. Remember… Only plants are rich in vitamin C.
Eat broccoli leaves to protect your eyesight
Furthermore, broccoli leaves are particularly rich in vitamin A. Just 100g contains 16,000 IU of vitamin A.
Vitamin A has been linked with good eyesight (4).
Eating plants, such as broccoli leaves, is good for good eyesight. Plants also contain carotenoids, which are vital for good vision. Lutein and zeaxanthin are particularly important. You can find a list with the richest plant-based foods in vitamin A and carotenoids here.
Other health benefits of eating broccoli leaves
Additionally, broccoli leaves are particularly rich in protein. Just 100g contains almost 3g of protein. Broccoli leaves contain slightly more protein than broccoli florets…
Furthermore, eating broccoli leaves would increase your daily fiber intake. 100g has about 2.8g of fiber. That’s about 10% DV (Daily Value). Did you know that broccoli leaves contain more fiber than broccoli florets (5)?
Most people fail to consume even half of the daily recommended fiber intake (~30g).
Last, but not least, broccoli leaves are good sources of calcium, zinc and iron. These vital minerals are found mainly in seeds & nuts, on a whole food plant-based diet.
You can use broccoli leaves in smoothies
The easiest way to eat broccoli leaves is adding them to your green smoothie. You can wash them in bulk with this homemade non-toxic vinegar solution. Next, cut them into small pieces to help the blender.
Certainly, you can store cut broccoli leaves and florets in the freezer. Save space using airtight plastic bags. Prefer plastic bags with odor protection. For instance, IKEA plastic bags are really handy. You can wash and reuse them.
Other recipe ideas to eat broccoli leaves
Also, you can add young tender broccoli leaves in your salad. They have a mild flavor. Moreover, they’re super tasty when they’re roasted with olive oil. You can use them in soups, as well. Broccoli leaves can replace spinach or kale in most recipes. Enjoy!