Broccoli is a superfood for losing weight & belly fat.

broccoli for weight loss

vitamin C | vitamin E | vitamin K | carotenoids | GABA | boron | sulforaphane | chlorophyll | calories | appetite | protein

Broccoli promotes weight loss, as it’s low in calories, reduces hunger, and it’s packed with fat burning phytochemicals, such as vitamins A, C, E, K, GABA, boron, and sulforaphane!

How many calories does broccoli have?

Above all, broccoli is good for weight loss because it’s pretty low in calories. Actually, we can’t get fat eating broccoli. Cooked broccoli has only 35 calories per 100g! Moreover, a whole stalk has fewer than 100 calories![1]

Caloric deficit is key for losing weight. We lose weight, only when we consume fewer calories than we burn. Eating lots of foods low in calories, with a high filling effect, makes dieting easy. Fruits and vegetables are the best options.

It’s an excellent plant-based source of protein

Additionally, broccoli is among the richest vegetables in protein. In fact, about 7% of its calories come from protein. A medium stalk contains about 4.3g protein.

Following a high-protein diet enhances weight loss. Protein has the highest thermic effect among macronutrients. We burn up to 30% of protein during digestion.[2]

Furthermore, foods high in water, fiber, and protein have the highest satiating effect.[3]

Therefore, you could eat broccoli with other high-protein foods, such as legumes, or whole-wheat bread to feel full for hours!

Broccoli reduces hunger

Moreover, broccoli is an excellent dietary source of fiber. it has 3.3g per 100g!

Fiber is good for weight loss, as it keeps us full for a long time. Fiber absorbs water, expands, and increases food volume in the stomach. Also, it slows digestion.

The recommended daily intake of fiber is 28g per 2,000 calories. This dose helps to lose weight and improve body composition. On the contrary, lower doses of fiber increase the risk of obesity.[4]

Additionally, broccoli is 90% water. Foods high in water have a high satiating effect.

Most noteworthy, it’s crucial to be properly hydrated. Water is necessary for the metabolism of fat. Therefore, besides drinking water, consuming foods high in water is good for fat burn!

Furthermore, broccoli is beneficial for a healthy 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 and plays a key role in energy metabolism.[5]

Vitamin C in broccoli promotes fat burn

Also, broccoli is good for weight loss because it’s among the richest foods in vitamin C. Raw broccoli contains 91 mg of vitamin C per 100g, or 100% DV (Daily Value)!

Prefer to steam broccoli, in order, to preserve most of it. Vitamin C is pretty vulnerable to heat. Practically, a small floret of boiled broccoli has 100% DV.

Vitamin C is good for weight loss. It helps the body burn fat for energy.

Other foods high in vitamin C, which also promote weight loss, are tomato, pepper, spinach, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, orange, lemon, and grapefruit.

Vitamin K for fat loss

Moreover, broccoli is particularly rich in vitamin K1. It has 141 mcg of vitamin K1 per 100g, or 115% DV!

Besides broccoli floret, stem and leaves are excellent sources of vitamin K1. In fact, broccoli leaves have 3 times more vitamin K than florets![6]

Yes, broccoli leaves are edible.

Vitamin K is also beneficial for losing weight, as it plays a key role in fat and glucose metabolism. For instance, it burns body fat. Especially belly fat![7]

Broccoli leaves are high in vitamin E

Furthermore, broccoli leaves are pretty rich in vitamin E. 100g of leaves provide about 20% DV. On the contrary, florets and stems contain negligible amounts.

Vitamin E may improve insulin sensitivity, reduce oxidative stress, and inflammation![8]

The best dietary sources of vitamin E are seeds and nuts, such as sunflower seeds, almondspistachios, and hazelnuts! But, seeds and nuts are high in calories. People who want to lose weight should eat up to 1-2 handfuls a day.

On the other hand, broccoli leaves and spinach are excellent low-calorie dietary sources of vitamin E.

Carotenoids in broccoli promote weight loss

Additionally, broccoli is an excellent 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! Don’t discard them. In fact, broccoli leaves are more nutrient dense than florets!

It’s crucial for obese people to get 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, and enhance weight loss, as they promote fat burn.[9,10,11]

Other common foods high in carotenoids, which are good for weight loss, are tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and spinach!

Chlorophyll in broccoli is good for losing weight

Chlorophyll is the green pigments of plants. It captures solar energy for photosynthesis.

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.[6]

Consuming foods rich in chlorophyll is good for weight loss, as chlorophyll may prevent weight gain, improve glucose tolerance, and fight inflammation.[12]

Also, foods containing chlorophyll have a higher satiating effect.[13]

Broccoli is packed with phytochemicals, which promote weight loss

Furthermore, broccoli enhances 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 increases metabolism, improves insulin resistance, and fights obesity-induced inflammation.[14]

Also, sulforaphane seems to significantly burn fat mass! This process, known as “browning of white adipose tissue” (WAT) is a hot area of research. It’s a new and promising treatment of obesity.[15]

But, raw broccoli doesn’t contain sulforaphane. It contains its inactive form, called glucoraphanin. We have to chop or chew it to get sulforaphane.

Moreover, broccoli is among 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 among the richest foods in GABA. It has about 77 nmol/g of GABA (dry weight).[16]

GABA is beneficial for weight loss. This chemical may increase Human Growth Hormone, reduce appetite, improve night sleep, and insulin sensitivity!

Boron in broccoli helps lose weight

Also, broccoli contains modest 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 high-volume, low-calorie, nutrient-dense superfood. You can eat as much as you want. Practically, you can’t gain weight from broccoli.

On the contrary, broccoli significantly promotes weight loss. Especially, when we consume it regularly, as part of a healthy, well-balanced, hypocaloric diet.

As a rule of thumb, try to eat broccoli 2-3 times a week. More is better, though.

According to a study, a weekly dose of broccoli of 400g (about 2 medium florets) contributes to the reduction in risk of certain cancers.[17]

Just remember to steam broccoli and chew it thoroughly. Boiling destroys its powerful phytochemicals, while chewing makes them more bioavailable.[18]