Broccoli (flower/stalk)

Broccoli. The leaves and stem of broccoli, Brassica oleracea italica, are an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Broccoli also contains the additional nutrients protein, fiber, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid and biotin, as well as bioflavonoids 1. Many of these nutrients have antioxidant properties.
  Recent attention has been devoted to an additional component of cruciferous vegetables, namely, the glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are biologically inactive, sulfur-containing compounds that can be broken down in the human gastrointestinal tract. Isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane, are the biologically active metabolites of glucosinolates that can then be absorbed through the intestine 2. Broccoli has a high glucosinolate content compared to other cruciferous vegetables, and broccoli extracts have a particularly high concentration of sulforaphane 3, 4.

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. Ensminger AH, Ensminger ME, Konlande JE, Robson JRK. The Concise Encyclopedia of Foods and Nutrition. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1995.
  2. Lund E. Non-nutritive bioactive constituents of plants: dietary sources and health benefits of glucosinolates. Int J Vitam.Nutr Res 2003;73:135-43.
  3. Zhang Y, Talalay P, Cho CG, Posner GH. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S A 1992;89:2399-403.
  4. McNaughton SA, Marks GC. Development of a food composition database for the estimation of dietary intakes of glucosinolates, the biologically active constituents of cruciferous vegetables. Br J Nutr 2003;90:687-97.