Broccoli is a source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, carotenoids and phytochemicals. While more research is necessary as of 2015, it also appears that the inclusion of broccoli in a balanced diet may help lower the risk of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Broccoli contains vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene and folate, notes the Dairy Council of California. It also provides minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Broccoli is often available in either fresh or frozen form. Individuals may include broccoli in their diet by consuming it raw or cooked. Raw broccoli retains more nutrients, but it also has a higher chance of causing bowel irritation in some individuals. Steaming, roasting, stir-frying and microwaving are suitable methods for cooking broccoli. It is also possible to boil broccoli, but a significant amount of nutrients can leach out of the broccoli into the water during this process.
Broccoli is a type of cruciferous vegetable. Some population-based studies indicate that a diet high in cruciferous vegetables can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Some laboratory studies also suggest that certain compounds in broccoli, such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, may have anticancer effects, but more studies are necessary to find out whether these potential benefits are viable in humans. Individuals should not focus solely on broccoli for their dietary needs, as it remains important to eat a variety of nutritious foods to maintain a healthy lifestyle.