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A Quick Guide of Broccoli Microgreen Nutrition and Health Benefits

Broccoli microgreens are considered one of the most nutritious of all microgreens.

In fact, broccoli microgreens provide more nutrients than younger broccoli sprouts and the bunches of broccoli you buy in the store.

Broccoli microgreens have concentrated levels of vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K, including the minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and potassium.

Furthermore, broccoli’s microgreen nutrition doesn’t stop with vitamins and minerals. They contain high levels of compounds that convert to sulforaphane once consumed.

Sulforaphane is a phytochemical that may have powerful cancer-fighting and preventative properties. 

harvested broccoli microgreens

Broccoli Microgreen Nutrition & Health Benefits

Broccoli belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which are considered cruciferous vegetables.

Cruciferous vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants (more on these later), and fiber. They’re also low in calories and will help you feel full and satisfied without overeating.

Besides broccoli, cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, cauliflower, arugula, radish, and Brussels sprouts, to name a few.

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FREE Home Microgreens Grow course that teaches you the basics of growing microgreens in your home! There are 12 video lessons (over 120 minutes), downloads, and more written information and tips!

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical or nutritional advice. The information and material contained on this website are for informational purposes only.
No material on this site is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Always seek your physicians’ or qualified nutritionists’ advice before undertaking a new healthcare regimen or using any information you have read on this website to treat or prevent any condition.

Broccoli microgreens are extremely popular among chefs, “foodies,” and health-conscious consumers. They are tasty, readily available, and known for their health and reported cancer-fighting properties. 

As a reminder, there are several stages of vegetable & herb plant growth for consumption. 

vegetable food stages

Broccoli microgreens are eaten in the microgreen cotyledon stage. However, they become bitter and tough when grown to the true leaf stage.

What Vitamins Do Broccoli Microgreens Provide?

Broccoli microgreens are among the most nutrient-rich of all microgreens. They’re a vitamin “powerhouse,” containing high vitamin A, C, and K levels.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters.

They play a crucial role in multiple bodily functions, including developing and maintaining healthy bones, teeth, soft tissues, skin, and mucous membranes.  

Vitamin A is vital in cellular communication, immune function, vision, and reproduction.

Retinol in broccoli microgreens comes from beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A

microgreens grown in Espoma potting mix

When converted to retinoic acid, it serves as a hormone-like growth factor for epithelial cells that line the surfaces of the body, including blood vessels and skin.  Retinol also produces pigmentation in the eyes’ retinas.  

Based on 100 grams of broccoli microgreens—or approximately 3.5 ounces—they provide 300 micrograms (mcg), or an estimated 30% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A in the diet. 

Some sources report that 100 grams of broccoli microgreens provide 220 mg. That value seems high, and we are unsure if they misinterpreted the microgram abbreviation. 

Vitamin C

Broccoli microgreens are packed with vitamin C, containing 57 milligrams (mg), meeting ~60% of the 90 mg RDA.

Vitamin C is one of the better-known vitamins and is crucial for developing, growing, and repairing all bodily tissues.

It plays a crucial role in the development of collagen; maintenance and strength of bones, cartilage, and teeth; immune functioning; iron absorption; and more bodily functions.

tray of broccoli microgreens

Are You Into Microgreen Nutrition?

If so, or if you want to know what each vitamin and mineral can do for you then I suggest you check out the Home Microgreens Nutritional Resource.

There isn’t a more informative resource in one place on the internet. Click the button below to see the wide breadth of information in the Home Microgreen Nutritional Resource.

Vitamin E

Broccoli microgreens have incredibly high levels of vitamin E, containing 24.1 mg, providing 160 % of the RDA of 15 mg.

Vitamin E is one of the body’s primary antioxidants, which is critical in neutralizing or reducing free radicals and protecting molecular and cellular components.

As a result, vitamin E promotes anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce inflammatory diseases and conditions, including cancer, as noted above. In its role as an antioxidant, vitamin E helps to prevent free radicals from oxygenating cholesterol.

Since cholesterol only sticks to blood vessels when oxidized, eating microgreens high in vitamin E can lower the risk of developing blocked arteries.

Thus reducing the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is crucial in producing a protein called prothrombin. This protein regulates blood calcium levels, bone metabolism, and blood clotting.

The FDA recommends 90 to 120 mcg for adults and children aged four years and older.

The FDA considers food with 20% or more of the RDA to be high sources of a specific nutrient, yet notes that foods with a lower percentage of RDA also form part of a healthy diet.

In contrast with vitamin E, where broccoli microgreens contain much higher levels than mature plants, they have a lower percentage of vitamin K than their adult counterparts.  Half a cup of chopped, boiled broccoli florets contains 110 mcg.

Broccoli microgreens contain approximately 102 mcg or 85% of vitamin K RDA.

Broccoli Microgreens Contain the Following Minerals

Broccoli microgreens’ nutrition also includes a powerful supply of minerals crucial to a healthy diet.

These include potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, manganese, and copper.

Potassium

One of the body’s most essential minerals, potassium, is considered an electrolyte. When dissolved in water, it produces ions that are positively charged.

This gives it an electric potential, which is crucial for many bodily processes.

Potassium regulates nerve signaling, muscle contraction, and fluid balance. As a result, it may play a role in lowering blood pressure, reducing water retention, and helping to prevent stroke.

Broccoli microgreens contain 326 mg of potassium or approximately 7% of the RDA.

Sodium

Muscles and nerves require sodium for proper functioning.

The body also requires sodium for the proper balance of bodily fluids.

The American Heart Association says that adults should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium daily (which equals about one teaspoon of salt) and should try to reduce that to 1,500 mg daily.

Because sodium attracts water, consumption of high sodium levels causes water to be drawn into the bloodstream.  This increases blood volume, leading to higher blood pressure.  Therefore, reducing daily sodium consumption by 1,000 mg can significantly improve blood pressure and overall health.  Unfortunately, over 70% of sodium consumed by Americans comes from prepared, packaged, and restaurant foods rather than from adding salt via a salt shaker.

Broccoli microgreens contain just 52 mg of sodium, equaling 3.5% of the RDA for those who keep their salt intake to 1,500 daily or 2.3% for those who consume 2,300 mg of sodium daily.  

More proof that eating whole foods will help the body regulate what it needs to function correctly.

broccoli microgreens

Calcium

Broccoli microgreens are an excellent source of calcium.

Calcium plays a critical role in many of the body’s basic functions.

Many of us understand calcium’s importance in ensuring strong bones and teeth.  However, calcium is also required for proper muscle movement, blood circulation, transmitting messages from the brain to the rest of the body, and more.

Broccoli microgreens provide 143 mg of calcium, or 11% of the RDA for adults aged 25 and older.

Magnesium

Broccoli microgreens are a great source of magnesium.

Approximately 60% of magnesium in the body is in the bones. The remainder is in soft tissues, muscles, and bodily fluids, including the bloodstream.

Magnesium is a helper molecule in the body’s enzymatic activities, supporting countless chemical reactions in the human body.

Magnesium is critical for energy production and maintaining strong bones and healthy cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems.

It also serves to counterbalance calcium, serving as a calcium channel blocker by preventing calcium from activating nerve cells, thereby relaxing nerves.

Unfortunately, surveys have consistently shown that nearly half of the U.S. population consumes less than the RDA of magnesium.

how to grow broccoli microgreens

Low magnesium blood levels have been associated with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, sudden cardiac death, and colon cancer.

However, the good news is that broccoli microgreens contain 51 mg of magnesium, translating to approximately 12% of the RDA for adults 25 years and older.

Therefore, simply adding tasty broccoli and other microgreens to your daily diet can significantly benefit your health.

Phosphorus is the second most plentiful mineral in your body and is very important.

Phosphorus is necessary for many functions, such as filtering waste, producing DNA and RNA, repairing tissues and cells, maintaining nerve conduction, keeping your bones and teeth strong, and more.

Having the right products available for cellular regeneration and replication obviously has an impact on cancer and other malicious cell mutations.

Low phosphorus levels may be associated with diabetes or may be caused by certain medications and alcohol use.

Broccoli microgreens deliver 69 mg of phosphorus or 5.5% of the RDA.

Iron

Broccoli microgreens provide 6.7% of the RDA for iron or 0.9 mg in adults aged 25 and older.

Iron is an essential nutrient and plays a crucial role in blood production. Approximately 70% of the body’s iron is located in the red blood cells (hemoglobin) and muscle cells (myoglobin).

Hemoglobin transports oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the body’s tissues.

Daily iron deficiency can lead to anemia and associated symptoms, such as severe fatigue and shortness of breath if sufficient iron isn’t consumed to replace the amount lost.

Zinc

This mineral plays a vital role in several body functions, including cell division,  bone development, immune cell function, signaling, digestion, metabolism, and wound repair.

Broccoli microgreens provide 0.37 mg or 3.3% of the RDA.

broccoli microgreen nutrition and health benefits

Manganese

Broccoli microgreens are an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, providing 0.37 mcg or approximately 16 % in adult males and about 25.5 % of levels in females aged 19 years and older.  (National Institutes of Health).

Manganese is considered an essential nutrient and is crucial for proper nervous system functioning and assisting in activating multiple enzymes required for metabolic processes.

Manganese may also play an essential role in proper bone development and maintenance, reducing inflammation and controlling blood sugar levels.

Copper

Copper is also an essential nutrient and maintains healthy metabolic processes, aids in developing and maintaining strong bones, and ensures proper neurological, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular functioning.

It’s been estimated that up to one-quarter of North Americans may not be consuming sufficient copper in their diets.

Broccoli microgreens provide 0.09 mg of copper or 10% of the RDA.

Other Important Compounds

Broccoli also contains other important compounds that can have a significant impact on our nutrition and health.

Nitrates

Research has shown that people receive approximately 80% of nitrates in their diet from vegetables. Nitrates reduce cancer risk by lowering levels of harmful bacteria.

Nitrates also lower blood pressure, in effect reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Broccoli microgreens contain 267 mg of plant-based nitrates.

The Power of Sulforaphane

Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli microgreens, contain high levels of the phytonutrient glucoraphanin. 

When cruciferous vegetables are chewed or processed during food preparation, glucoraphanin mixes with an enzyme called myrosinase.

When these two compounds mix and react, they produce sulforaphane.

Sulforaphane is a sulfur-based nutrient and a potent phytonutrient that may have powerful cancer-fighting and -preventative properties. 

Sulforaphane

In plants, these compounds play a role in plant growth as well as helping to defend against plant viruses, fungi, and bacterial infection and consumption by insects and other predators.

Sulforaphane and other phytonutrients are also antioxidants, which can prevent or reduce cellular damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals.

Free radicals damage healthy cells due to certain internal factors, such as inflammation or food digestion, or when reacting to external environmental stressors, including ultraviolet light exposure, pollution, or cigarette smoke.

Such oxidative stress caused by free radicals has been linked with inflammatory conditions, stroke, heart disease, cancer, immune deficiency, and other conditions.  

By neutralizing free radicals, sulforaphane reduces inflammation, which has been associated with many forms of cancer.

In addition, research suggests that sulforaphane may reduce or prevent DNA mutations known to be associated with cancer. They may also slow the growth of tumors and reduce the spread (metastasis).

Research shows that three or four servings of broccoli microgreens may significantly reduce the risk of cancer.

Further, broccoli microgreens can provide up to 100 times the level of sulforaphane compared with mature broccoli and other mature cruciferous vegetables, including kale and cabbage.

In fact, broccoli microgreens have higher levels of sulforaphane than any other food. As an additional benefit, per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), broccoli microgreens are low in calories, providing about 31 calories per 100 g of fresh weight.

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If not, why not start one? Use this pin as the first or add it to your existing boards.

nutritional benefits of broccoli

How Can You Obtain Optimal Broccoli Microgreens Nutrition?

How you prepare and consume broccoli microgreens—as with all microgreens—can enhance their beneficial nutrients or neutralize them.

Raw broccoli microgreens contain the highest levels of the sulfur-based, cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane, providing much higher levels than cooked microgreens.

Activating Sulforaphane in Microgreens

As mentioned above, sulforaphane becomes activated when the sulfur-containing phytochemical glucoraphanin comes into contact with an enzyme.

In broccoli microgreens, sulforaphane serves to deter insects and has selective antibiotic properties. Damage to the microgreens triggers the release of these beneficial enzymes.

In nature, sulforaphane plays a critical role in defending vegetables against predators.

Therefore, sulforaphane isn’t present in broccoli microgreens until they are chopped, cut, broken, or chewed. 

Researchers believe it’s best to chop these mild crunchy microgreens before eating to release sulforaphane to obtain the most nutritional benefit.

How Can You Safely Prepare Broccoli Microgreens?

Always carefully and thoroughly wash your broccoli microgreens.

There are multiple ways to add these microgreens to your daily diet.  For example, microgreens are popular ingredients for juicing and smoothies.

You can also add them to salads or as a garnish.

In addition, they can be used as a topping for soups, omelets, pizza, stir fry, tacos, or sandwiches.

If you prefer not to eat them raw, steaming the broccoli microgreens will optimize the release of sulforaphane if you keep the temperature below 250 degrees.

You can also consider roasting them, which will preserve most of the microgreens’ beneficial nutrients.

Many dietitians recommend obtaining optimal broccoli microgreen nutrition by eating them in combination with other vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

They explain that nutrients in other plant foods may work in combination to offer you the most nutritional benefit.

It’s unclear whether multiple phytonutrients work together to provide optimal cancer-fighting properties or whether a specific phytochemical has the most impact.

Therefore, combining broccoli microgreens with other plant-based foods in your diet will go far in helping you to receive optimal nutrition.

Learn How to Grow Broccoli Microgreens

Broccoli microgreens are one of the easiest to grow.

We have an excellent article that will show how to grow them in your home step-by-step!

Author

  • Todd

    Todd is the founder of Home Microgreens & the Home Microgreens store. He also writes for several other websites, including MyViewFromTheWoods.com. Todd worked at a large farm market, garden & nursery center for 20 years. Somehow he snuck off to become a geologist and professor before coming back to his senses to write & lecture about microgreens and gardening. When not at the computer, he can be found in the garden, trout stream, or mountain trail with his new Springer Spaniel Caden.

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