“Eat your broccoli.” If that’s a dinner-table mantra that still haunts you from your childhood, you’re not alone.

If you have an aversion to broccoli, maybe it stems from how it was cooked when you were a kid. You know, boiled in water until it’s ultra-soft and mushy. Gross, right?

Better not boil the broccoli

In a recent study, researchers found that broccoli loses up to 77 percent of its nutritional value when it’s boiled for 30 minutes or longer.1 (Note: boiling Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and green cabbage produces similar results.)

And that’s a problem, because broccoli packs the most nutritional punch of any vegetable.

Health benefits of broccoli

Broccoli is loaded with nutrients like:

    1. Vitamin C
    2. Vitamin A
    3. Folic acid
    4. Calcium
    5. Fiber

It’s one of those nutrient-dense vegetables that can help strengthen your bones, prevent cancer, and reduce your risk for heart disease.

But that all depends on the way you prepare it.

The best ways to eat broccoli to preserve most of its nutrients include:2

    1. Raw: Munch and crunch raw broccoli from a veggie tray or in a salad.
    2. Steamed: Steam broccoli for up to 15 minutes to soften.
    3. Stir-fried: Add broccoli to a stir-fry mix of other vegetables. Cook for about five minutes.
    4. Microwaved: Cover and cook in the microwave for about five minutes.

Use one of these cooking methods to give broccoli a try. Season with herbs and spices, or even a little salt, and enjoy.


1. Thornalley, P. Boiling broccoli ruins its anti-cancer properties. University of Warwick. From: https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/research_says_boiling/

2. Wu, X., et al. (2019). Effects of domestic cooking on flavonoids in broccoli and calculation of retention factors. Heliyon, 5(3): e01310. From: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405844019305687

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