Health Benefits and Downsides of Eating Raw Broccoli

Jul 07, 2020 08:00 AM EDT | By Staff Reporter (

(Photo: Pixabay)

Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables there is in the vegetable chart. A lot of parents would always tell their kids to eat their greens, including broccoli. The green plant has an excellent nutritional profile, and it offers a lot of health benefits, including antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. 

Did you know that aside from its numerous health benefits, broccoli has a downside that can put your health at risk? While broccoli can be cooked in many ways, many people love it steamed or eating it raw. In this article, we will show you the pros and cons of eating fresh broccoli and whether it's safe to eat. 

Should broccoli be eaten cooked or raw?

While many people enjoy eating broccoli cooked, sauteed, or even served in a stew, broccoli can be prepared with minimal cooking preparation. However, before eating it raw or steamed, you need to make sure that the broccoli is clean.

(Photo: Pixabay)

To clean the vegetable, first, wash the head of the broccoli. It is advisable to use cold running water when cleaning it. Use your fingers and firmly rub the broccoli head clean. If you happen to find any dark spots, gently pat paper towel on the broccoli until it dries. 

With a sharp knife, cut the broccoli's florets from the main stem. Make sure to cut them in bite-sized pieces. Keep in mind that the florets and the stalk of the broccoli are safe to eat, but the stems can be hard to chew. Thus, it is advisable to cut the stems into thinner slices, making it easier to chew. 

Factors that affect the nutrient content

The way that you prepare broccoli will affect the nutrient content of it. Broccoli is a known source of vitamin C. However, it will change depending on how you cook the vegetable since vitamin C is a heat-sensitive vitamin. If you stir fry, boil, or microwave it, the vitamin C content in the broccoli will go down by 33-38%.

On the other hand, steaming broccoli offers the best retention of nutrients in the vegetables than other cooking methods. However, if you compare eating cooked broccoli to raw broccoli, cooking it may benefit your health. 

(Photo: Pixabay)

Although eating raw broccoli can also be an option, it is still safe to enjoy, and it has little risk to it. However, eating fresh cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli might cause gas or bloat to some people. Raw broccoli may cause digestive problems, especially for people who have bowel syndromes. 

Broccoli is safe, both raw and cooked.

Making broccoli a part of your food intake and diet is a great way to stay healthy. Regardless of how you prepare it, broccoli's nutrient content remains healthy in general. To get the best health benefits, it is always best to mix a variety of raw and cooked broccoli from time to time. You may opt to cook it with your favorite meat or toss it in your favorite salads. Either way, broccoli is considered to be a healthy munch snack that you will enjoy every time. 

ALSO READ: Pros and Cons of GMOs: Are They Really Safe?

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