Broccoli Rabe: Diet, Recipes, and Extra

Broccoli rabe — often known as broccoli rapini or raab, broccoletti, spring raab, and Ruvo kale — is a leafy inexperienced vegetable that belongs to the Brassica genus, together with broccoli, cabbage, turnips, arugula, and kale, amongst others (1, 2).

Brassica greens are often known as cruciferous greens. These dietary powerhouses have quite a few well being advantages — they’ve cancer-fighting properties and should scale back the danger of continual illness (1, 2).

Other than its potential well being advantages, broccoli rabe shares a number of similarities with different cruciferous greens. As an illustration, it has a nutty and barely bitter style much like broccoli. It additionally has lengthy, broccoli-like florets surrounded by kale-like leaves.

This text explores broccoli rabe, together with its vitamins, advantages, and potential downsides, and methods to put together it.

Like different cruciferous greens, broccoli rabe is filled with vitamins.

A 1-cup (170-gram) serving of boiled broccoli rabe supplies (3):

  • Energy: 42
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Fiber: 4.8 grams
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Fats: 1 gram
  • Vitamin C: 70% of the Every day Worth (DV)
  • Folate: 30% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 43% of the DV
  • Iron: 12% of the DV
  • Calcium: 15% of the DV
  • Zinc: 8% of the DV

Broccoli rabe is a wealthy supply of nutritional vitamins A, C, and folate. These have many makes use of within the physique, together with imaginative and prescient well being, immune help, and the prevention of delivery abnormalities, respectively (4, 5, 6).

It’s also supply of magnesium, which is required for vitality manufacturing, and it accommodates quantity of potassium, which helps regulate blood stress (7, 8).

As well as, it’s low in energy however packs a excessive quantity of fiber and plant-based protein.

Broccoli rabe is especially wealthy in sulfur-containing compounds referred to as glucosinolates, identical to different cruciferous greens.

Glucosinolates are arguably a very powerful compounds in broccoli rabe. They’re answerable for the vegetable’s attribute style, they usually’re behind most of its well being advantages (9).


Broccoli rabe is a nutrient-dense vegetable wealthy in nutritional vitamins, minerals, fiber, and plant-based protein. However most significantly, it’s a wealthy supply of glucosinolates, the plant compounds behind most of its well being advantages.

Because of broccoli rabe’s glucosinolate content material, consuming the vegetable could scale back the danger of continual ailments, resembling diabetes and coronary heart illness, amongst all kinds of well being advantages.

Wealthy in antioxidants with cancer-fighting properties

Antioxidants are compounds that assist battle oxidative stress, excessive ranges of which can result in the development of varied ailments, together with most cancers. Broccoli rabe accommodates many antioxidants with potent anticancer properties (10).

Some of the studied sorts of antioxidants in broccoli rabe is glucosinolates, which have sturdy cancer-fighting properties. For instance, they could assist preserve low ranges of oxidative stress, inhibit cancer-cell development, and promote the dying of cancerous cells (1, 9, 11).

Moreover, glucosinolates break down within the physique into secondary metabolites, resembling isothiocyanate and sulforaphane, which even have antioxidant and antitumor actions that stop the unfold of cancerous cells (1, 9, 11).

What’s extra, broccoli rabe can be wealthy in different antioxidant compounds that assist battle off most cancers cells, together with flavonoids, phenolics, carotenoids, tocopherols, and ascorbic acid — or vitamin C (1, 11, 12).

In truth, analysis means that increased intakes of cruciferous greens like broccoli rabe would possibly scale back the danger of colorectal most cancers by about 8% and gastric most cancers by about 19%. These cancers are among the many most typical causes of dying from most cancers worldwide (12).

Could enhance coronary heart well being

Oxidative stress additionally performs a essential function within the growth of coronary heart illness, together with hypertension and atherosclerosis — the narrowing of the veins because of plaque buildup (13).

But, broccoli rabe could assist scale back the danger of coronary heart illness once more because of its antioxidant content material (14).

Analysis reveals that glucosinolates could enhance coronary heart well being by decreasing irritation and oxidative stress in your artery partitions, bettering blood movement, and stopping plaque buildup (13, 14, 15).

As well as, being a inexperienced leafy vegetable, broccoli rabe is dense in dietary nitrates, that are additionally linked to a decreased threat of hypertension and atherosclerosis (16, 17).

Could assist with blood sugar management

Each fiber and antioxidants in broccoli rabe could assist handle your blood sugar ranges.

Fiber-rich meals can decelerate meals’s transit time via your gastrointestinal tract, which, in flip, delays glucose absorption and prevents your blood sugar from spiking (18, 19).

In the meantime, broccoli rabe’s antioxidants, resembling polyphenols, can improve glucose uptake by muscle cells, resulting in improved blood sugar ranges (1).

What’s extra, animal research present that flavonoids may additionally normalize blood sugar ranges, whereas isothiocyanates could stop or scale back blood-sugar-related problems (1, 15).

Typically talking, increased cruciferous vegetable intakes have been related to a considerably decreased threat of creating sort 2 diabetes (15, 20).

Potential anti-obesity results

The micro organism in your intestine — or intestine microbiota — could instantly affect weight problems due to its function within the absorption, storage, and burning of vitality from meals (21).

Having a better ratio of Firmicutes micro organism to Bacteroidetes micro organism is extra widespread in folks with weight problems. In distinction, leaner folks are inclined to have increased ranges of Bacteroidetes than Firmicutes (21, 22, 23).

Proof reveals that consumption of cruciferous greens could enhance Bacteroidetes and scale back Firmicutes ranges in people (11, 23).

Research in mice have recommended that these adjustments are related to an elevated exercise of the enzyme myrosinase. That is in command of reworking glucosinolates into their secondary metabolites, together with sulforaphane (11).


Because of its antioxidant and fiber content material, broccoli rabe could profit coronary heart well being, scale back the danger of sort 2 diabetes, and even present cancer-fighting and anti-obesity properties.

The downsides of broccoli rabe are minimal.

The primary one is the potential for broccoli rabe, and different cruciferous greens, to result in goiters. A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland that may happen from an absence of iodine.

Nonetheless, that is not possible except you devour broccoli rabe in excessive quantities.

In these uncommon instances, it might be attributable to goitrin, the breakdown product of progoitrin, which is one among a number of sorts of glucosinolates present in cruciferous greens.

Goitrin inhibits iodine use within the thyroid gland and, in doing so, will increase the danger of goiter and hypothyroidism (24, 25, 26).

Nonetheless, ranges of this compound are far too low to be dangerous if you devour broccoli rabe as a part of a balanced food regimen.

Analysis means that iodine uptake to the thyroid is inhibited by 194 μmol of goitrin. But, broccoli rabe accommodates lower than 10 μmol of goitrin per 100-gram serving. Thus, it carries minimal threat (25).

Moreover, cooking strategies, resembling steaming, stir-frying, and boiling, could scale back goiter-causing compounds in cruciferous greens by about 20% or extra, relying on the strategy (1, 9, 11, 24).


Like most cruciferous greens, broccoli rabe could intervene with the manufacturing of thyroid hormones in case you eat it in very giant quantities. Nonetheless, the danger is minimal in case you comply with a balanced food regimen.

Nutritionally talking, broccoli and broccoli rabe are very related.

They each present just about the identical quantity of protein and fiber per serving, though broccoli packs twice the variety of carbs as broccoli rabe, with 11 grams of carbs per 1 cup (160 grams) of broccoli (27).

But, being cruciferous greens wealthy in glucosinolates, they each share the well being advantages and potential draw back talked about above. In addition they have related tastes. Thus, in case you already like broccoli, likelihood is you’ll like broccoli rabe too.

Their principal distinction is especially of their look. Broccoli rabe has smaller florets whereas broccoli has a big head filled with thick, tree-like florets. Broccoli rabe additionally has larger leaves and an extended stalk that’s edible.

Not like broccoli, which may be loved each uncooked and cooked, broccoli rabe is usually consumed cooked.


Broccoli and broccoli rabe are two very related cruciferous greens that share many advantages and drawbacks. Their principal variations are in how they give the impression of being.

Broccoli rabe is a typical ingredient in Italian and Asian cuisines, the place it’s normally blended with pasta or stir-fried, respectively.

Listed below are some cooking concepts.

One of many best methods so as to add broccoli rabe into your food regimen is to roast and serve it as a facet dish, which you may pair with some rooster or fish.

To roast broccoli rabe, strive seasoning it with olive and sesame oil, salt, orange zest, and pink pepper flakes and toss it on a baking tray. Roast at 425°F (218°C) for 10 minutes or till the stalks look brilliant inexperienced and the leaves and florets begin to crisp.

Broccoli rabe additionally makes a wonderful addition to sauces and salads, or you may bake them into chips as you’d put together kale chips.

When you’re brief on time, you may blanch it rapidly by including it to a pot with boiling water with a pinch of salt, letting it simmer for 1–2 minutes, after which straining it out. This manner, you’ll scale back a few of the bitterness.


Broccoli rabe is a flexible ingredient. Roasting or a fast blanch are advisable over consuming it uncooked to assist scale back its pure bitterness. It may be served as a facet of veggies, baked into chips, or added to sauces or pasta.

Broccoli rabe is one other cruciferous vegetable from the Brassica genus of vegetation that’s similar to broccoli.

In truth, each have very related dietary profiles and supply the identical potential well being advantages, together with cancer-fighting properties, improved coronary heart well being, and weight and blood sugar management.

Curiously sufficient, additionally they share their principal draw back, which is the potential to intervene with thyroid hormones. Nonetheless, the danger of that is minimal.

Broccoli rabe is simple to organize and may make a tasty and nutritious addition to your food regimen.

Related Articles

Back to top button