Often referred to as ‘baby broccoli’, broccolini (like all brassica vegetables) is a nutritional powerhouse and we’ve got a variety of reasons as to why you should include it in your diets regularly.
Excellent source of Vitamin A & C
Broccolini is an exceptionally rich source of both vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and immune booster, helping to fight off common virus causing flus. Vitamin C also assists your bodies to absorb iron from iron rich plant-based foods (e.g. beans, chickpeas and lentils). This is particularly important for non-meat eaters, as including vegetables high in vitamin C with your meal can help your body absorb more iron. Vitamin A plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision and assists in preventing eye degenerative diseases. Vitamin A is also involved in maintaining healthy, clear skin and building strong bones.
High in fibre
Broccolini is high in fibre, which promotes bowel health by aiding digestion and preventing
constipation. Fibre is a prebiotic, meaning it acts as a food source for the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in our digestive system. The presence of beneficial bacteria in our gut is essential to keeping our immune systems strong and digestive systems healthy. Choosing foods high in fibre, such as broccolini, can assist in weight control by keeping us fuller for longer and keeping our bowel movements regular.
Contains potent antioxidants
Broccolini is loaded with antioxidants (e.g. vitamin C, A and glucoraphanin), which play an important role in supporting your body’s immune system and maintaining overall health by attacking free radicals in your body. Free radicals are by-products of normal chemical reactions that occur naturally in your body and can cause damage to cells. Certain environmental factors like stress, smoking, sun, radiation and pollution can increase the amount of free radicals in your body. Whilst your body has natural mechanisms to protect you from cell damage, it’s important to make sure you have enough antioxidants (from fruits and vegetables) in your diet to help protect your body from disease.
Low in energy (kilojoules)
Broccolini is naturally low in energy (kilojoules/calories) and rich in nutrients, which makes it an ideal food choice. Consuming vegetables like broccolini regularly can assist in preventing obesity, a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Fun Fact about broccolini
Although broccolini tastes quite similar to broccoli and can be cooked in the same way, broccolini has a milder and slightly sweeter taste and the stalks are tenderer, meaning you’re able to eat the entire vegetable, leaving no waste.
Our favourite ways to enjoy broccolini:
● Lightly steamed or stir-fried broccolini with drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, squeeze of lemon and some herbs or spices
● Sautéed broccolini with mushrooms in garlic and extra virgin olive oil
● Baked broccolini with chilli flakes