Broccoli is Super!

Fresh cut broccoli that makes a pattern
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It’s the quintessential vegetable, and you probably either love it or hate it. But what you may not know is that broccoli is a nutritional star.

For instance, did you know that broccoli contains calcium? Along with dark leafy greens, it’s a great non-dairy source of calcium to help meet your daily needs of approximately 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams per day.

Broccoli is also a good source of folate and potassium, and has iron — nutrients essential for growth, development and vitality. These nutrients support bone health, brain function, oxygen transport and overall heart health, making it a heart-healthy food. Broccoli is also great for immunity, boasting plenty of vitamin C, vitamin K and trace minerals such as selenium and zinc.

At 25 calories per cup, broccoli is also a low-calorie food and contains 2.6 grams of fiber per cup.

So how do this registered dietitian nutritionist eat her broccoli? Lightly steamed with a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. It works as a perfect addition to salads, omelets and veggie-filled soups, and is tasty when served raw with hummus.

Super Broccoli and Garbanzo Bean Pasta

Recipe by Lauren O’Connor, MS, RDN


  • 2 cups cooked Casarecce or corkscrew pasta
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1 cup lightly steamed broccoli
  • ½ cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed


  1. In a pan, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add cooked pasta, lightly steamed broccoli and garbanzo beans. Toss well. Cook until garbanzo beans are lightly toasted.
  3. Mix in wheat germ. Serves 4.

Cooking Note

  • Wheat germ is added for a touch of sweetness and nuttiness. You can substitute ¼ to ½ teaspoon of other spices such as garlic powder or Italian seasoning blends.
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Lauren O'Connor, MS, RD
Lauren O’Connor, MS, RDN, is a Los Angeles-based private practice dietitian, recipe developer and owner of Nutri Savvy Health, a program focusing on mindful eating and family nutrition. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.