What Is Broccoli Rabe?
Lately I’ve had a bit of an obsession.
And no, it isn’t an obsession that’s very cool at all.
In fact, it’s decidedly uncool.
I’ll cut right to the chase – I discovered perhaps the most perfect vegetable to ever exist on our humble planet: broccoli rabe.
I’ll confess that the existence of this potent vegetable eluded me until just a few weeks ago. Sure, I had heard the name before, but just assumed it was some minor variation of broccoli – that boring vegetable that we all know we should eat more of.
This is not the case!
As I’ve learned, broccoli rabe actually comes from a completely different family of vegetables, having much more in common with the turnip or mustard greens than it does with regular broccoli.
Also, the buds on broccoli rabe don’t form a head like they do with broccoli; instead, each bud forms individually on its own stalk.
Tastewise, brocoli rabe is far more bitter (and, frankly, interesting) than the somewhat bland broccoli.
But none of this is what made me obsessed with broccoli rabe.
It was that it has one of the best nutritional profiles that I have ever seen on vegetable. Almost unbelievably good.
Let’t go through some of the things that makes broccoli rabe an almost perfect food to include in your diet.
It is loaded with protein.
Did you know that in 8 oz of cooked broccoli rabe you’re getting about 9 grams of protein?
Out of context, that may not sound like that much, but look at it this way…
There are only 75 calories in 8 oz of cooked broccoli rabe. That means that huge percentage of the total calories are coming from protein.
Compare this to regular broccoli, which has only about half the protein in the same quantity.
It has a ton of fiber.
Vegetables are always a helpful way to get more fiber in your diet, but broccoli rabe packs in far more fiber than many of its cruciferous cousins.
Yes, in that same 8 oz of broccoli rabe, you’re getting a whopping 6.5 grams of fiber!
This will help keep you full for longer, and will also encourage bowel movements to run smoothly.
It has hardly any carbohydrates or fat.
Look, I’m not trying to demonize carbs or fat here – both have a very important place in your diet.
That being said, if you are watching your intake of either of these, including more broccoli rabe in your diet may be just the ticket.
In that same 8 oz of broccoli rabe, there are about 7 grams of carbs; however, 6.4 of those grams are from fiber.
This leaves less than 1 gram of net carbs in an 8 oz serving.
Fat, not surprisingly, is also negligible – coming in at only 1 gram.
It is incredibly micro-nutrient rich.
In addition to the macro-nutrient benefits you’ll get from broccoli rabe, it is also filled with vitamins and minerals.
You’ll get large quantities of vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Folate.
In terms of minerals, you’ll also get a healthy dose of iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Well, obviously you know that I think broccoli rabe is awesome, and that you should be eating more if it!
It’s packed with protein and fiber, low in carbs and fat, and is loaded with lots of healthy vitamins and minerals that most people don’t get enough of.
But what does that means for you?
Well, here are just a few of the many benefits that you may see from consuming more of this green, leafy wonder.
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Improved immune system functioning
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- DNA repair
- Lowered risk of stroke
- Lowered risk of Alzheimer’s
- Improved eye health
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
There are more than this, but I’m sure you get the picture…you should be eating more broccoli rabe!
To help with this, we’ll be posting some healthy, tasty broccoli rabe recipes soon that you can try. Stay tuned.