Health Benefits Of Broccoli Rabe

Dr. Purushothaman
April 14, 2024

If you are a fan of French cuisine, then you might be familiar with the leafy vegetable, Broccoli rabe. It is one of the favourite Mediterranean leafy greens that are mostly used in Italian cuisine. It has small broccoli type flowering heads with leaves that look like turnip leaves. Common names of Broccoli rabe are turnip broccoli, Italian turnip, Chinese broccoli, broccoli de rabe, etc.

This vegetable is mostly grown in places with the cold climatic condition. The soil has to be very moist if better yields are expected. While harvesting, the stem is trimmed at ground level. By that time, the plant will be around 12-15 inches in height. When this plant grows up, we find broccoli-like flower heads which are very tiny. It is an interesting fact that the plant on the whole is edible. Its stems, leaves and even the flower buds are good to consume.

The leaves are a bit spicy and bitter in taste and have the flavour of pepper. When heated, it becomes delicious with a nutty taste. Everybody loves its unique taste.

Broccoli Rabe benefits

  • Broccoli rabe is a green leafy vegetable with a small cluster like heads. It is rich in phytonutrients and is beneficial to health. It also has properties that help in preventing a lot of diseases.
  • The raw leaves of the vegetable contain low calories with around 22 calories/100 grams. It also has a lot of minerals as well as vitamins such as Vitamin K and folates. These are all very essential for health.
  • Consuming a very less amount of this fresh vegetable gives you daily need of vitamin K-1 to the body. Vitamin K is very important in giving strength to the bones. It is very essential in maintaining the human brain and also to decrease neuronal damage. In short, it helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease in old people.
  • Usually, leafy greens are rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenes, zeaxanthin, indoles, etc. While consuming Broccoli rabe, you will be assured of taking in the right amount of antioxidants inside the body if taken daily.
  • It is a surprising fact that Broccoli rabe has more amount of folic acid than turnip greens and mustard green. Consuming around 100 gm of this vegetable is sure to give you a rich supply of folic acid to the body. Folic acid is very important in the synthesis of DNA and also for cell division. Newborn babies benefit a lot from this, as it helps to prevent all kinds of neural tube defects.
  • Fresh Broccoli rabe will give you a good supply of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is very important for the body as it is a natural antioxidant that helps to protect from free radicals and viral infections.
  • Vitamin A too can be found in abundance in this vegetable. To maintain a very healthy mucosa and even healthy skin, vitamin A is very essential. Moreover, it also helps in good night vision. You can prevent oral cavity as well as lung cancer if you consume this vegetable regularly.
  • If you consume this vegetable regularly, you are sure to prevent all kinds of arthritis, iron deficiency and osteoporosis. It also gives complete protection from cardiovascular diseases and even from prostate cancer.

Storing and selecting

This vegetable comes to the markets two times a year mostly during spring and by the fall. Consuming fresh ones give you better nutrition. So always check for fresh rabe. Avoid those with yellow leaves.

Store without washing in a plastic zip-lock pouch if you want the vegetable fresh for 2 to 3 days.


Rinse well and remove the tough part of the stem. Pat dry and cut the leafy part as per your need. To blanch in boiling water for some time and remove and keep them in ice-cold water to avoid mushiness. Add it with other vegetables, pasta or enjoy stir-fried.


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