Does boiling broccoli remove nutrients?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “does boiling broccoli remove nutrients?”, what are the nutrients in broccoli, its health benefits, how to cook it, and other queries related to this topic.

Does boiling broccoli remove nutrients? 

Yes, boiling broccoli removes the nutrients present in it. Moreover, the length of cooking, the amount of water added, and the vegetable size affect the nutrients lost from the broccoli. So, the recommended time to cook the broccoli without losing its health benefits is between 6 to 8 minutes.

Leaving the broccoli in boiling water for a very long time will risk the loss of water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and some B vitamins. Moreover, thiamine or B1 and folate or B9 are very heat-sensitive vitamins so boiling water will destroy them. Also, if you cut the broccoli into small pieces, the nutrients will be easily lost in the water.

However, fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K are not affected by the boiling process because they can not be dissolved in water. Unlike vitamins, minerals are not heat-sensitive and so they will not be lost through the boiling process. 

Regarding the phytonutrients in broccoli, boiling has a positive effect on some of them and will increase their availability such as beta carotene, and a negative effect on others where they will be destroyed under heating.

What are the best cooking methods to cook broccoli?

Steaming is the best method for broccoli cooking because it preserves the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals within the broccoli. To steam the broccoli, the vegetable does not sit in the water because it is cooked from the steam coming from the water.

Moreover, stir-frying is also a good method for broccoli cooking since it does not require a lot of cooking time and you end up adding some olive oil to it. This addition will preserve the vitamins in the broccoli. Also, roasting is a good method because it preserves a high percentage of vitamins.

What are the nutrients present in broccoli?

Broccoli is very nutrient-dense and low in calories. It contains many vitamins such as thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folate (B9), cobalamin (B12), vitamin A, D, E, and K. Also, it contains many minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and calcium. In addition, it is high in antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin.

Moreover, broccoli is high in vitamin C, approximately one cup of broccoli contains as much vitamin C as an orange. Also, it is high in sulforaphane, a chemical compound found in cruciferous vegetables and found to have many health benefits such as regulating blood sugar in type 2 diabetes patients.

In addition, sulforaphane reduces your risk of developing cancer since it stops cancer cell growth. Furthermore, it prevents osteoarthritis and schizophrenia. Other than sulforaphane, broccoli contains beta carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A. Beta carotene is an antioxidant, so it improves your immunity and reduces your risk of developing heart problems.

On the other hand, in some cases like in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or IBS broccoli can worsen their symptoms and lead to gas. Furthermore, broccoli is high in phosphorus, and people with chronic kidney disease should not consume high phosphorus vegetables.

Finally, people on blood thinner medications should avoid broccoli or other green leafy vegetables because vitamin K interacts with this medication and reduces its effect.

Why is cooked broccoli better than raw?

Broccoli is high in antioxidants and when cooked the bioavailability of these antioxidants will be higher and the body’s absorption of these antioxidants will increase. However, cooking it will reduce its content of vitamin C. So, try to consume raw and cooked broccoli at the same time. That will make you benefit from all their benefits.

How should you cook your veggies?

There are multiple ways to cook your vegetables such as steaming, boiling, simmering, poaching, grilling, broiling, roasting, baking, frying, sautéing, and stir-frying. Deciding which cooking method to choose depends on the vegetable you want to cook and eat.

Because some vegetables can be consumed raw like cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, and many others. However, some should be boiled, grilled, or fried such as eggplants and potatoes. In addition to the type of vegetables, some recipes call for sauteed or baked vegetables.

Moreover, some cooking methods are healthier than others. For example, frying food is not recommended because it reduces the nutritional profile of the food and will increase its fat content and then the calories. Also, grilling can lead to the production of a carcinogenic compound called heterocyclic amines.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “does boiling broccoli remove nutrients?”, what are the nutrients in broccoli, its health benefits, how to cook it, and other queries related to this topic.


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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.