All About Broccoli & FODMAPs
Is broccoli low FODMAP? Yes!
Broccoli As Tested By Monash
Monash University has lab tested broccoli heads (made up of florets), stalks and also broccoli as a “whole” vegetable (florets and stems combined). Here are their lab results:
- Broccoli heads are Green Light low FODMAP at ¾ cup or 75 g.
- Broccoli stalks are Green Light low FODMAP at ⅓ cup or 45 g.
- “Whole” ” broccoli is Green Light low FODMAP at ¾ cup or 75 g, which is the same as the head/florets.
What we do know from Monash lab testing is that broccoli heads/florets are lower in FODMAPs than the stalks, and since we typically use the head part, simply use the ¾ cup (75 g) amount as guidance during Elimination.
We also know from the Monash testing that whole broccoli does not become Yellow Light Moderate for FODMAPs until amounts of 3 cups or 270 g. It becomes Red Light High FODMAP at 4 cups or 350 g.
This means there is some wiggle room, meaning that it does not become Moderate quickly. That said, always begin with low FODMAP Green Light amounts and eat to your tolerance.
Monash details that the FODMAP found during their lab testing is fructans.
Broccoli As Tested By FODMAP Friendly
FODMAP Friendly lab testing says that broccoli is low FODMAP and gets a “Pass” at 1 cup (75 g).
There are no details about florets vs. stems vs. whole. The assumption is that it is “whole” and a mixture of florets and stems.
They do detail that the FODMAPs found in their lab testing are GOS (primarily) and fructans (secondarily).
Understanding the Lab Results
As always it is important to understand that different labs can show different results. Then we have the fact that we are dealing with fresh produce and fruits and vegetables can be grown in different conditions, harvested at various points of ripeness and then stored and transported differently.
While it might seem surprising to you that the results are slightly different, it doesn’t surprise us at all. Both are reliable results; they just represent what was tested at the time.
As for the volume vs. weight difference, it appears that FODMAP Friendly simply chopped their vegetable in larger pieces, therefore their 75 g is a larger volume than Monash.
Weights are always the most accurate, for this vegetable, and all other app entries. (On this note you might want to read about our findings in regard to Lentils).
- Broccoli is also known as Brassica oleracea botrytis.
- It is a member of the Brassica genus, which also includes cabbage, kale, cauliflower, turnip, Brussels sprouts and mustard greens.
- Broccoli is considered a cruciferous vegetable.
- The word “broccoli” comes from the Italian plural of “broccoli”, which means “the flowering crest of a cabbage”.
- Broccoli is a source of vitamins K, C, and A, as well as folate and fiber. It also contains phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.
How To Buy
Broccoli prefers cool, moist weather, but it is available year-round in most markets.
Farmers tell us that large or small heads do not indicate sweetness or bitterness but that the condition of the heads/flowers does. Look for bright green heads, with tight formation and absolutely no yellowing.
How To Store & Prep
Broccoli likes to be kept cold. Maybe you have seen broccoli piled up with little ice chips at the market. It helps keep it fresh.
Keep broccoli cold in the fridge, stored in a loose plastic bag so that it can still breathe. It will keep for about a week, but it is has the best texture and flavor when fresh and will also be at its nutritional peak.
Wash it just before using.
You can freeze broccoli. Prep your florets and/or stems and blanch briefly in boiling water. The stems take a bit more time than the florets. Just blanch them for a minute or two. They should turn bright green, then drain and plunge into ice water. Pat very dry with paper towels then place in freezer safe bags and expel all the air. Use within a month or two.
If you have a vacuum sealer, this is a perfect time to use it. With this technique you can store for a year.
How To Use
First you have to decide whether you are using the stems, the florets or a combo and measure or weigh out your broccoli appropriately. We like using a digital scale.
If using stems, some folks like to give them a light peel, others don’t. Any which way stick with the more tender parts and not the very bottom of the stem, which is woody and not as palatable as the rest of the vegetable.
We love broccoli steamed (use a steamer insert), so that it retains crispness and bright green color, roasted, which deepens its flavor, or in stir-fries. And raw, of course. Serve with our low FODMAP hummus or blue cheese dip.
We are starting to add more and more recipes using broccoli. For now, try these:
- Quick Pasta With Chicken, Broccoli & Goat Cheese
- Twice-Baked Double Stuffed Potatoes with Chicken, Cheese & Broccoli
- Shrimp & Broccoli Noodles
- Orange Chicken & Broccoli Bowl
- Hot & Sour Shrimp Lo Mein
A Note On Broccolini
Is broccolini low FODMAP? Yes!
Broccolini is not the same vegetable as broccoli, but they are related. Luckily for all of us Monash has lab tested it.
- Broccolini heads are Green Light low FODMAP at ½ cup or 45 g.
- Broccoli stalks are Green Light low FODMAP at 1 cup or 90 g.
- “Whole” ” broccolini is Green Light low FODMAP at ½ cup or 45 g, which is the same as the head/florets.
Note that in this case the stems are LOWER in FODMAPs. Yet again another instance that shows us how extrapolations about FODMAP content of fruits and vegetables based on other fruits and vegetables can be problematic.
Be sure to try our Spicy Roasted Broccolini with Garlic & Lemon.
Broccoli can be part of your low FODMAP meals, even during Elimination. The florets and the stems contain different amounts of FODMAPs, with the florets being lower.
Use 75 g of chopped combined broccoli stems and florets per serving during Elimination to remain low FODMAP.
Broccolini has shown the reverse in lab testing. The stems are lower in FODMAPs. A good place to start is with ½ cup or 45 g as a low FODMAP serving size.
As always, eat to your own tolerances. Our article on What Is A Low FODMAP Serving Size? might be helpful at this time.