What Is Broccoli Raab Good For?

Boons of Broccoli Raab
Botanical name: Brassica Rapa var. Ruvo

Broccoli Raab Nutrition Facts

Broccoli raab is a cruciferous vegetable that looks similar to a leafy broccoli but is actually more closely related to turnips. It's originally grown in Asia, the Mediterranean and Italy, but is now cultivated worldwide. California supplies most of the broccoli raab sold in the U.S. today.1

Broccoli raab is a cold-weather crop. When harvested during autumn, it will have a characteristic sharp, bitter flavor. You can also harvest it after winter if you want it to taste less bitter. The entire vegetable is edible, from the stalks to its florets, which makes up for its expensive price.2

When buying broccoli raab, make sure the leaves are fresh, large and dark green, with no signs of yellowing or wilting. It can last for up to a week when stored properly in a loose bag and placed in the crisper of your fridge.3

Cook broccoli raab as you would any leafy green vegetable. Blanching helps lessen its bitterness, but you may also serve it boiled, steamed, grilled, sautéed, roasted or stir-fried. It can be added to soups and stews, combined with other greens or pureed to make a sauce similar to pesto.4

Health Benefits of Broccoli Raab

Broccoli raab is an excellent source of dietary fiber,5 which has been shown to help lower the risk for cardiovascular disease by reducing your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and improving serum lipids. High fiber intake is also linked to a lowered risk of colorectal and breast cancer.6

Broccoli raab contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A,7 which plays a crucial role in visual health, immune function and cell growth,8 as well as vitamin C,9 a powerful antioxidant that may help maintain optimal vascular function by increasing nitric oxide synthesis and bioavailability.10

Vitamin K is present in abundant amounts in broccoli raab.11 This vitamin acts as a coenzyme for synthesizing proteins involved in blood clotting, bone metabolism and other physiological functions.12 Broccoli raab is also an excellent source of vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and B vitamins.13 If you want to know more about how this food affects your nutrient intake, check the nutrition facts table below:14

Broccoli Raab Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 3.5 ounces (100 grams), cooked
  Amt. Per
% Daily
Calories 25  
Total Fat 0.52 g  
Saturated Fat 0.089 g  
Trans Fat  
Cholesterol 0 mg  
Sodium 56 mg  
Total Carbohydrates 3.12 g  
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g  
Sugar 0.62 g  
Protein 3.83 g  
Vitamin A 227 mcg Vitamin C 37 mg
Calcium 118 mg Iron 1.27 mg

Studies Done on Broccoli Raab

A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry evaluated the phenolic components of broccoli raab, as well as 16 other leafy vegetables from the Brassica family. Results revealed that one of the many compounds present in this vegetable is a glycoside of kaempfrol.15

Research showed that kaempfrol and its glycosides provide various pharmacological effects, including antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective and neuroprotective properties. They may also help inhibit cancer cell proliferation and promote cancer cell apoptosis, thereby lowering your risk for some types of cancer, including liver, colon and skin cancer.16

Broccoli Raab Healthy Recipes:
Sautéed Mushrooms and Broccoli Raab

Broccoli Raab Healthy Recipes


1 tablespoon coconut oil

16 ounces sliced mushrooms (such as shiitake, cremini or button)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3 cups chopped broccoli raab

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the oil.
  2. Add the mushrooms and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and then sauté for about 10 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms have browned nicely.
  3. Add the broccoli raab and red pepper flakes, and sauté for another eight minutes or so until the broccoli raab is crisp tender.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve hot and enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from The Spruce Eats17)

Broccoli Raab Fun Facts

Broccoli raab goes by many names, such as broccoli rabe, turnip broccoli and bitter broccoli. In Italy, it's known as rapini, broccoleti di rapa and cime di rape, which translates to "turnip tops." Friarelli is its common name in Naples. Meanwhile in Asia, this cruciferous vegetable is known as choi sum and pak-choi.18

If you're looking for a good substitute to broccoli raab, Chinese broccoli is your best option. These are two very similar vegetables — the primary difference is that Chinese broccoli has a thicker stem.19


Known by different names all over the world, broccoli raab has a unique flavor and health benefits, including loads of fiber as well as vitamins and minerals,20 such as vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K and potassium, among others.

The wealth of nutrients that broccoli raab offers makes it one of the best natural foods to add to your diet. If you haven't tried it yet, try mixing it with other leafy green veggies for a refreshing salad or add it into soups and stews.