Is Broccoli Good for Diabetics?

Last updated on August 21st, 2023

Diabetes is a growing disorder which is affecting numerous people worldwide. And dealing with diabetes involves monitoring your diet and the food you eat. In this article, we’ll be examining the broccoli and diabetes connection. So let us ask you some burning questions first that might have crossed your mind while looking at a plate of steamed broccoli. Can Diabetes patients eat Broccoli? Is broccoli good for diabetics? Well, to find the answers, we’ll be exploring in this article the delicious world of broccoli. And its potential impact on those managing diabetes.

So let’s dig into the juicy result of whether broccoli gets a thumbs up or a thumbs down for the diabetes squad. So just keep reading as we discover the truth and make this article veggie-licious!

What is Broccoli?

Broccoli is a green shrub-looking member of the cabbage family. Veggies like cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc., are close relatives of Broccoli. It’s known for its distinctive appearance, with a compact green head. The head is made up of tiny flower buds called florets. These florets are attached to a thick stalk, which is also edible and quite nutritious.

Now, one interesting fact about broccoli is its rich history. It had its origins in Italy’s Mediterranean region some 2,000 years ago. The word “broccoli” came from the Italian word “broccolo,” which implies “cabbage sprout.” Since then, it has made its way into different cuisines in different parts of the world.

One of the useful features of broccoli is its versatility and texture. You can consume it in various ways:

  • Raw
  • Steamed
  • Roasted
  • Stir-fried
  • Or even added to soups and salads

It retains its crunch and vibrant green colour when lightly cooked. Others enjoy it slightly tenderised through steaming or roasting.

At the same time, others prefer it with a little seasoning or added to other dishes for an extra burst of flavour. It pairs well with garlic, lemon, cheese, and even bacon for those who enjoy a bit of indulgence.

Pretty good ways to consume this veggie, right?

Well, besides its multicuisine profile, broccoli has numerous health benefits. It is also a preferred choice in the best vegetables for diabetics. But let’s also not forget the taste! Broccoli has a distinct flavour that can be described as earthy, slightly bitter, and somewhat sweet.

So, whether you’re a veggie lover or just looking out for nutritious foods, broccoli is definitely a go-to option. It’s a versatile, healthy, and tasty vegetable that can add a vibrant touch to your meals. So why not give it a try and explore all the wonderful ways you can enjoy this delightful green vegetable?

Read More: Can Diabetes Patients Eat Oranges?

Nutritional Value of Broccoli

Nutrition value of Broccoli

Nutritionally, Broccoli is a powerhouse. It’s loaded with vital vitamins, minerals, and healthy fibre. For example, it’s an excellent source of vitamins like Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, etc.

It also contains significant amounts of vitamin A, folate, Iron, Manganese, etc. Plus, it’s low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those looking to maintain a healthy diet.

Nutritional Value of Broccoli

Nutritional Value of Broccoli
Nutrients (in 91 grams of Broccoli) Its amount
Energy 31 kcal
Fat 0.3 g
Protein 2.5 gram
Vitamin C 81.9 mg
Sugars 1.4 gram
Carbohydrates 6g
Vitamin K 92.8 µg
Fibre 2.4 g
Folate 1.5 µg
Magnesium 19.1 mg

Read More: Indian Diet for Diabetes Reversal.

Glycemic Index of Broccoli 

Glycemic Index of Broccoli


Another advantage of having Broccoli, especially for diabetes patients, is that it doesn’t shoot up their sugar response levels. The glycemic index of Broccoli is just 15, which is in the low range. This makes it a good choice for the list of best vegetables for diabetics.

The GI index of broccoli is a table from 1 to 100, which marks the carbohydrate content in a substance. Foods having a glycemic index below 30 are classified as very low (safest for diabetes). Foods from 30 up to 55 fall in the medium range (may be safe, maybe not). While foods having a glycemic index of above 55 are high in carbs and should be avoided by diabetes patients (unsafe).

Moreover, in the GI index of broccoli, there is a component called the glycemic load. The glycemic load of Broccoli is only 1, which classifies it as a super low glycemic load item. The glycemic load measures the quality of carbohydrates.

It is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of broccoli by the carbs present in the broccoli serving. Then the result is divided by 100.

In the case of Broccoli,

GL of Broccoli= (GI of Broccoli × Carbohydrate) ÷ 100

GL of Broccoli= (15×6)÷100= 0.9 or 1

Therefore in whole numbers, the glycemic load comes to 1. Foods with GL less than 10 are low-GL foods and should be eaten more by diabetes patients.

Read More: Is Coconut Milk Good for Diabetics?

Benefits of Broccoli in Diabetes Patients

Benefits of Broccoli

Is Broccoli Good for Diabetics?

Broccoli, the green powerhouse of vegetables! When it comes to managing diabetes, this mighty green veggie offers a plethora of benefits. These benefits can help keep your blood sugar levels in check. So, buckle up as we list down broccoli and its remarkable benefits for diabetes patients!

Low Glycemic Index

First and foremost, broccoli is a fantastic choice for individuals with diabetes due to its low glycemic index for broccoli. What does that mean, you ask? Well, it basically indicates how quickly a particular food can raise your blood sugar levels.

Since the low glycemic index for broccoli makes it a low-GI food, it won’t cause an immediate spike in glucose. Thus, helping you maintain better control over your blood sugar and making broccoli the best vegetable for diabetics. This explanation answers the question Is broccoli good for diabetics?

Read More: Is Apricot Good for Diabetics?

Rich in Fibre 

But that’s not all! Broccoli is rich in fibre, and fibre is a significant ingredient in a healthy meal. Especially for diabetes patients, fibre helps them in different ways. It helps slow down digestion and the absorption of carbohydrates, preventing those blood sugar levels from skyrocketing.

Additionally, fibre adds bulk to your meals, making you feel fuller for longer. This can be beneficial for weight management—a common concern for those with diabetes. This point further clarifies the question: Is broccoli good for diabetics?

Read More: Best Vegetable with Low Glycemic index for Diabetics.

Packed with Essential Vitamins & Minerals

Now, let’s talk about the mega nutrients found in broccoli which will further justify the question Is broccoli good for diabetics? This green wonder is packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins & minerals, like vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C. Vitamin C is not only a powerful antioxidant, but it also plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system. This is a much-needed boost for anyone, including diabetes patients.

Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health, and folate contributes to the production of red blood cells, which are vital for oxygen transport throughout the body.

Read More: Normal Blood Sugar Level for Adults Agewise.

Reduces Stress and Inflammation

To answer; Is broccoli good for diabetics if they have stress? Well, stress is common these days, and we have some interesting facts that explain the connection between diabetes, broccoli and stress.

Broccoli contains compounds called sulforaphane and glucoraphanin, which have been the subject of scientific interest in recent years. These compounds have been proven to decrease oxidative stress & inflammation.

In diabetes-related disorders, anxiety and inflammation play a big part. So, by incorporating broccoli into your diet, you’re not only nourishing your body. But also potentially safeguarding yourself against certain health risks.

So, my friend, if you have diabetes or know someone who does, don’t underestimate the power of broccoli. With a low GI index of broccoli, fibre-rich goodness, an abundance of vitamins and minerals, and potential protective properties, it can be an excellent addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. Truly, broccoli itself is a perfect answer to the question, is broccoli good for diabetics? So, let’s raise a toast to this great veggie and keep enjoying its beneficial impact on our health!

Read More:  Is Cranberry Juice Good for Diabetics?

Ways to Include Broccoli in your diet

Broccoli in Diet

Broccoli is a versatile veggie which can be included in various Indian dishes. It adds both nutrition and flavour. Here are some easy and quick broccoli recipes which can be a good addition to your diet:

Broccoli Paratha

Parathas are a popular Indian bread. You can finely chop or grate broccoli and mix it with whole wheat flour, spices, and herbs to make a delicious and nutritious broccoli paratha. Just don’t use too much oil to keep the GI index of broccoli in control.

Read More: Are Sugar-Free Biscuits Safe for Diabetics?

Broccoli Stir-Fry

Prepare a quick and healthy stir-fry by sautéing broccoli florets with other vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and onions. Season it with your favourite Indian spices like cumin, turmeric, and coriander for a burst of flavour.

Our Pro tip: Keep the broccoli glycemic index low by using less oil or olive oil.

Broccoli Curry

You can make a flavorful broccoli curry by cooking broccoli florets in a tomato-based gravy. Add spices like ginger, garlic, cumin, and garam masala for a delicious curry that pairs well with rice or roti.

Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.

Broccoli Pakoras

Pakoras are deep-fried fritters that are enjoyed as a snack or appetiser. Create a batter with besan (gram flour), spices, and water, dip broccoli florets in the batter, and fry until crispy. Serve them with chutney or ketchup.

It would be best if you bake them to keep the broccoli glycemic index low.

Broccoli Pulao

Give your regular pulao a delicious touch by adding broccoli florets to the rice along with other vegetables. Sauté the broccoli with spices before mixing it with rice and cooking it all together. It’s a wholesome and flavorful one-pot meal.

Remember, you can always experiment with different combinations and flavours to suit your taste. Adding broccoli to these dishes not only increases their nutritional value. But also adds a delightful crunch and vibrant green colour. Enjoy exploring the diverse flavours of Indian cuisine with the goodness of broccoli!

Read More: Is Rice Good For Diabetes? 

Side Effects of Broccoli

Side Effect of Broccoli

As with everything else, Broccoli has benefits as well as side effects. Despite having some essential nutrients and benefiting diabetes patients, it has some side effects you should be aware of. Don’t worry, though; they’re usually nothing major.

Excess Gas

Broccoli contains a carb known as raffinose. Raffinose is a hard thing to digest, so it takes time. So, avoid having a large serving of broccoli, or you might be in a problematic situation publicly.

Read More: Are Peanuts Good for Diabetics?

Bloating Problem

Broccoli is fibrous and can sometimes be challenging to break down completely. This can cause some bloating in sensitive individuals.

Messes with Thyroid Production

Broccoli, like cabbages and cauliflowers, contains goitrogens. These substances can cause problems producing thyroid hormones, mainly when consumed in large amounts.

Read More: Is Dragon Fruit Good For Diabetics?

Increases Antioxidants

These side effects mainly affect smokers. Consuming excess broccoli can unnecessarily increase the antioxidants in our body, causing breathing problems.


In a nutshell, broccoli and diabetes go together like bread and butter! So, to answer the question: Is broccoli good for diabetics? The answer is a BIG FAT YES!

Broccoli isn’t just some ordinary veggie. It’s a superstar in the diabetes-friendly food world. The glycemic index for broccoli is low, and it is full of antioxidants. Plus, the rich fibre content in broccoli is excellent news for people who are battling diabetes, just like you! It helps regulate blood sugar and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

Another important point to the question, “Is broccoli good for diabetics?” Broccoli comes armed with anti-inflammatory powers and even improves your insulin sensitivity. Thus, making it easier for your body to use insulin. So, whether you’re living with diabetes or simply trying to make healthier food choices, broccoli deserves a spot on your plate.

In a world where managing diabetes can sometimes feel like a puzzle, broccoli fits in perfectly. So, go ahead, embrace the power of broccoli, and let it be your friend on your journey towards a healthier life.

Read More: Are Grapefruits Safe for Diabetics?


What are the Best Foods to Pair Broccoli with for Diabetes?

Here are some quick and tasty ways to have broccoli in your meals:

  • Add raw broccoli to your regular salads with a pinch of black pepper, salt, and lemon.
  • Add small broccoli pieces to the ready-made soup and boil it.
  • Add broccoli to your daily vegetable curries.
  • Add broccoli to your rice recipes like pulao and biryani.

What is the Ideal Portion Size of Broccoli I Should Consume?

Studies suggest broccoli is one of the best vegetables for diabetics, so it is even okay to have up to 1 full broccoli daily. A full broccoli weighing around 150g has just 48 calories and 9g of Carbohydrates. Eating broccoli also meets our body’s fibre requirement and also some vitamins & minerals.


What Foods can Diabetics Eat Freely?

In general, people having diabetes need to eat low-carb and low-glycemic-index food items. Therefore we will tell you some healthy fruits, beneficial grains, and the best vegetables for diabetics to have:

Fruits: Apples, muskmelon, pears, blueberries(jamun), grapes, etc.

Grains: Change your diet and include more and more whole grains like wheat, oats, bajra, corn, barley, and rice(in measured amounts)

Vegetables: Spinach, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Beetroot, Carrots, Cucumber, peas, tomatoes, etc.

Animal foods: Chicken, eggs, milk, paneer, lean meat, fish, etc.


What is the Best Time for Eating Broccoli for Diabetics?

Broccoli has a low carb content but is rich in fibre. The fibre in broccoli is the insoluble type which requires more digestion time. So diabetes patients should have Broccoli in their daily meals in the daytime.


Which Vegetable is Best for Diabetes?

Vegetables are an excellent food for diabetics as they contain low carbs and are rich in fiber. Below we’ll suggest some best vegetables for diabetics

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Brinjal
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrot
  • Beetroot
  • Cauliflower, etc.


Can Diabetics Eat Broccoli and Cauliflower?

Diabetes patients are advised to eat foods that are of low glycemic index. Therefore, green vegetables are the best vegetables for diabetics. Broccoli and cauliflower are closely related and come from the same family. As for broccoli’s glycemic index, cauliflower too has a very low glycemic index, making it a preferred choice for people with diabetes.


Can Broccoli Raise Blood Sugar?

In the list of best vegetables for diabetics, Broccoli finds the top spot. The broccoli glycemic index is 15, which is very low. In the GI index of broccoli, there is a component called the glycemic load which too is less, i.e. 1. Moreover, the carbohydrates in broccoli are significantly less, which makes it have minimal effect on your blood sugar.


Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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