10 Nutrient-Packed Broccoli Alternatives

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Broccoli is well-known to be a superfood packed with nutritional value. It’s included in many popular diets such as the vegan diet, Keto diet, and military diet. Yet getting your kid to finish a plate of broccoli can be challenging. Some people are simply turned off with its bitter taste and cannot be convinced to eat it.

Good thing there are many more health-boosting cruciferous vegetables that you can choose from. Just like broccoli, these alternative veggies are nutrient-packed. Plus, they’re easy to find in groceries and markets.

1. Cauliflower

Chopped cauliflower on wooden chopping board beside a bowl of cauliflower on white background.

When it is prepared and not eaten raw, cauliflower usually has the same texture as broccoli but it has a more sweet taste when compared to broccoli. The purple variety is full of natural antioxidants while the orange has more vitamin A. Like with broccoli, some people like to eat cauliflower with cheese, but it is recommended not to eat too much cheese with it because of the high saturated fat content.

Another way people prepare it is by roasting it in the oven or making cauliflower ‘mashed potatoes’. Finding it is generally very easy in stores because there is a wide variety of cauliflower made products out there from dried snacks to pizza crust.

Pros

  • Found easily in stores
  • Has vitamins and antioxidants
  • Low in calories and carbohydrates

Cons

  • Has less fiber, protein, and vitamins A, C, and K than broccoli

2. Cabbage

A whole cabbage and two pieces of chopped cabbage in half with some strips on wooden chopping board.

Out of red and green cabbage, red wins for being healthier by containing more fiber and vitamins than green. One cup of it contains up to 85 percent of a person’s daily requirements for vitamin C and also contains about 2 grams of fiber. Several animal studies have shown that it also helps to protect the heart and liver from damage caused by plaque build up in the arteries as well as lower blood cholesterol levels. Besides that, many agree that it tastes best with shredded with stir-fry, salads, or noodles because of its crisp texture.

Pros

  • High in fiber, vitamin C, and anthocyanins
  • Helps lower the risk of heart and liver damage
  • May reduce inflammation and cholesterol levels

Cons

  • Must eat large amounts to achieve optimal results

3. Kale

Sprinkling olive oil on kale in a red pan.

There are many different ways that kale can be prepared, but the most common ways are for it to be eaten with salads, steamed, sauteed, or pureed and added to a smoothie. Widely known as a powerful super food, it is not hard to see that it is one of the healthiest broccoli alternatives out there because of how much it affects a person’s health by being high in over 7 vitamins and minerals. There are many different kale products out there, but they are also usually a combination of other vegetables. Organic, fresh kale is the best choice for those who want all of their health benefits.

Pros

  • May reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels
  • High in vitamins A, B, C, and K
  • High in potassium, calcium, and copper

Cons

  • Harder to shop for online by itself

4. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard on wooden bowl on wooden chopping board and white cloth on wooden background.

Highly rich in many different nutrients including manganese, magnesium, fiber, and protein, swiss chard is one of the more visually appealing greens out there. There are many different ways they can be prepared including being in a salad, fried, steamed, canned, pickled, and pureed. One of the more notable features is that it has the ability to prevent diabetes mellitus from causing damage to the body. That and it is very low in calories.

Pros

  • Protects against diabetes
  • Prevent free radicals from damaging the cells
  • High in vitamins A, C, and K

Cons

  • May not be best for people with low blood sugar

5. Spinach

Steaming fried spinach in a black plate on wooden background.

There was a reason Popeye would always eat spinach, other than to save the day, and it was because it is extremely helpful for the heart and blood pressure, has antioxidants that reduce the risk for cancer and is high in lutein and beta-carotene. Besides eating it straight from the can like Popeye, spinach is a great ingredient to add to soups, salads, stir-fries, casseroles, pies, and more.

Pros

  • High in antioxidants
  • Helps lower or prevent high blood pressure

Cons

  • Fresh has more nutrients than other products

6. Asparagus

A plate of asparagus with a slice of lemon.

Best eaten with other dishes like soups, pasta, quiches, and more, many people agree that asparagus does not have a good taste by itself. However, it is one of the healthiest vegetables out there, being high in over half a dozen vitamins and minerals. All of those can improve and help boost the metabolic function in the liver and help protect it against toxicity.

Pros

  • High in selenium, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and vitamins B and K
  • Helps prevent birth defects during pregnancy
  • Healthy for liver

Cons

  • Considered better with other foods, cooked

7. Collard Greens

A bowl of collard greens salad.

Unlike many of the other alternatives, collard greens keep many of their nutrients even after they are cooked. They also, like broccoli, have one of the best sources of calcium from a plant and are high in antioxidants. Collard greens are actually related to broccoli and are highly used in southern American dishes. They are mainly used in salads, stews, or along with some meat like bacon or pork.

Pros

  • High in calcium, fiber, and protein
  • Help fights against osteoporosis, glaucoma, and prostate cancer

Cons

  • Best eaten with other cooked dishes

8. Brussels sprouts

A bowl of roasted brussel sprouts.

One of the best vegetables and foods to eat during detoxification, Brussel sprouts are a very common vegetable to find whether it is frozen, canned, fresh, or pickled. They can also help prevent free radical damage, reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, and be an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Another thing that makes them one of the best alternatives is that they can be prepared in practically every way possible.

Pros

  • High in antioxidants
  • High in potassium, manganese, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K

Cons

  • Best eaten fresh

9. Bok choy

Chopsticks on a bowl of bok choy stew.

For people who do not like regular cabbage, bok choy, also known as Chinese cabbage, might be a better alternative. Some of the ways it is prepared are by adding it to a salad. It can be a little more difficult to find in some places since it is not as popular in the west as it is in the east. It is more common to find products made with bok choy like frozen Chinese food.

Pros

  • High in vitamin C
  • Can taste better with low-sodium soy sauce

Cons

  • Not commonly sold in some stores or online

10. Turnip Greens

Turnip greens on a black bowl.

The number of conditions that turnip greens can fight against speak to how healthy and beneficial these greens are compared to the other alternatives. Whether slightly or significantly, turnip greens can help protect the body from diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune disease, bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Not to mention that it can also prevent and even counteract free radical damage, which helps slow aging, reduce oxidative stress, maintain bone strength, and protects the eye’s health. Most people consider them to be too fragrant, stronger than cabbage or radishes, and strongly spicey or sharp for them, but if they are boiled and then cooked with salt and eaten with another food, it can help to mild the taste and smell. Baby turnip greens are also less harsh and are more preferred being eaten raw.

Pros

  • High in vitamins A, B6, C, E and K
  • Contains folate, manganese, copper, fiber, protein, and calcium

Cons

  • Can smell and be slightly bitter