Hello! It’s time. Time to learn the truth about broccoli and the low FODMAP diet. This tasty little veggie causes a LOT of confusion in the FODMAP world. We blame this on misinformation in outdated food lists. Broccoli is often portrayed as high FODMAP and considered a food to avoid if you have gut issues but this isn’t entirely true. Broccoli can actually be low FODMAP. Intrigued? Keep reading.
Is broccoli low FODMAP?
I’m the sort of human who LOVES broccoli. I’ll take it any day over cauliflower and will eat it steamed, roasted, or pureed into my soup, although I’m not so keen on raw broccoli. It features heavily on my menu if I don’t know what to cook. It’s also packed full of good stuff like fibre, iron, calcium, vitamins, and potassium (1).
So where on the FODMAP scale does it fit? Well, according to Monash University, the lead researchers of the low FODMAP diet, the broccoli head (the bit that looks like the top of a tree) and broccoli florets (small pieces of the broccoli head with a little bit of the stem) are low FODMAP in 3/4 cup serves. However, you should be able to happily eat 1-2 cups of these broccoli parts without any FODMAP issues.
As with most foods, broccoli has low, moderate and high FODMAP serving sizes. However, whether something is low or high FODMAP depends entirely on serving size, threshold level, and in broccoli’s case the part of the broccoli you are eating. So make sure you check the Monash University Low FODMAP App for info.
Also, my zero waste humans, I adore you but if you are saving the planet by grating the broccoli stalk into your coleslaw or if you just enjoy chewing on the stalks, then you might have an issue if you struggle with excess fructose. The broccoli stalk is high FODMAP and contains different levels of FODMAPs compared to the broccoli head. This means you want to limit your intake during the first phase of the diet. Check the Monash University Low FODMAP App for details.
So that means broccolini is low FODMAP?
Just a second. It’s super easy to assume that because broccolini sounds just like broccoli it’ll have the same FODMAP rating. I mean it’s practically the same food…. Right?
Broccolini is a little bit cuter than broccoli, it’s more graceful and comes in adorable little bunches. Don’t be fooled though. It’s not baby broccoli. Broccolini does belong to the brassica family but it’s actually a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli (aka Gai Lan) (2).
Funnily enough, the FODMAP roles reverse for broccolini, as the broccoli stems are low FODMAP and the heads become high FODMAP due to excess fructose if you have more than a small serve! There’s more info in the Monash University Low FODMAP App.
What about bloating and gas?
A quick ‘Google’ of broccoli will reveal it is a cruciferous vegetable. These are notorious for causing gas and bloating in some people! Something you normally try and avoid when you have gut issues. This reputation could be due to the FODMAP content of the broccoli stems. If you’re concerned, chat with your dietitian, otherwise, focus on enjoying the broccoli heads instead.
Can I expand my serve of broccoli?
Absolutely! Broccoli is healthy as it contains many essential nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre and potassium. So we want you to enjoy it.
Have a look at the Monash University Low FODMAP App for extra serving size info as there is a bit of wriggle room when it comes to the amount of florets/heads you can enjoy. Also once you’ve tested your tolerance to excess fructose you can bring back in broccoli stalks and broccolini heads.
How we love to use low FODMAP broccoli!
Remember how I told you that I LOVE broccoli… well, I do and it is so easy to incorporate low FODMAP serves into your diet.
Here are some of my favourite ways 👇
Crispy roasted broccoli covered in cheddar cheese and baked into our fluffy low FODMAP roast veggie and green bean frittata is just heaven. It’s oh so easy and the perfect way to make a nutrition-packed meal.
My zesty lime and soy sauce beef stir-fry features a cute combo of sautéed broccoli, green beans, and spinach. It’s also rounded out with rice noodles and sesame seeds. Simple. Delicious. Dinner is done.
Do you guys know that we run a drool-worthy recipe club with over 600+ low FODMAP recipes? Our crunchy broccoli pasta salad is a favourite with our members! This recipe is perfect for a light vegan meal, a side salad for a BBQ or a take to work lunch! Come and join us for the recipe.
Are you ready to take control of your gut symptoms?
No thanks, my gut is perfect.
Well, there you have it. The TRUTH about broccoli and the low FODMAP diet. It turns out you can enjoy low FODMAP broccoli, you just need to watch your portion size and the part of the broccoli you choose. So how are you going to enjoy yours?
Alright, so this gets at a question I have been wondering about for a long time… you say broccoli should be safe up to about 2 cups. I see on the app that 75g is green (I have heard 75g is based on a single serve size by Australian guidelines) and 240g is yellow. When there is such a wide difference between the two serving sizes, should we assume that anything up to the yellow serving size is safe? How do you know where to draw the line when there is such a large gap between green and yellow servings? I wonder this for other foods like dark chocolate, eggplant, edamame etc., too! I would love to be able to eat a bigger pile of broccoli at dinner , and not worry about weighing it! 🙂
Alana Scott says
Based on the data in the Monash University Low FODMAP app the broccoli contains moderate amounts FODMAPs at the 240g serve. This means providing your serve is below that 240g serving size it should be within the low FODMAP cutoff limits and shouldn’t trigger symptoms.
The amounts for the low FODMAP serves are normally defined by two factors – does the serve fall within low FODMAP cutoff limit and what is the general healthy eating guidelines or manufacturer serving size for the product. This is what we believe causes the variation. By exploring the Monash University App further you should be able to find out if you can enjoy a larger serve before reaching the moderate FODMAP threshold.
Does that make sense? Also, don’t forget that if your symptoms are settled you don’t need to worry too much about portion sizes and you can start challenging FODMAP groups to see what you can bring back into your diet.
Thank you! I think that makes sense! So, in the case of green vs. yellow serves yellow is the cutoff but anything up to that is ok. I’ve always just stuck by the green serve so I was sad when they updated a while ago to have 75g portions for all of the vegetables, as it meant that some higher green serving sizes were reduced, and I lost what I thought were the “upper limits”.
Unfortunately even with the help of the only fodmap trained dietician in the area, I’ve never had success with reintros. So I stick pretty strictly to the guidelines! Thanks again for the help!
Emily Curtis says
Thank you very much for this article! Brocolli is also a favourite of mine and I love to steam the stems at the same time. I think I’ll go back to buying the brocoli with the shortest stem in the supermarket….
Alana Scott says
Definitely! Don’t forget you can compost the broccoli stem so you don’t need to feel bad about not eating it.
Thanks for this piece. I had some broccoli yesterday (75 g max) but it still seems to give complaints today. So I wonder, could there be an irritant other than FODMAPs in broccoli that can cause gas and pain?
Alana Scott says
It is unlikely that it is FODMAPs in the broccoli triggering that reaction. When it comes to figuring out reactions it’s really important to consider all foods consumed in the meal and those in the meals before as well. This is because FODMAP reactions happen in our large intestine and it can take time for food to travel to the large intestine and then move through it.
If you think it you are reacting to broccoli, do a food diary, and then retest the food (keep a record of any symptoms). Then have a chat to a dietitian about what is going on.
Hi there, Do you think this applies to purple broccoli? Or is this really considered cauliflower? I know its a hybrid just not sure if it is low fodmap. Thank you!
Alana Scott says
Great question Mia. Hybrids of plants (like broccolini) can have very different FODMAP levels to broccoli. This means we would recommend testing your tolerance to purple broccoli once your symptoms are settled. This will be the best way to see if you can enjoy it.