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 We blame this on misinformation in outdated food lists.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. 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 500+ 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.
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?