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Broccoli is a nutrient-rich cruciferous vegetable with some serious health benefits. It is a great source of antioxidants and may enhance your health by reducing inflammation, improving blood sugar control, boosting immunity, and promoting heart health.

Why is broccoli a superfood?

Broccoli is easy to find year-round in grocery stores, making it a great vegetable choice to have often. If you can't find fresh broccoli, try the frozen food aisle. A bag of frozen broccoli is always great to have on hand and can be prepared by simply boiling, steaming, roasting, or microwaving (boiling broccoli decreases potassium content).

Other reasons broccoli is a superfood: 

  • Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium.
  • Broccoli is very low in calories, providing only 27 calories per ½ cup.
  • Broccoli can be enjoyed both raw and cooked.
  • One cup of broccoli has as much vitamin C as an orange.
  • Broccoli is a great non-dairy source of calcium, with 1 cup boasting about 60 mg calcium.

Broccoli and kidney disease

Broccoli is a medium potassium food, low in sodium and phosphorus, and suitable for all the following kidney conditions and treatments:

  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  • Transplant
  • Hemodialysis (3 times/week)
  • Daily Home and Nocturnal Hemodialysis
  • Peritoneal Dialysis
  • Kidney Stones

Broccoli facts

Broccoli 1/2 cup cooked 1/2 cup raw
Calories 27 31
Protein, grams 1.86 2.57
Carbohydrate, grams 5.6 6.0
Sugar, grams 1.1 1.55
Fiber, grams 2.57 2.37
Fat, grams 0.32 0.34
Potassium, milligrams 229 288


Pasta with chickpeas, broccoli, and ricotta

Makes four 1-cup servings

The broiler is an unsung kitchen hero because it imparts a flavorful char in half the time that grilling takes. In this 20-minute recipe, kale, broccoli, and chickpeas crisp under the broiler while the pasta water boils. Make sure to spread out the vegetables and chickpeas so they have room to caramelize properly instead of steaming (the more crunchy bits, the better). Finish by tossing the pasta and vegetables with a quick sauce of butter, lemon zest and fresh ricotta, a rich and creamy complement to the charred vegetables. Enjoy with crusty bread, good wine, and a sense of accomplishment — you just got dinner on the table in under a half hour.


  • 12oz dried linguine or spaghetti
  • 14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch broccoli or broccolini, trimmed and cut into thin florets (about 1.5 pounds), stems reserved for another use
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8oz ricotta, preferable room temp
  • Flaky sea salt, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water and drain the pasta. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat the broiler and set a rack roughly 8 inches from the heat source. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli, chickpeas, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ⅓ cup oil until evenly coated. Season with salt and black pepper. Spread out evenly on one sheet pan. Add the kale to the same bowl and toss to coat in any residual oil. Drizzle with more oil as needed and toss to coat evenly. Spread out in an even layer on a second sheet pan. 
  3. Working with one sheet pan at a time, broil the broccoli and chickpeas, tossing halfway through cooking, until the chickpeas are toasty, and the broccoli is tender and charred, 5 to 7 minutes. Broil the kale until just charred and crisp, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Zest the lemon, halve it, then cut 1 half into 4 wedges. Squeeze the juice from the lemon half over the roasted vegetables and season to taste with salt and black pepper. 
  5. Return the pasta to the pot. Add 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water, ricotta, butter, and lemon zest. Toss until well combined. Add the roasted vegetables and toss, adding more pasta water as needed. 
  6. Divide among four bowls. Season with flaky sea salt and black pepper and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing on top. Drizzle with more oil, if desired.


Nutrition facts per serving

Calories 404
Carbohydrates 49.8 g
Dietary fiber 7.1 g
Protein  13.2 g
Fat 17.5 g
Saturated fat 5.2 g
Sodium 180.4 mg
Potassium 336.1 mg
Calcium 146.5 mg
Phosphorus 182.35 mg

For more information, contact the National Kidney Foundation

Toll-free helpline: 855.NKF.CARES or email:

*This content is provided for informational use only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for the medical advice of a healthcare professional.

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