The Surprising Effect Broccoli Can Have On Your Blood Sugar

Broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. This vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals that are important for your health. "It's easily one of my favorite vegetables, especially from a nutrition perspective," said Brooke Scheller, Doctor of Clinical Nutrition and Director of Nutrition for Freshly. But a great nutrition profile is not the end of broccoli's benefits.

According to Healthline, broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain a plant chemical called sulforaphane, which has been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar in some studies. Eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli has also been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition to balancing your blood sugar, broccoli contains many vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin A, manganese, potassium, and other B vitamins. Just one cup of this vegetable provides 135% of your daily recommended vitamin C intake and 116% of your daily recommended vitamin K intake.

Broccoli can also affect blood thinners

It's no secret that broccoli is great for your health, but even this food can have negative consequences for certain people. If you're taking the drug warfarin, you may want to limit your broccoli intake. Warfarin is a blood thinner that can be affected by vitamin K, which is a prominent vitamin in broccoli (via Medline Plus). Warfarin is usually prescribed to people who have had a heart attack, suffer from heartbeat irregularities, or have other blood-related problems.

One cup of broccoli contains between 92 and 220 micrograms of vitamin K (via Healthfully). It takes about 700 to 1500 micrograms of vitamin K to start having issues with warfarin, so you'd have to eat a lot of broccoli to have a problem (via Nutrition Review). However, vitamin K is present in many vegetables, especially darky, leafy greens. While these foods are excellent for your health, you will need to be mindful of how much you eat if you are taking warfarin. Talk to your doctor about your diet if you are on this medication.