Green Giant, the iconic vegetable company, asked almost 4,000 Americans what their favorite vegetable is and the resounding answer is: Broccoli. According to the survey, broccoli is the top veggie in almost half of the United States. Corn, potatoes, and carrots were the runners-up, while peas, cucumbers, and green beans made a strong showing in a few states.
The findings from the survey include a few other interesting notes:
- Broccoli is the most popular vegetable in 47% of U.S. states
- Corn is the second most popular vegetable, chosen as the favorite in nine U.S. states
- Idaho, known for its potatoes, was the only state to choose peas as the favorite veggie
- Onions, peppers, celery and spinach are noticeably absent from the list of favorites
What Makes Broccoli Great
Broccoli also happens to be a veggie with some of the most health benefits. A member of the brassica oleracea cruciferous vegetable family along with cauliflower, collard greens, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, it packs a big nutritious punch that isn't calorie heavy.
Broccoli is a good source of Vitamin K, which we all need for good bone health. A cup of broccoli gives you the daily recommended amount of Vitamin K, which also helps our bodies absorb calcium better. Oh, and that cup of vegetables also has 43 milligrams of calcium.
Broccoli is a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin E, plus it has a high amount of Vitamin C, with one cup providing more of the daily value of cold-fighting goodness than an orange. The green vegetable helps strengthen your immune system. And broccoli has lots of folate and potassium, too.
In addition, broccoli provides dietary fiber, which your body needs to maintain a healthy digestive system and fight inflammation. Studies have also shown that increased fiber intake helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Basically, if you're going to have a favorite vegetable, broccoli is a great choice for health reasons. Of course, our favorite foods are usually our favorites because we like the way they taste; fortunately, broccoli wins there, too.
Raw broccoli is a perfect afternoon snack and a must on any veggie tray. Stir frying broccoli is a quick and easy lunch. But tossing florets in olive oil and roasting them in high heat is one of the best ways to eat this vegetable.
Here are two of our favorite recipes starring America's favorite vegetable.
Broccoli and Basil Pesto with Fusilli
This easy Italian dish makes the vegetable the star. It's quick to make after you get in from work and if you don't eat it all up for dinner, it's perfect for a leftover lunch the next day.
Get the recipe here.
Roasted Broccoli and Quinoa Salad
This simple, filling salad features roasted broccoli. The broccoli goes in the oven while you cook the quinoa and then you've got a protein-packed and tasty meal.
Get the recipe here.