The glycemic index (GI) for broccoli is 10. Broccoli is a low GI food, which means that it has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels.
1. What is the glycemic index (GI)?
The glycemic index (GI) is a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels.
Foods are classified as low, medium, or high glycemic foods and ranked on a scale of 0–100.
The lower the GI of a specific food, the less it may affect your blood sugar levels. Here are the three GI ratings:
Low: 55 or less
High: 70 or above
Foods high in refined carbs and sugar are digested more quickly and often have a high GI, while foods high in protein, fat, or fiber typically have a low GI. Foods that contain no carbs are not assigned a GI and include meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and oils.
Several factors influence the glycemic index of a food, including its nutrient composition, cooking method, ripeness, and the amount of processing it has undergone.
The glycemic index can not only help increase your awareness of what you’re putting on your plate but also enhance weight loss, decrease your blood sugar levels, and reduce your cholesterol.
Keep in mind that the glycemic index is different from the glycemic load (GL).
Unlike the GI, which doesn’t take into account the amount of food eaten, the GL factors in the number of carbs in a serving of a food to determine how it may affect blood sugar levels.
For this reason, it’s important to take both the glycemic index and glycemic load into consideration when selecting foods to help support healthy blood sugar levels.
2. Glycemic index of broccoli
Where a carbohydrate food falls on the glycemic index indicates how much it will raise your blood sugar. This is particularly important if you have diabetes, as your body’s ability to manage the amount of sugar in your blood is impaired. Although carbohydrate counting is a more effective way to plan meals and manage your glucose levels, the glycemic index can help you fine-tune your carb intake, reports the American Diabetes Association.
If a food has a low GI – less than 55 — it will affect your blood sugar less than a medium or high food will.
One cup (91g) of raw, chopped broccoli contains only 31 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and very little sugar (1.5 grams). More than a third of the carbohydrates found in broccoli come from fiber (2.4 grams), making it a filling, heart-healthy food choice.
The glycemic index (GI) for broccoli is 10. The glycemic index is an estimate of how a food affects your blood sugar levels. Broccoli is a low GI food, which means that it has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels.
3. Health benefits of broccoli
Antioxidants present in broccoli bring many health benefits. Antioxidants help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, help reduce inflammation and protect against a number of diseases.
Broccoli contains a lot of glucoraphanin, which is a compound that is converted to sulforaphane in the digestive system and has antioxidant effects.
Test-tube and animal studies show that sulforaphane lowers blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, and reduces oxidative stress and chronic diseases. However, these studies need more time to prove beneficial in humans.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are also antioxidant compounds found in broccoli. They work to protect eye cells from oxidative damage.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, certain compounds in broccoli may help reduce chronic damage to certain tissues in the body. Broccoli has been studied to reduce the risk of cancer in several organs such as breast, prostate, stomach, kidney, and bladder cancers.
Although these studies are small, they are encouraging. More robust studies are needed to demonstrate the role of compounds in broccoli in the treatment or prevention of cancer.
Increase blood sugar control
Using broccoli can help better control blood sugar in people with diabetes. The mechanism of the compounds is still unclear but appears to be related to the antioxidants found in broccoli.
Insulin resistance was significantly improved in patients with type 2 diabetes who used broccoli. Animal studies have shown that blood sugar levels and pancreatic cell damage in rats are significantly reduced when fed broccoli extracts. The source of fiber from broccoli also helps lower blood sugar and control diabetes.