Yes, the ugly and bitter broccoli is America’s most hated veggie. Ask any kid or comedian.

Broccoli’s long been a magnet for cruel jokes (Q: What’s the difference between broccoli and snot? A: Kids don’t eat snot), and personal ire. The late President George H.W. Bush — a confirmed broccoli hater — once manifested, “I do not like broccoli, and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm president of the United States, and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.”

It’s probably safe to say the 41st president was referring to boiled broccoli, which really looks disgusting when wet. The United States, by the way, is the world’s third largest producer of broccoli.

But looks and unfair reputation aside, this protein-efficient vegetable has long been a favorite of healthy eaters for generations and with good reason. For one, a 100 gram serving of raw broccoli provides 34 kilocalories and is an excellent source (20 percent or higher of the Daily Value) of vitamin C and vitamin K (which helps prevent weak bones). Broccoli is also very rich in dietary fiber and proteins like tryptophan.

The USDA National Nutrient Database says broccoli comes with vitamin A, beta-carotene, lutein zeaxanthin, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, and pantothenic acid. It also contains vitamin B6, folate (vitamin B9, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B1 and vitamin K).

Minerals found in broccoli include calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc and phosphorus. It also carries healthy omega-3 fatty acids. So, from a point of view of healthy eaters, what’s not to like about broccoli?

And to drive home this point, here’s a long list of the health benefits this gift of health can bestow on us:

  • Detoxifies the body
  • Aids in skin care
  • Improves sexual performance
  • Has anti-cancer potential
  • Protects against harmful ultraviolet rays
  • Treats stomach disorders
  • Prevents heart diseases
  • Boosts Immunity
  • Controls diabetes
  • Has anti-aging properties
  • Protects the eyes from disease and radiation
  • Improves metabolism
  • Reduces allergies
  • Boosts brain health

Broccoli, anyone?