Broccoli is rich in dozens of nutrients. It belongs to the same vegetable family as cauliflower and kale. This exotic vegetable can be tossed in pasta and is a perfect ingredient for salads. Broccoli basically belongs to the family of green leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach and brussels sprouts whose stalks and large flower heads are edible. The large flower heads are arranged in a tree like manner on branches sprouting from a thick stalk and are generally green in color, often with a purple tinge. It can be eaten raw or cooked but the raw ones have a higher content of vitamins and nutrients. The flower and stalks are edible whereas the leaves, being bitter in taste, are discarded.