Are Broccoli and Cauliflower the Same? Quick Guide

No, broccoli and cauliflower are not the same vegetable. People usually confuse these two foods for their physical resemblance because they have the same shape and the only difference is the color. Although they are loved by many and hated by many others, there is no way to deny that these vegetables have many benefits.

But, in this blog, you’ll learn what is broccoli and its benefits; what is cauliflower and what are its benefits; as well as the similarities and differences between them both. In this way, you’ll finally be able to distinguish and take advantage of each.

Botanical classification of broccoli and cauliflower 

Broccoli and cauliflower belong to the family called Brassicaceae, although they are commonly called Brassicaceae or Cruciferae. Now, broccoli and cauliflower belong to the genus Brassica within this same family, but we must clarify that this doesn’t make them the same food. You can go by their scientific name that facilitates their botanical identification.

What is broccoli? 

Whole broccoli

The scientific name of broccoli is Brassica Oleracea L. Var. Italica, it is a vegetable native to the eastern Mediterranean, indeed one of the favorite foods of the Romans.

Broccoli is actually an immature inflorescence of the plant that is edible. This vegetable has a main stem from which immature flowers emerge, which together form the broccoli head that we know. Commonly, the head of broccoli is green in different shades, but there are varieties of broccoli with purple heads.

In addition, this vegetable grows in regions with temperate climates ranging from 15 to 25 °C, which is ideal because when grown in areas with hot climates, broccoli grows small and with misshapen heads. For example, it grows in diverse parts of the world such as: United States, China, India, Italy, Italy, France, Turkey, among others.

4 benefits of broccoli that you want to know about 

Below, you can learn some of the benefits of broccoli that make it even more consumed every day.

1. Broccoli is an antioxidant 

Broccoli contains substances that are antioxidants par excellence such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and isocyanates. And what does it mean for a food to be an antioxidant? Well, these foods help our body fight against free radicals that cause negative effects on our body such as aging, obesity, increased risk of disease, etc.

2. Broccoli is depurative 

According to the Catholic University of Murcia (2018), broccoli contains high amounts of water and potassium, and low amounts of sodium. This allows it to have a diuretic action in the body when consumed, that is, it helps eliminate toxins through urine, this can help problems such as fluid retention.

3. Broccoli is a satiating food 

Broccoli is a vegetable rich in fiber, a substance that today is considered vital in a healthy diet. This substance helps to satiate the appetite without consuming large amounts of food. And not only that, it also allows the digestive system to function properly and regulate itself, being an ally for problems such as constipation.

Foods rich in fiber also have other benefits such as controlling blood sugar levels, helping to reduce cholesterol levels, preventing gastrointestinal diseases, among others.

4. Broccoli is a nutritious food 

Broccoli is a vegetable with different substances that have enormous benefits in the body, for example:

  • It contains vitamin C, which besides being an antioxidant component, also helps the body to produce collagen and thus heal wounds better, allowing the body to absorb iron better, strengthens the immune system, etc.
  • It has vitamin A, an important substance for the proper functioning of the eyesight and other organs of the body.
  • It has calcium which, as is well known, has to be consumed to strengthen bones and teeth.
  • It has vitamin E, which helps the skin to look healthy and beautiful.
  • It contains other vital substances such as vitamins K, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, iron, folic acid, magnesium, among others.

If you are curious about this vegetable, we invite you to visit our complete guide to broccoli to learn much more.

What is cauliflower?


The scientific name of cauliflower is Brassica Oleracea L. Var. Botrytis, and it is a vegetable native to the eastern Mediterranean.

Normally used as animal feed, it is also consumed by humans for the preparation of different dishes and has been used as a method of traditional medicine. Although many years ago it was only used for the latter, for example, to treat headaches, over time it was included in preparations such as salads, broths, stews and other foods that vary from country to country.

Cauliflower has the following characteristics:

  • It has a stem that can be 4 to 8 cm in diameter.
  • It has green and large leaves that can measure about 25 to 50 cm long.
  • Finally, it has the edible part, which is actually the immature inflorescence of the plant. This part is often referred to as the head and is fairly uniformly white or cream colored.

Fun fact:

There are varieties of cauliflower with purple and yellow heads.

3 benefits of cauliflower that you need to know about 

In terms of nutritional properties, cauliflower is not far behind either. Here you can learn about some of the benefits offered by this vegetable.

1. Cauliflower is rich in vitamin K 

Cauliflower is a good source of vitamin K. If you don’t know what this substance does in the body, here I tell you.

Vitamin K is found naturally in different foods like this one. One of its main functions is to help blood coagulation, an action that is very important for the healing of wounds. Another function in the body is to strengthen the bones and thus maintain good bone health.

2. Cauliflower is a source of magnesium 

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body, so much so that it is the fourth most abundant mineral. Therefore, it has many vital functions, some of them are:

  • It helps the proper functioning of muscles and the nervous system.
  • It strengthens the immune system.
  • It allows the heart rate to remain stable.
  • It regulates blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • It helps maintain good bone health.

3. Cauliflower is a source of potassium 

Although bananas are always referred to as one of the most potassium-rich foods, other vegetables, such as cauliflower, are also a good source of this mineral, which is necessary for normal functioning. For example, the World Health Organization recommends having a diet rich in potassium to reduce blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular or coronary diseases.

What are the similarities and differences between broccoli and cauliflower? 

At this point, you should already know that they are different vegetables, but to make it even clearer we are going to show you a table with the characteristics that are similar and different between broccoli and cauliflower.

AppearanceSimilar or different?BroccoliCauliflower
Botanic classificationSimilarIt belongs to the Brassicaceae family and to the Brassica genus.It belongs to the Brassicaceae family and to the Brassica genus.
ColorDifferentThe external part of the broccoli has different shades of green.The outer part of the cauliflower is white or cream colored.
FlavorDifferentIt has a stronger flavor than cauliflower. It is generally described as a bitter vegetable.   It has a milder flavor than broccoli and can even be sweet.
Nutritional propertiesSimilar / differentIt is low in calories. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of broccoli has 39 calories.It has fewer calories than broccoli. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of cauliflower has 25 calories.
OriginSimilarIt originated in the eastern Mediterranean.It originated in the eastern Mediterranean.
PlantSimilarBroccoli is an herbaceous plant (plants with green stems that do not generate wood).Cauliflower is an herbaceous plant.
ClimateSimilarIt grows in areas with temperate climates.Cauliflower grows in regions with temperate climates.
Resistance to frostsDifferentBroccoli is more resistant to cold and frost.Cauliflower is more sensitive to cold than broccoli.
HarvestSimilarIt is harvested manually, that is, growers cut the broccoli stalk with a knife or scissors.It is harvested manually, i.e., growers cut the cauliflower stalk with a knife or scissors.
PropagationSimilarFor the propagation of broccoli, the most commonly used method is through seeds.  The most commonly used method for the propagation of cauliflower is also done through seeds.


As you have seen broccoli and cauliflower are not the same vegetable. It’s true that they are quite similar because they belong to the same family of plants, but each one is a different world.We hope that with this blog you have been able to learn a little more about broccoli and cauliflower, in addition to recognizing their differences and similarities. Are you ready to give them a try?