The combination of steamed chicken and broccoli makes for a healthful meal that's low in calories, and it also fits into a busy lifestyle because it comes together in less than half an hour. Opting to steam your broccoli and chicken makes it easy to prepare a healthful meal. You won't have to add fat to your chicken during cooking, and the short cooking time minimizes nutrient loss for the broccoli. Make sure you practice food safety when steaming chicken -- the Food and Drug Administration recommends cooking chicken to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Basic Nutritional Information
One serving of steamed chicken and broccoli -- consisting of 4 ounces of chicken breast, measured raw, and 1 cup of broccoli -- contains just 167 calories. It offers 28.1 grams of protein, which is 61 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 50 percent for men, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Protein serves as a source of amino acids, which are nutrients that your cells use to make hormones and repair damaged tissue. A serving of steamed chicken and broccoli also contains 6 grams of carbohydrates, including 2.4 grams of fiber. Selecting skinless chicken breast keeps your meal low in fat, as each serving contains just 3.3 grams.
Vitamin C and Niacin
Eating steamed chicken and broccoli will help you boost your intake of niacin, or vitamin B-3, along with vitamin C. Your body needs vitamin C to help strengthen blood vessel walls, support immune function and aid in wound healing. Niacin helps activate enzymes within your cells, and aids in energy production. A serving of steamed chicken and broccoli provides 11.5 milligrams of niacin and 81.2 milligrams of vitamin C. This makes up 82 percent of the recommended daily amount of niacin and more than 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C for women, as set by the Institute of Medicine, or IOM. And it's 72 percent and 90 percent, respectively, of the daily niacin and vitamin C intakes recommended for men.
Vitamins B-5 and B-12
Opt for steamed chicken and broccoli as a source of vitamin B-5, or pantothenic acid, and vitamin B-12. The vitamin B-5 in your diet helps your body process protein and fat, and it also plays a role in hormone production. Vitamin B-12 aids in cell growth because it helps you make DNA, and it promotes healthy circulation by aiding in red blood cell development. Eating a serving of steamed chicken and broccoli increases your B-12 intake by 0.24 microgram and also provides 2.2 milligrams of B-5. This makes up 10 percent and 44 percent, respectively, of the recommended daily intake for vitamins B-12 and B-5, according to the IOM.
Selenium and Phosphorus
A meal of steamed chicken and broccoli is also a source of selenium and phosphorus. Each serving offers 301 milligrams of phosphorus -- 43 percent of the recommended daily intake -- as well as 28.1 micrograms of selenium, which is 51 percent of your daily recommended intake, according to the IOM. Your body relies on phosphorus to help make cell membranes and the DNA needed for new cell growth. Phosphorus also supports enzyme function, while selenium regulates your metabolism by controlling thyroid hormone activity.
- Columbia Health - Go Ask Alice!: Cooking Veggies and Vitamin Loss?
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Safe Cooking Temperatures
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Broccoli, Raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Chicken, Broiler or Fryers, Breast, Skinless, Boneless, Meat Only, Raw
- Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service: Protein and the Body
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Report of the DGAC on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010: Part D. Section 2: Nutrient Adequacy
- Colorado State University Extension: Water-Soluble Vitamins: B-Complex and Vitamin C
- Linus Pauling Institute: Selenium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Phosphorus