Nutrition: How to up broccoli’s cancer-fighting abilities

My husband’s favourite dish is quick and easy’and we always thought highly nutritious: He simply tosses rotini (usually whole wheat)

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My husband’s favourite dish is quick and easy’and we always thought highly nutritious: He simply tosses rotini (usually whole wheat) into a large pot of boiling water, adds broccoli florets and chopped stem for the last few minutes of cooking, drains, then drizzles with olive oil and shakes on some hot pepper flakes, and dinner is ready to go (with some Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top, of course).

Turns out we’re probably treating our broccoli much too severely to benefit fully from its cancer-fighting compounds. New research from the University of Illinois found that overcooking broccoli destroys the enzyme myrosinase, which is needed for the formation of sulforaphane, a substance that’s been shown to successfully fight cancer and inflammation. The best way to cook broccoli to maintain these compounds: steam for just two to four minutes.

And to really get the most myrosinase from this broccoli pasta dish, we should also top it with some fresh broccoli sprouts’they look like alfalfa sprouts and can be found in the same section of the grocery or health food store’as the researchers found they helped boost the level of sulforaphane.

Here’s another delicious and easy way to add more broccoli to your diet: Indian chicken and broccoli wrap and also see the suggestions in  11 ways to eat dark green vegetables. Other foods with sulforaphane that you might want to pair up with broccoli include arugula, radishes and mustard.

What are your favourite broccoli and broccoli sprout recipes?

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