Consuming broccoli 3 to 5 times a week is enough to provide its potent anti-cancer benefits, but research has provided evidence that shows that the way broccoli is prepared is extremely important.
Researchers have provided compelling evidence that how broccoli is prepared and consumed matters, and they also reveal that combining broccoli with broccoli sprouts can double the anti-cancer effects of broccoli.
When prepared properly, broccoli is a very powerful cancer-fighting agent, and 3 to 5 portions a week are enough to be effective. But to get the anti-cancer effects of broccoli, the myrosinase enzyme has to be present. The sulforaphane in broccoli, it’s cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory component, doesn’t form without the myrosinase enzyme.
The myrosinase enzyme in broccoli is often destroyed by overcooking. Broccoli powder supplements also don’t usually contain the myrosinase enzyme.
The effectiveness of broccoli powder can however be boosted. The myrosinase enzyme is abundant in broccoli sprouts. And broccoli powder often contains the precursor to sulforaphane, but without the myrosinase enzyme that would give its health benefits a boost.
When study participants ate broccoli sprouts and powder together there was almost double the increase in sulforaphane absorption. Sulforaphane metabolites were seen in plasma and urine much earlier and at much higher levels than when either was eaten alone.
This is an indication that the myrosinase produced sulforaphane not just from the broccoli sprouts but also from the broccoli powder precursor.
Other sulforaphane containing foods that can be combined with broccoli to boost its benefits are radishes, mustard, wasabi and arugula.
To increase the anti-cancer effects of broccoli, broccoli sprouts can be sprinkled on the broccoli, or a mustard sauce can be made to serve with the broccoli.
Steaming broccoli for 2 to 4 minutes is the perfect way to protect both the myrosinase enzyme and the nutrients in broccoli.