Broccoli is a sublime vegetable offering a wide range of benefits, like detoxifying the body, aiding in digestion, and boosting heart health.
Now, new research suggests that the wonder-produce may even be able to prevent cancer – when it’s prepared a particular way.
The study found that chopping broccoli into tiny pieces before cooking helped the veggie retain its sulforaphane contents – a phytochemical shown to protect you from cancer.
Why is chopping the key? It creates more surface area on the vegetable, allowing more air to interact with the veggie. This promotes the production of sulforaphane.
Straight-up cooking a full head of broccoli, in comparison, damages the helpful enzyme, thereby lowering the levels of cancer-preventing sulforaphane you’ll consume.
The study went on to recommend that you should allow any freshly-chopped broccoli to sit for at least 90 minutes before cooking with it. If you can’t wait the full 90, 40 minutes is acceptable to garner most of the same benefits, explains Dr. Ayesha Sherzai, co-director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University in California.
“The important message in this particular paper is that if you cut broccoli into small pieces, the enzyme will come into contact with myrosinase. The smaller the pieces the better,” she said.
For a good way to consume a lot of broccoli in one go, consider broccoli soup as comfort-and-cancer-fighting dish (along with a strong helping of other helpful vitamins and minerals). Eating raw broccoli is always good, or you could do a quick steam or stir-fry with other veggies and protein for a bit more flavour and excitement.
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