Skip to comments.More evidence that spicing up broccoli boosts its cancer-fighting power
Posted on 09/13/2011 6:29:01 AM PDT by decimon
URBANA Teaming fresh broccoli with a spicy food that contains the enzyme myrosinase significantly enhances each food's individual cancer-fighting power and ensures that absorption takes place in the upper part of the digestive system where you'll get the maximum health benefit, suggests a new University of Illinois study.
"To get this effect, spice up your broccoli with broccoli sprouts, mustard, horseradish, or wasabi. The spicier, the better; that means it's being effective," said Elizabeth Jeffery, a U of I professor of nutrition.
In the study, when fresh broccoli sprouts were eaten with broccoli powder, the scientists were able to measure bioactive compounds in the blood 30 minutes later. When these peaked at three hours, they were much higher when the foods were eaten together than when either was eaten alone. Urine samples corroborated the blood results, said Jenna Cramer, lead author of the study.
It's no secret that many people cook the benefits right out of broccoli instead of steaming it lightly for two to four minutes to protect its healthful properties, she said.
"However, this study shows that even if broccoli is overcooked, you can still boost its benefits by pairing it with another food that contains myrosinase," she said.
Myrosinase is the enzyme necessary to form sulforaphane, the vegetable's cancer-preventive component, co-author Margarita Teran-Garcia explained.
Note what happened with the fresh broccoli sprouts and broccoli powder eaten in this experiment. The powder doesn't contain myrosinase, but it does contain the precursor to the anti-cancer agent sulforaphane. Eaten together, the sprouts were able to lend their myrosinase to the powder. As predicted, both foods produced sulforaphane and provided greater anti-cancer benefit, Jeffery said.
Other foods that will boost broccoli's benefits if they are paired together include radishes, cabbage, arugula, watercress, and Brussels sprouts.
"Here's another benefit of protecting and enhancing the myrosinase in your foods," Jeffery said. "If myrosinase is present, sulforaphane is released in the ilium, the first part of your digestive system. Absorption happens well and quickly there, which is why we saw bioactivity in 30 minutes."
An earlier Jeffery study showed that microbiota are capable of releasing sulforaphane in the lower gut, but absorption happens more slowly in the colon than in the upper intestine, she said.
Scientists say that as little as three to five servings of broccoli a week provide a cancer-protective benefit.
"But it pays to spice it up for added benefits and find ways to make it appealing so you don't mind eating it if you're not a broccoli fan. I add fresh broccoli sprouts to sandwiches and add them as one of my pizza toppings after the pie is out of the oven," Cramer said.
The study is available pre-publication online in the British Journal of Nutrition at http://journals.cambridge.org/jeffery.
Broccoli with mustard and horseradish .... it might catch on!
How about Louisiana Hot Sauce or Tabasco Sauce?
What are broccoli sprouts or broccoli powder?
never heard of the powder but the sprouts are good. I just picked some up a couple of weeks ago and they’re great in salad.
Shredded broccoli stems and green cabbage slaw with some wasabi in the dressing. Delicious.
New Ag Market, Sprouts of Broccoli....hmmm
They don’t sell them fresh in my store but they have tons of local Fresh Broccoli.
Hmmm Guess I will start having broccoli with my Hot Wings instead of Celery. :-)
Broccoli powder? Never heard of it.
Isn’t the University of Illinois the institution that employed Bill Ayres on its faculty?
Not only that but the United States is the country that birthed Bill Ayers.
Sulforaphane is found in all cruciferous vegetables - cabbage, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, etc.
ARe these the same thing as bean sprouts? Has anyone seen these at Kroger?
Are you talking about this, or are we talking about the stem of the broccoli. What kind of mustard?
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