Did you know that broccoli is one of the most widely available, and best-selling superfoods in the United States? What makes it such a superfood? In addition to being rich in vitamins C, A, and K, as well as fiber, folate, and calcium, broccoli also contains a plant chemical (also called a phytochemical) called sulforophane that protects our bodies and cells against damage in a big way. Studies have shown that the sulforophane in broccoli may significantly lower the risk of many types of cancers, in addition to protecting our eyes and brains, and improving our body’s detoxification systems. Other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, also contain large amounts of sulforophane, but broccoli typically contains the highest amounts.
However, much of this amazing compound gets destroyed during cooking, so the maximum benefits are typically only present when you eat the vegetable raw . . . until now! In this article, Dr. Michael Greger M.D. explains how research shows that you can get the benefits of sulforophane, even if you cook these veggies. Here’s how!
Cooking Fresh Broccoli
Prior to cooking your broccoli, simply chop it and let it sit for 40 minutes or more. This act of chopping and sitting activates the enzyme needed to make sulforophane. This enzyme usually gets killed during the cooking process, which is why the sulforophane doesn’t make its way to your mouth if you cook it without the chop and sit method. In other words, just a little bit of planning ahead can help your cruciferous veggies keep LOTS more preventative and healing power via these powerful protective plant compounds.
Cooking Frozen Broccoli
When it comes to frozen broccoli, a different method needs to be used to provide the enzyme that activates the sulforophane, since the freezing process destroys the enzyme. After you’ve cooked your frozen broccoli (or if you cooked fresh and forgot to chop it and let it sit out before cooking), sprinkle it with mustard powder, mustard seeds, mustard greens, daikon, horseradish, or wasabi before eating. All of these foods contain the enzyme needed to help the broccoli make sulforophane.