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broccoli picEating broccoli with mustard can boost the vegetable’s cancer fighting ability, scientists have found. Adding radishes, rocket-also called arugula-or a form of Japanese horseradish called wasabi, can have the same effect.

“But overcooking the broccoli you can kill the vital enzyme, myrosinase. Steaming it quickly for just two to four minutes is the best way to preserve its well-known health benefits,” says Elizabeth Jeffery, a professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois. She adds, “Broccoli, prepared correctly, is an extremely potent cancer-fighting agent. Three to five servings a week are enough to have an effect. To get broccoli’s benefits, the enzyme myrosinase has to be present. If it’s not there, sulforaphane, broccoli’s cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory component, doesn’t form.”

Broccoli sprouts, which are young plants just three to four days old, contain myrosinase in abundance. Researchers found that myrosinase from the young sprouts enhance the levels of sulforaphane formed and absorbed from the broccoli when the two are eaten together. And when you eat broccoli with mustard, radishes, rocket or wasabi, it can boost the benefits even further.


HealthKeepers Magazine March 2011