Researchers at Illinois University discovered that spicing up broccoli increased absorption in the upper area of the digestive system and therefore boosted its impact.
During the study, fresh broccoli sprouts were eaten with broccoli powder. Scientists then measured bioactive compounds in the blood half-an-hour later. When these peaked after three hours, it was found that bioactivity was far higher when the foods were eaten together, rather than eaten alone. Broccoli powder does not contain myrosinase, but does include the precursor to sulforaphane, an anti-cancer agent. When eaten together, the broccoli sprouts had been able to lend their myrosinase to the powder.
Both foods produced sulforaphane, which meant there was a greater anti-cancer benefit and urine sample corroborated the blood results.
The studies lead researcher and professor of nutrition, Elizabeth Jeffery, said, “To get this effect, spice up your broccoli with broccoli sprouts, wasabi, horseradish or mustard. The spicier the better; that means it is being effective.”
The study concluded that protecting and enhancing myrosinase in foods was of particular benefit. If the enzyme is present, sulforaphane is released in the ileum, which is the first section of the digestive system. Absorption occurs properly and quickly there, which is why scientists saw bioactivity within the first 30 minutes of the research.
As little as three to five servings of broccoli each week can provide a cancer-protective advantage, with other foods that can improve broccoli’s benefits including watercress, brussels sprouts, radishes and cabbage.
People often overcook the benefits out of foodstuff like broccoli and should lightly steam it instead to retain all the goodness. However, the research revealed that even if food is overcooked its benefits could still be rescued.
View the original Mail Online article here.