(Science Daily) A new University of Illinois study provides convincing evidence that the way you prepare and consume your broccoli matters, and also suggests that teaming broccoli with broccoli sprouts may make the vegetable's anti-cancer effect almost twice as powerful.
"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, though, the enzyme myrosinase has to be present; if it's not there, sulforaphane, broccoli's cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory component, doesn't form," said Elizabeth Jeffery, a U of I professor of nutrition.
According to Jeffery, many people destroy myrosinase by overcooking their broccoli. And health-conscious consumers who use broccoli powder supplements in recipes to boost their nutrition are also missing out. These supplements often do not contain this necessary enzyme, she said…
"There was almost a twofold increase in sulforaphane absorption when sprouts and powder were eaten together. It changed the way the subjects metabolized the powder. We saw plasma and urine metabolites much earlier and at much higher levels than when either was eaten alone," Jeffery said.
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