Broccoli Fights Cancer
It’s good to know that three servings of broccoli per week may reduce your risk of prostate cancer by more than 60 percent. Broccoli, and to an even greater degree broccoli sprouts, have gained a reputation as a potent cancer-fighter, and recent research sheds new light on the actual mechanics behind its chemo-protective abilities. One of the compounds in broccoli known to have anti-cancer activity is sulforaphane, a naturally occurring organic sulphur. Research into how broccoli fights cancer have shown that sulforaphane supports normal cell function and division while causing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in colon, prostate, breast and tobacco-induced lung cancer cells, while reducing the number of cancerous liver tumours in mice.
Don’t Overcook Your Broccoli
Ideally, broccoli should be eaten raw, and if you do prefer raw food, you’d be better off eating raw broccoli sprouts instead of mature broccoli, as they’re a far more potent source of sulforaphane. Tests show three-day-old broccoli sprouts consistently contain up to 50 times the amount of anti-cancer compounds, including sulforaphane, as found in mature broccoli.
Do not steam the broccoli for more than five minutes, however, as beyond that point, you start losing valuable compounds. If you want to microwave your broccoli, be sure not to go past the 1-minute mark, as this will destroy a majority of the myrosinase needed for sulforaphane absorption. If you opt for boiling, blanch it in boiling water for no more than 20 to 30 seconds, then immerse it in cold water to stop the cooking process.
The Many Other Health Benefits of Broccoli
- Supports detoxification
- Reduces inflammation, which is at the root of many chronic diseases
- Fights allergies
- Improves digestion and gut health, courtesy of significant amounts of fibre
- Supports eye health
- Benefits your skin
- Provides important vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, protein and vitamin C
- Helps reduce blood sugar levels, as it contains both soluble fibre and chromium
- Supports heart health and help prevent thickening of your arteries