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September 16, 2011
Broccoli is one of the best and the most effective natural solutions for cancer prevention. Excellent cancer-fighting properties of broccoli were discovered and have been studied by a great deal of the world’s leading nutritionists and scientists. It was also found out recently that broccoli has very powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial actions. Nowadays, scientists say that spicing broccoli with mustard, as well as with a famous Japanese spice wasabi or more common in Europe horseradish, can assist in substantially enhancing anti-cancer properties of broccoli.
Prior to starting the research, the scientists at Illinois University payed attention on the importance of not overcooking broccoli in order to preserve the unique natural powers of this amazing food. However, as the tests have shown, adding wasabi or horseradish to even slightly overcooked veggie can revive cancer-fighting properties of broccoli. It can be achieved, the scientists are convinced, due to a high content in the mentioned spices such substance as myrosinase, the enzyme which can improve absorption of broccoli in the upper parts of our digestive system, this way boosting the impact of this natural superfood.
During the experiments, the nutritionists were monitoring the levels of bioactive compounds in blood of the participants, who were consuming fresh broccoli with broccoli powder. Myrosinase can not be found in broccoli powder, but the powder contains sulforaphane, the precursor of myrosinase. It was found out that when eaten together, both foods start producing sulforaphane, this way boosting anti-cancer properties of broccoli very much. The same effect can be achieved by eating broccoli together with the mentioned spices.
If you’re not much of a fan of spices like mustard or wasabi, you can use such natural foods and herbal remedies as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, arugula, watercress or radishes, to achieve similar effects. The results of the study caused public resonance. ‘This study shows that even if broccoli is overcooked, you can still boost its benefits by pairing it with another food that contains myrosinase,’ says Jenna Cramer, one of the lead authors of the publication in the British Journal of Nutrition reporting about the research.
It is said that to maximize anti-cancer properties of broccoli and fully benefit from consuming this veggie, it is enough to have 3-4 servings of broccoli a week. However, according to Jenna Cramer, ‘ It pays to spice it up for added benefits and find ways to make it appealing so you don’t mind eating it if you’re not a broccoli fan. I add fresh broccoli sprouts to sandwiches and add them as one of my pizza toppings after the pie is out of the oven.’Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.