Most people would probably admit they eat broccoli more for its health-giving properties than for its flavour.
But new research shows that people who don't cook it in the right way could be wasting their time. Scientists found broccoli loses its cancer-fighting properties when it is boiled or microwaved. The researchers, who presented their findings at the American Institute for Cancer Research Annual Research Conference, found the best way to cook the vegetable is to steam it for three to four minutes.
They say steaming it until it turns a bright green colour can enhance its cancer-fighting compounds. Broccoli is an excellent source of sulforaphane, a naturally occurring plant compound that has been shown to be protective against cancer. The enzyme myrosinase in broccoli is needed for sulforaphane to form - so if the myrosinase is destroyed, sulforaphane cannot form.
The researchers found boiling and microwaving broccoli, even for just one minute, destroys most of the myrosinase it contains. In contrast, they also discovered that steaming it for up to five minutes is the best way to retain the enzyme.
‘Past food processing has tended to focus on improving taste, visuals and microbiological safety,’ said Dr Elizabeth Jeffery, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ‘Now our task is to go further. Processing can ensure that the bioactives – the cancer protective compounds – arrive in your digestive system in a form the body can use.’
Source - Daily Mail