Superfood Combo Takes a Bite Out of Cancer
Shhh…quiet. Do you hear that sound?
It’s the silent screaming of countless overcooked stalks of broccoli as people boil all the cancer-fighting goodness right out of them.
Last November I told you about a study that concluded that bacteria found in your lower gut have the ability to spur the release of a cancer-fighting compound in broccoli called sulforaphane.
But, as I’ve explained before, the combination of overcooking the delicious cruciferous veggie plus the processed-food loaded Western diet unfortunately destroys much of the cancer-conquering potential of this powerhouse.
Now a new study has found a way for us to rescue some of that lost potential (or simply boost it if you’re already cooking your broccoli correctly).
Researchers from the University of Illinois found that teaming broccoli up with a spicy food that contains the enzyme myrosinase supercharges both foods anti-cancer abilities. But the dream team doesn’t stop there. The combination also assures that absorption takes place in the upper part of your digestive system where it can have the most impact.
The U of I team showed that when spicy broccoli sprouts were eaten with broccoli powder the bioactive compounds in the volunteer’s blood were measurable within just 30 minutes. And when they peaked three hours later they were significantly higher than when either of the foods was eaten alone.
To understand how this synergy works you’ll need to know a bit more about the players.
The broccoli sprouts contain the myrosinase enzyme, which we now know enhances the abilities of the cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane. The broccoli powder does not contain the enzyme however it does contain the precursor to sulforaphane.
When the two foods are eaten together the broccoli powder borrows some of the myrosinase and both foods then produce sulforaphane as their ability to head off cancer skyrockets.
To take advantage of this effect in your own life you can spice up your next batch of broccoli by combining it with horseradish, mustard, broccoli sprouts, wasabi, or radishes. But to retain more of the cancer-fighting potential in those green stalks remember to only steam them lightly for 3 to 4 minutes.
Related articles of interest:
“Enhancing sulforaphane absorption and excretion in healthy men through the combined consumption of fresh broccoli sprouts and a glucoraphanin-rich powder,” British Journal of Nutrition, 2011; 1 DOI:
About the author
An enthusiastic believer in the power of natural healing, Alice has spent virtually her entire 17-year career in the natural-health publishing field helping to spread the word.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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