President George Bush Sr. may still be refusing to eat his broccoli, but you’d be much better off following mom’s advice and eating yours.
Broccoli has been shown to be a potent cancer-fighter.
But a research team from the University of Illinois says that whatever you do don’t overcook it.
According to the team’s study…published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer… broccoli’s cancer-fighting abilities lie in how you prepare it.
Myrosinase enzyme gives broccoli its cancer-fighting power
It turns out that an enzyme called myrosinase that is found in broccoli is ultimately responsible for its ability to ward of the Big C.
Myrosinase spurs the formation an anti-inflammatory cancer-preventing substance in broccoli called sulforaphane.
But that important enzyme is destroyed when you overcook the vegetable.
Steam your broccoli for 2 to 4 minutes
Researchers say you should steam your broccoli for just 2 to 4 minutes to protect the myrosinase enzyme as well as the vegetable’s other nutrients.
And experts say you should aim for three to five servings per week to get the MOST cancer-fighting effect.
Oh, and if you’ve been following the senior President Bush’s lead and avoiding your broccoli, but taking a broccoli-powder supplement or eating broccoli sprouts to get the vegetable’s cancer-fighting benefits instead, you’ve probably been wasting your time.
According to the study, eating either alone doesn’t provide high enough levels of sulforaphane to effectively fight cancer.
But the good news is that combining the sprouts with the powder…or sprinkling the sprouts on top of your broccoli… can create a potent “anticancer cocktail.”
And as an added bonus, studies have found that the sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts may help balance cholesterol and regulate high-blood pressure.
So remember to eat your gently steamed broccoli because mother really did know best.