There has been medical research about how broccoli prevents cancer and how a superfood diet containing fish, broccoli and red wine can prevent cancer and help you live longer.
Scientists have discovered that when broccoli is eaten together with sprouts, it has almost double the anti-cancer power. Broccoli contains a sulphur compound called sulforaphane which is known to have an anti-cancer action. The scientists hypothesized that myrosinase from the sprouts would enhance sulforaphane formation and absorption from the broccoli powder if the two were eaten together.
Four healthy men ate meals that consisted of sprouts alone, broccoli powder alone or a combination of both. Scientists then measured the levels of sulforaphane metabolites in the men’s blood and urine after they had eaten the meals.
"We were looking at biomarkers—plasma and urine levels—that are associated with cancer prevention," Jenna Cramer, co-author of the study, said.
Elizabeth Jeffery, a University of Illinois Professor of Nutrition, said, “There was almost a twofold increase in sulforaphane absorption when sprouts and powder were eaten together. It changed the way the subjects metabolized the powder. We saw plasma and urine metabolites much earlier and at much higher levels than when either was eaten alone. This indicates that myrosinase from the broccoli sprouts produced sulforaphane not only from the sprouts but also from the precursor present in the broccoli powder.”
Other foods that contain sulforaphane and can be eaten with broccoli to boost its affects include mustard, radishes, rocket salad and wasabi, a Japanese horseradish that is a relative of watercress.
"To increase the vegetable's benefits, you could sprinkle broccoli sprouts on your broccoli or make a mustard sauce to serve with broccoli," Jeffery added.
Quick Guide to Preventing Cancer with Broccoli
• Don’t overcook the broccoli – this destroys its anti-cancer properties. Steaming it for 4 minutes will do.
• Broccoli powder supplements are not as effective as the actual food because many brands do not contain the enzyme myrosinase, which is needed to get the benefits from broccoli.