We all know that broccoli is good for us, but there is a way to make broccoli even better for you. A way to give broccoli super powers, if you will.
Broccoli is like Batman. It’s pretty awesome by itself, nutritionally speaking. Broccoli is full of DNA repairing and cancer fighting antioxidants, has more vitamin C than an orange, contains more bioavailable calcium than milk, and is a rich source of Folate (Vitamin B9), Vitamin K, Vitamin A, potassium and iron.
But when you give broccoli a side kick – like Batman plus Robin – the duo becomes more powerful than the sum of its parts.
So, who is the Robin to Batman broccoli? Any foods that contain the enzyme myrosinase – like radishes, mustard, watercress, wasabi, arugula and horseradish. When these enzyme containing foods are eaten with cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts they from the compound sulforaphane, a powerful anti-cancer agent. In addition, eating these foods together enhances the absorption of sulforaphane because it it formed in the ilium – the upper part of your intestine. This allows sulforaphane to be quickly absorbed and become bioactive in approximately 30 minutes.
Read a summary of the original study here.
Look for recipes and dish pairings that take advantage of super duo. Try an arugula salad and baked Brussles sprouts with bacon as side dishes for a meal. Drizzle a ground mustard based dressing over steamed broccoli and cauliflower. And, my favorite, be sure to dip your cabbage in lots of mustard this St. Patty’s Day!
- Ingredient of the Week: Broccoli (colourfuldish.wordpress.com)
- You Are What You Eat: A veggie family tree: Broccoli brothers, cabbage cousins and more! (ballardnewstribune.com)
- Another mechanism discovered by which sulforaphane prevents cancer (eurekalert.org)