Familiar with the sulfuric odor of a broccoli field? (We certainly are!) That stinky smell actually comes from sulforaphane, a compound present in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale.
Believe it or not, this malodorous component has been shown to inhibit the development and growth of cervical, pancreatic, hepatocellular carcinoma and ovarian cancer cells in the human body. But there is a catch: to be fully absorbed, sulforaphane requires the presence of an enzyme called myrosinase, and myrosinase disappears when a cruciferous vegetable is overcooked. For instance, to make the most of its cancer-combating potential, researchers say broccoli should be consumed raw or, at most, steamed for 4-5 minutes.
Additionally, studies found that combining raw or minimally-cooked broccoli with other ingredients high in sulfurophane (like radishes, arugula and wasabi) can boost cancer-fighting agents exponentially greater than the sum of their parts.
How’s that for super food?
Ready to taste just how delicious cancer prevention can be? Try this cancer-fighting recipe with La Colline organic broccoli as a simple appetizer, or add a protein like grilled fish or chicken to make it a meal.
Makes 2 cups
- 1 head broccoli – florets roughly chopped, stem peeled & diced
- 2 teaspoons wasabi paste
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sake
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Rice crackers or peeled raw vegetables for serving
Steam broccoli in a steamer basket over boiling water for just 4 to 5 minutes, until crisp-tender and bright green. Meanwhile, mix together all remaining ingredients except wasabi paste in a small pan, stirring over low heat until mixture is smooth and integrated. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool. Add wasabi paste and mix well. In a bowl, pour mixture over broccoli and incorporate thoroughly, mashing broccoli lumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Serve at room temperature or chilled, spread on rice crackers or raw vegetables.
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