- What ingredients of broccoli are especially valuable?
- Does the latest research confirm the anti-cancer properties of broccoli?
- Anticancer prevention - what to eat? [TOWIDEO]
- Does eating broccoli play a role in preventing other diseases?
- In what form is it best to eat broccoli to take full advantage of its properties?
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Among functional foods, broccoli plays a special role - successive studies confirm their anti-cancer properties, and their importance in the prevention of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases is increasingly being discussed. Where does this extraordinary "power" of broccoli come from? This question is answered by Dr. Elizabeth Jeffery, an American specialist in functional food.
What ingredients of broccoli are especially valuable?
Dr. Elizabeth Jeffery : One of the key components of broccoli is glucosinolates, which are found mainly in plants from the cruciferous family - including broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. They react with a special enzyme, myrosinase, to release the active ingredient sulforaphane. It is responsible for the he alth properties of broccoli - it reduces the likelihood of developing cancer, cardiovascular diseases or atherosclerosis.
Does the latest research confirm the anti-cancer properties of broccoli?
E.J.:Sulforaphane - an active ingredient in broccoli - helps prevent inflammation in the cell. It stimulates the production of enzymes that destroy foreign, harmful chemicals. When I speak of a cell, I mean the cells in the intestinal wall through which food is absorbed. The liver, kidneys and heart are also kept in good condition. Recently, we also know about the positive effects of sulforaphane on the brain.
In the context of cancer, broccoli is primarily preventive. Therefore, it is not a substitute for drugs in disease. During the fight against cancer, the patient takes many drugs and their concentration in the body is very high. Over time, these medications are discontinued, and that's when broccoli can help you get into good shape. Individual organs are weakened by subsequent inflammations, and broccoli prevents these conditions.
There has been a lot of research into the anti-cancer effects of broccoli. For example, they found that the probability of prostate cancer is reduced by up to 40% when a man eats broccoli 3 to 5 times a week. To a similar extent, broccoli prevents colon cancer.
Anticancer prevention - what to eat? [TOWIDEO]
Does eating broccoli play a role in preventing other diseases?
E.J.: Since broccoli is much more effective in preventing cancer than many other vegetables, research into broccoli was initially conducted primarily in the context of cancer prevention. But there are more and more studies related to other diseases - e.g. on the positive effect of broccoli on the cardiovascular system. This effect is due to the fact that broccoli strengthens the overall immunity of the body.
In what form is it best to eat broccoli to take full advantage of its properties?
E. J.: The sulforaphane in broccoli will not start working if the enzyme in broccoli is lost. This enzyme is killed when broccoli is exposed to very high temperatures, such as in a microwave or while cooking. The solution is to steam broccoli for max. 3-4 minutes. In this case, the enzyme will not be lost, and the broccoli will retain its beneficial he alth properties.
In the event of an enzyme loss, there is a "trick" that can help. In some circumstances, even broccoli prepared in a microwave or cooked can "regain" its properties. For this to happen, it should be served with the raw cruciferous vegetable. It doesn't take much to supply broccoli with the lost enzyme. Research has shown that in this case, the active factor is also released in the broccoli, and thus we take full advantage of the beneficial properties of this vegetable.
Dr. Elizabeth Jeffery- Emeritus professor at the Department of Food Sciences and Human Nutrition, as well as the College of Medicine and the Interdisciplinary Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He conducts research in the field of diet and disease prevention. She has served as the program director of the Interstate Bioactive Food Ingredient Research Program. He deals in particular with functional food: anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of non-nutritive nutrients, including isothiocyanates and indoles derived from broccoli.