We've known for a while that broccoli has good anti-cancer properties. Now we know why. Scientists at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich have found that the magic chemical called sulforaphane counteracts a genetic fault that's involved in prostate cancer.
The experiments, on human prostate tissue, found that this chemical dampened down activity in the cells that lacked the PTEN gene, reducing risk of cancer. Whilst this isn't as good as research done directly on people, it's a promising start.
What's it good for?
Broccoli helps protect against prostate cancer, lung, colon, breast and ovarian cancer. A study also showed that people who eat the most cruciferous vegetables
(such as cabbage and broccoli) have nearly a third lower risk of bladder cancer compared to those who eat the least.
, Broccoli contains lutein, helping to counteract cataracts and eye degeneration. Broccoli is also high in disease fighting vitamins A and C, plus fibre and folate (vital to prevent birth defects). It also has iron, zinc, bone-strengthening calcium and magnesium.
5 ways with broccoli
- Add to stir-fries, with garlic ginger, honey, soy sauce, fresh coriander and lime. Cook in sunflower oil to best retain the nutrients.
- Cut it up small and add it to pizzas.
- Lightly steam and serve it with cheese sauce and a jacket potato.
- Add to omelette's.
- Cook with pasta, olive oil and pine nuts (our kids used to think they were cool eating it because they were trees)
So broccoli may look like just a vegetable, but it is in fact one of the most healthy ones you can eat, bearing in mind it's cheap to buy and easy to cook, are you eating enough?
Pudding Pie Cookery School, caring about your health.