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Power Foods for Better Health

Broccoli Fights Cancer Even Better with SpiceWe’ve all heard about broccoli’s amazing properties for fighting cancer. Now a new study from the University of Illinois shows that broccoli’s cancer-fighting power can be enhanced by pairing the vegetable with spicy foods like mustard, horseradish, watercress, arugula, or wasabi. These peppery additions, the scientists report, contain myrosinase, an enzyme that is necessary to form sulforaphane, broccoli’s main cancer preventative. Myrosinase also ensures that broccoli’s cancer-fighting nutrients are absorbed in the upper part of the digestive system, so we can reap their maximum health benefits. In the study, fresh broccoli sprouts were eaten along with broccoli powder, and scientists were able to measure the cancer-fighting compounds in the blood within 30 minutes. Reaching their peak after three hours, these bioactive compounds were much higher when the broccoli was eaten with a spicy food. Urine samples corroborated the blood results. For maximum benefits, broccoli should be steamed lightly for two to four minutes. But even if our broccoli ends up a bit …

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