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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Benefit-Boosting Broccoli Sprouts

Sep 05, 2011 10:28PM

Broccoli has become a gold medal contender among vegetables, so how often should we eat it to reap all of its health benefits? Elizabeth Jeffery, a University of Illinois professor of nutritional sciences, explains: “Broccoli, prepared correctly, is an extremely potent cancer-fighting agent—three to five servings a week are enough to have an effect. To get broccoli’s benefits, though, the enzyme myrosinase has to be present; if not, sulforaphane, broccoli’s cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory component, doesn’t form.”

According to Jeffery, myrosinase is often destroyed by overcooking. Health-conscious consumers that use broccoli powder supplements in recipes to boost their nutrition also are missing out, she says, because the supplements often do not contain the needed enzyme.

A solution: Jeffery suggests incorporating fresh broccoli sprouts into our diet. Available at most grocery and health food stores, the sprouts contain abundant myrosinase.

Source: University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

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