Broccoli provides some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if cooked or steamed. The fiber-related components in steamed broccoli bind together with bile acids. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted resulting in lowering cholesterol levels. Raw broccoli still has cholesterol-lowering ability.
Broccoli has detox benefit. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in body’s detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) are the detox-regulating molecules made from broccoli’s glucosinolates, helping to control the detox process at a genetic level.
Broccoli may help solving vitamin D deficiency epidemic. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A help keeping vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For people facing the need to rebuild vitamin D storage through vitamin D supplements, broccoli is an ideal food to include in the diet.
Broccoli is particularly rich in a flavonoid named kaempferol. Recent research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on human body. This kaempferol connection helps to explain the unique anti-inflammatory benefits of broccoli.
Cutting the florets into smaller pieces and the stems into thin slices and allowing them sitting for 5 to 6 min before cooking will enhance their cancer protective properties.
Cutting broccoli into smaller pieces breaks the cells and activates an enzyme called myrosinase. The myrosinase converts some of the sulfur-containing chemicals in broccoli (namely glucosinolates) into other sulfur containing chemicals (isothiocyanates) which research has shown to contain cancer preventive properties not found in the glucosinolates. Studies have actually pinpointed specific mechanisms, like changes in cellular genetic processes, which are involved in increasing cancer protection.
Since myrosinase is specifically activated by ascorbic acid (vitamin C), sprinkling your sliced broccoli with a little lemon juice, an excellent source of vitamin C, before letting it sit may also help increase myrosinase activity. Once broccoli is heated, even if it is just lightly steamed, the myrosinase enzyme will become inactivated. For this reason, the slicing of broccoli 5-6 minutes before steaming will enable the enzyme going to work and converting some of the sulfur-containing compounds prior to steaming.
Increase Assimilation of Nutrients
It is recommended slightly cooking broccoli which tends softening fibrous materials aiding digestion and increasing the potential assimilation of nutrients. Although there may be more vitamin C in a stalk or florets of raw broccoli, vitamin C will be absorbed a little better once the broccoli has been steamed or boiled.
Lightly cooked broccoli has a bright green color. Limit the time of steaming or boiling to 3-5 minutes. Overcooking any vegetable will decrease its nutritional value.
Broccoli and Thyroid
The same cancer-preventing compounds that slicing helps activate in broccoli (isothiocyanates) may decrease thyroid function under certain circumstances. However, to err on the safe side, people with pre-existing and untreated thyroid conditions might be better avoiding eating broccoli. The consumption of steamed broccoli which has not been cut would logically lower isothiocyanate intake. Even in this case, the intestinal bacteria could produce the isothiocyanates when the steamed broccoli arriving intestine.
It is recommended that people with thyroid problems should talk with their healthcare providers about the best way proceeding in this circumstance. For all people with healthy thyroid function (except those allergic to broccoli) it is highly recommended including this magnificent food to the daily diet, steamed or raw.
Prolonged Liver Function Enhancement From Broccoli