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Why you should eat broccoli: Nutritionist highlights a key point

Why you should eat broccoli: Nutritionist highlights a key point Photo: Why you should eat broccoli (

Broccoli is a green vegetable in the cabbage family. It has dense flower clusters that are usually harvested before they fully bloom. Broccoli is very popular due to its high vitamin and mineral value, particularly its content of vitamin C, vitamin K, folates, and potassium.

Why you should include it in your diet explains Ukrainian dietitian Olga Bezugla.

What is sulforaphane or why we should love broccoli

Sulforaphane is a sulfur-containing compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, pak choi, and cabbage. This compound is recognized for its significant health benefits.

Sulforaphane is available in these vegetables in the form of glucoraphanin — an inactive precursor belonging to the glucosinolate family.

The activation of sulforaphane occurs when glucoraphanin comes into contact with the enzyme myrosinase, which plays a key role in the plant's defense mechanisms. The myrosinase enzyme is only activated when the plant is damaged, so it is necessary to cut, crush, or chew cruciferous vegetables to release myrosinase and activate sulforaphane.

How to cook broccoli properly

Raw broccoli turns out to be very rich in sulforaphane, but cooking methods have a significant impact on it. For example, short-term steaming can help preserve and even increase the availability of sulforaphane compared to raw broccoli.

To optimize the level of sulforaphane in cooked vegetables, it is recommended to steam them for no more than one to three minutes. It is also advisable to avoid boiling vegetables at temperatures above 140˚C, as this can lead to a significant loss of glucosinolates such as glucoraphanin.

It is better to avoid boiling or using a microwave for cruciferous vegetables. Instead, consume them raw or lightly steamed to maximize the sulforaphane content.

Various studies indicate the potentially positive effects of sulforaphane on conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and digestion, but further research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.

Including cruciferous vegetables in your diet is not only tasty but also healthy due to sulforaphane.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.