Personally not a big fan of broccoli. When I brave it, it must be squiggy and disguised (i.e. judiciously combined with other things). Up until now, squiggy has been frowned upon by health gurus, due to the fact that nuking the broccoli, destroys the enzymes required to produce the BIG cancer fighting chemical, sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane a cancer-fighting bioactive
Sulforaphane has been shown to help fight inflammation – since most Western diseases have inflammation as the route of the problem, keeping inflammation in check is usually a good idea.
The great thing about sulforaphane is that isn’t just something scientists “see” in the lab. Unfortunately, there are a lot of these “see in the lab only” chemicals which are never “seen in the body”, because they don’t actually make it out of your intestine. But in the case of sulforaphane, if you eat a regular serving of broccoli (it will need to be a bit more than one floret), some of the sulforaphane makes its way into your blood. In your blood it can now do all its cancer-fighting activities.
GUT bacteria to the rescue
A study by researchers at the University of Illinois have found getting your dose of sulforaphane from squiggy broccoli is still possible. Turns out that bacteria living in the lower part of your gut can do the necessary chemistry. The little guys can convert glucoraphanin into sulforaphane, without too much trouble.
Isn’t it nice to know, the bacteria in your gut are not just sponging off you, they’re making themselves useful.
The relationship between you and many of the bacteria in your gut is a two way interaction. Bacteria often help to metabolize vitamins and other bioactives from food in return for a warm and toasty place to live with a regular food supply.
Cultivate glucoraphanin guzzlers
One of the BIG spoons that improves health is to cultivate your family of hungry microbes.
So tonight why not serve a little broccoli. Disguise the fibre filled “green trees” with a big dollop of live culture yoghurt sauce, jam packed with Lactobacillus, a probiotic. The combination will boost the glucoraphanin guzzlers and provide you with a little inflammation fighting power.Glucoraphanin hydrolysis by microbiota in the rat cecum results in sulforaphane absorption. Food & Function (2010) 1 : 161-166; Ren-Hau Lai, Michael J. Miller, Elizabeth Jeffery.
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