Broccoli might not be everyone’s favourite vegetable but following new research which has found that teaming it with a spicy food significantly enhances its cancer fighting power, it could pop up on more plates around the world.
The vegetable has long been known for its ‘superfood’ qualities but now its impact could be even stronger if teamed with things like broccoli sprouts, mustard, horseradish or wasabi.
The change comes from enzyme myrosinase, which ensures that ‘absorption takes place in the upper part of the digestive system where you'll get the maximum health benefit’.
During the study at the University of Illinois fresh broccoli sprouts were eaten with broccoli powder and scientists measured the bioactive compounds in the blood 30 minutes later. They found that when the levels peaked after three hours, they were much higher when the foods were eaten together than on their own.
Scientists suggest just three to five servings of the vegetable a week provides a cancer-protective benefit.
"But it pays to spice it up for added benefits and find ways to make it appealing so you don't mind eating it if you're not a broccoli fan,” said Jenna Cramer, lead author of the study.