Eat steamed broccoli to prevent cancer

Zee Media Bureau/Liji Varghese

New Delhi: Most people eat broccoli for its anti-cancer properties. But did you know that boiling or microwaving broccoli could render it useless?

According to a recent study, broccoli or cruciferous vegetables, if not prepared properly can alter their cancer fighting powers.

Broccoli is an excellent source of sulforaphane, a phytochemical (naturally occurring plant compound) that has been shown to have great cancer fighting properties.

The enzyme myrosinase in broccoli is needed for sulforaphane to form and boiling or microwaving the vegetable for one minute or less destroys a majority of the enzyme.

Boiling vegetables for long also leads to loss of water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C, folate and niacin that leach into the water.

The researchers found that the best way to retain the anti-cancer properties of broccoli is to steam it for up to five minutes. 

Other than anti-cancer properties including broccoli in your diet can help prevent osteoarthritis, arterial inflammation, reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and ease premenstrual tension.

Many studies have in the past shown how cooking habits greatly influence the nutrition value of food. So, opt for healthy cooking habits to stay healthy.