We all know to eat our veggies—but does cooking do in the nutrients?
Broccoli frequently earns a top spot on “superfoods” lists. This is partly because it delivers a healthy dose of
sulforaphane, a compound thought to thwart cancer by helping to stimulate the body’s detoxifying enzymes. According to recent
research in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, raw broccoli provides significantly more of this beneficial
nutrient than cooked. (Cooking locks sulforaphane in, making it unavailable to your body.) In the small study, men were given
about 1 cup of broccoli, raw or cooked. Those who ate the raw broccoli absorbed sulforaphane faster and in higher amounts
compared to those who ate it cooked. The findings add to growing evidence that links diets rich in cruciferous vegetables,
such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower, to lower rates of cancer.
Bottom Line: If you like broccoli, eat it raw: it’s more nutritious. Or, if you prefer it cooked, Martijn Vermeulen, Ph.D.,
the study’s lead researcher, suggests steaming it until it’s cooked but still crunchy. Some research suggests this method may
keep sulforaphane available.