MUSTARD GIVES BROCCOLI SUPERPOWERS
A SCIENTIST'S GUIDE TO THE WONDERS OF PLANTS
COPYRIGHT JAMES WONG 2017
What you serve broccoli with can have a truly phenomenal impact on its potential health benefits. Yet it's not some exotic 'superfood' but plain, everyday mustard that could do the trick. Let me explain...
Research suggests that a group of compounds generated by crops in the cabbage family, including broccoli, called isothiocyanates may have a protective effect on the body. The problem is the enzyme needed to generate these is degraded by heating, so cooked broccoli is essentially no longer able to create much of the good stuff. One Dutch study found that cooking broccoli resulted in a 90% reduction in the levels of these chemicals.
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Fortunately food science has come to the rescue! A team from the University of Reading found that mustard (another plant in the cabbage family) contains a heat-resistant form of the enzyme. In fact, simply adding a teaspoon or so of mustard to 300g of cooked broccoli dramatically boosted its ability to generate sulforaphane (the principle isothiocyanate in broccoli). Almost as if by magic, this serving trick made it pretty much as good as eating it raw, restoring most of it's original content.
The best bit? Mustard is a natural flavour enhancer, so your veg actually tastes better as a result. The same trick should work on sprouts, cabbage & kale too.