Cooking cruciferous vegetables — broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, etc. — disables the production of sulforaphane, a powerful phytonutrient.
Sulforaphane is an incredible plant compound most commonly found in cruciferous vegetables. It’s what helps broccoli get classified as a “superfood”.
- Fights/repairs damage done to the cells constantly
- Inhibits inflammation
- Boosts liver function; detoxifies the body
- Shows chemo-preventive properties
- Protects against cardiovascular disease
- Aids in gut health due to antimicrobial properties
- Good for the brain — protecting cognitive function and fighting off brain diseases
For more benefits, CLICK HERE, or do some googling.
The reason cruciferous veggies are great sources of sulforaphane is because they contain the precursor: glucoraphanin. Glucoraphanin mixes with an enzyme called myrosinase, and then after the plant tissue is broken (via chewing or chopping) and is given time (as it sits it’s your upper stomach, waiting to get digested) it then turns into sulforaphane. Yay! This is why eating raw cruciferous veggies is ideal, since you’re letting all the ‘steps’ happen in their most effective/efficient order.
Sometimes though, you don’t want to eat just the raw stuff. I LOVE roasted broccoli with onions and mushrooms, or HELLO, cauliflower wings 😍🤤. When cooking cruciferous veggies in any fashion — whether steamed, boiled, roasted, microwaved, whatever — the myrosinase (not heat-resistant like glucoraphanin or sulforaphane) is cooked out, which is the necessary converter of glucoraphanin into that amazing sulforaphane.
There is hope though…
That’s right. By sprinkling ground mustard seed powder (and not that even that much — 1/3 teaspoon is just fine) on top of your cruciferous vegetables AFTER cooking them, you are adding back a viable source of myrosinase, which had been cooked out. Because glucoraphanin is NOT heat-sensitive like myrosinase, it is able to use that newly added enzyme and convert it into sulforaphane! What! Come on now. That’s pretty cool.
(PS. To any taste bud skeptics, I hear you. I have never liked mustard, ever, and still would say “hold the ‘stard” on a sammy or burger. I can’t taste the mustard flavor on my veggies at all! I’m sure if you are really aware of it you could trace it, but honestly, the GOODNESS I’m getting from the ground mustard seed outweighs my slight “eh” towards to taste.)
To get a better understanding of this process, here are a few short videos on that subject:
Dr. Rhonda Patrick explaining sulforaphane, broccoli, and mustard seed EASILY.
Strategy for cooking broccoli without losing sulforaphane HERE.
Broccoli sprouts for breast cancer.
More wellness hacks comin’ your way soon! Enjoy your veggies 🙂