Cook With Intention
When I cook, I like to get the most out of the food that I'm making and invest in a little research on how to prepare fresh foods best before I start. My goal with cooking at home is to emphasize the nutrition in the whole foods I'm cooking with, so I can boost antioxidants and nutrients just by how I prepare them.
One of my favorite foods to make is cruciferous vegetables. They are rich in vitamins and minerals such as folate and vitamin K and are high in fiber. Dark green cruciferous veggies such as kale, bok choy, cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, and mustard greens are also sources of vitamins A and C and contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant-based compounds that have been shown to help lower inflammation and reduce the risk of developing cancer.
What is Sulforaphane?
In recent studies regarding how to prepare cruciferous vegetables, there is significant evidence that the heat from cooking damages the phytonutrients within cruciferous vegetables that can help lower the risk of cancer. One key powerful phytonutrient that functions as an antioxidant is called Sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has many health-promoting benefits that have been widely studied and are found in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts, broccoli sprouts (raw), or collard greens.
Sulforaphane is a natural sulfur-rich compound found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. But, once you expose broccoli to heat, the Sulforaphane is destroyed, and you will miss out on one of the major health benefits of eating cruciferous vegetables.
However, more research has shown that if you don't like to eat raw broccoli for the Sulforphane benefits, then there is another way to recreate Sulphoraphne in your steamed broccoli.
How to make Sulforaphane Bioavailable in Cooked Broccoli
The next time you cook your broccoli, exposing it to heat, add ground mustard seed to ensure the formation of Sulforaphane. Adding ground mustard seed to your steamed broccoli adds back the value to the broccoli you have exposed to heat.
You can steam any cruciferous vegetables and ensure you don't overcook them. It only takes about 2-3 minutes to retain the fiber and nutrients in the vegetables while making them easier to digest.
Ground mustard seed tastes great; it's slightly spicy and bitter and doesn't take long to add or combine with simple ingredients. I use ground mustard seed with steamed broccoli and add garlic, olive oil, and ground pepper. This is an easy and effective steamed broccoli recipe for healthy meal prep, and it gives you more nutrients in your cruciferous vegetables.