Broccoli – oh yeah

I may have mentioned that I love broccoli and basically most green things.  Not off mouldy green things but fresh, crispy or crunchy (if you’ve seen Rango you may choose to do a rango voice here) gorgeous green veggies/herb.  Just yesterday I received a tweet about some research on broccoli.  Of course I got a bit excited and had to go to the source article.

thats my broccolini!

So some research has found that combining broccoli with spicy foods can enhance its cancer fighting powers.  The spicy foods mentioned in the research were horseradish, wasabi (same thing really) and mustard.  Radishes, rocket, cabbage and brussel sprouts also got a mention.  Basically they found that by combining the broccoli with the spicy foods, the anti-cancer agent sulforaphane was released in the ileum as early as 30 minutes after eating the meal.  When these foods are eaten individually, the sulforphane is released much later in the colon.  The ileum is part of the small intestine (the first section after the stomach) and the colon is part of the large intestine (the last bit of the gastrointestinal tract).

But what does this mean for real people?  Nothing really but perhaps if you have a strong family history of cancer and you specifically try to eat a diet that will protect you against cancer, it may be of use to you.  I thought about this quite a bit yesterday; broccoli and mustard weren’t exactly inspiring food combinations, but I have come up with a few ideas.

1. Lightly blanche broccoli and add it to your salad.  Include rocket, radish and make a french style salad dressing e.g. olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
2. Make tempura vegetables (with lots of broccoli of course) and mix some wasabi in the tempura dipping sauce.
3. You could simply do stir fried greens including broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts. For some extra flavour, start the stir fry with mustard seeds.
4. If meat and veg are more your style, make a honey mustard sauce for the meat (lovely on pork chops or steak). I smother organic chicken breasts in seeded mustard and bake in the oven. Serve with a rocket and broccoli salad.

If you can think of anything else, please leave a comment!