Did you know that 2 oz of broccoli sprouts provides the same amount of sulforaphane content as 2.2 lbs of raw broccoli?
Sulforaphane, the active phytochemical in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, bok choy, brussels sprouts, cauliflower) is a potent anti-cancer compound that's essential for optimal health by protecting us against free radicals and inducing our detoxification enzymes. However, most of these beneficial phytonutrients (and vitamins) are degraded when exposed to heat.
Raw broccoli, for example, doesn't contain any sulforaphane until you start to chew it. Cruciferous vegetables contain glucoraphanin, a precursor to sulforaphane that is enzymatically converted to sulforphane upon mechanical chewing. While sulforaphane itself is resistant to heat, the enzyme, myrosinase, is not.
When we bake, boil, or microwave our veggies, we destroy this important enzyme and therefore are unable to convert that glucoraphanin into sulforaphane. BUT there is a trick! Cut your cruciferous veggies and let them sit for 40 minutes before cooking them. That way, you mimic the mechanical "chopping and chewing" necessary to produce all the beneficial sulforaphane.
Seem like too much work? Opt for the broccoli sprouts! They are relatively tasteless and go great on tacos or in sandwiches, smoothies, and salads. You can find them at Whole Foods, Sprouts, or your local health store.