COMBINING broccoli with spicy foods [...].
A study by the University of Illinois found teaming the vegetable with spicy food containing the enzyme myrosinase also ensures it is absorbed in the upper part of the digestive system for maximum health benefit.
"To get this effect, spice up your broccoli with broccoli sprouts, mustard, horseradish, or wasabi," said Elizabeth Jeffery, University of Illinois professor of nutrition. "The spicier, the better; that means it's being effective."
In the study, when fresh broccoli sprouts were eaten with broccoli powder scientists could measure bioactive compounds - compounds found naturally in food that have a health benefit beyond basic nutrition - in the blood 30 minutes later.
When these peaked at three hours they were much higher when the foods were eaten together than when either was eaten alone. Doctoral candidate Jenna Cramer, lead author of the study said urine samples corroborated the blood results. "This study shows that even if broccoli is overcooked, you can still boost its benefits by pairing it with another food that contains myrosinase," she said.