Don’t Cook the Goodness Out of Your Broccolisam
Broccoli contains a natural detoxificant, but, according to a new survey, far too many Americans are cooking broccoli for too long a time and at too high a temperature and therefore are removing many of the healthy benefits of this nutritious vegetable.
The National Brassica Survey reveals nearly two in five Americans are cooking broccoli for ten minutes or longer, significantly reducing the detoxification benefits of the phytonutrient glucoraphanin
Approximately 75 million Americans live in areas with unhealthy air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On top of this, consuming alcohol and exposure to UV rays and cigarette smoke increase the level of toxins found in the body. A natural way to help the body eliminate these harmful toxins is to increase consumption of broccoli. Considered by many as a superfood, broccoli boasts the highest level of glucoraphanin – a long-lasting antioxidant – of all cruciferous vegetables. Glucoraphanin supports the body’s own natural detoxification system.
Findings from the recent Brassica survey, which polled 1,012 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18 and older, revealed that Americans are cooking the health out of their broccoli, not realizing that cooking broccoli at high temperatures and for long periods of time decrease the effectiveness of many nutrients.
Americans know broccoli is healthy, that’s why nearly 2 in 5 wish they could get the nutritional benefits from broccoli without actually having to eat it. And more than half – 56 percent – of those under the age of 35 wish this.
Many are confused about the health benefits of broccoli. In fact, 51 percent do not realize broccoli is a natural detoxifier.
Nearly 20 percent of Americans believe kale contains more antioxidant phytonutrients than broccoli. In reality, broccoli contains the highest level of glucoraphanin of any cruciferous vegetable.
For 76 percent of Americans, cooking broccoli is their favorite way to prepare it. This includes tried-and-true cooking methods like steaming it on the stovetop (31 percent), steaming it in the microwave (18 percent) and sautéing it in a pan (11 percent).
While Americans are eating broccoli, they’re cooking it at high temperatures for up to 15 minutes, which destroys nutrients in the process.
The longer broccoli is cooked at high temperatures the more nutrients are deactivated, even though 13 percent of respondents believe cooking broccoli at high temperatures helps to activate its healthy enzymes.
“One of the most significant benefits of eating broccoli is its glucoraphanin that helps to support your body’s own natural detoxification system to function optimally,” said Ashley Koff, registered dietitian. “I’m excited to hear Americans are eating broccoli because it is such a powerhouse vegetable. While I suggest people aim to eat a serving of broccoli daily, I know that’s not realistic. For those non-broccoli days I recommend a quality glucoraphanin supplement especially for those needing extra detoxification support based on environmental pollutants or other health concerns.”
Glucoraphanin is an important phytonutrient found in broccoli that naturally works with the body’s own protective enzyme systems to provide a significant number of health benefits. It up-regulates phase 2 detoxification enzymes to protect the body from oxidative stress and increase antioxidant activity. When consumed, glucoraphanin is converted to a potent antioxidant and cellular protector called sulforaphane.