Broccoli, aka trees, for any parent who deals with a broccoli resistant toddler has cancer fighting properties. The active anticancer agent is called Sulforaphane which also has anti-inflammatory properties, affecting chronic diseases that are associated with obesity and aging. Broccoli falls in the class of cruciferous vegetables which include kale and cabbage.
Sulforaphane is affected by food preparation. Freezing broccoli destroys the compound although new research specifies that it can be restored by sprinkling broccoli with radishes which contains myrosinase. When 0.25% of daikon radish was sprinkled on the vegetable the two compounds interacted to form sulforaphane. Overcooking the vegetable also minimizes the action of the compound.
A naturally biological hormone used as a pesticide increases the cancer fighting property yield. Methyl Jasmonate applied to broccoli boosts the level of the anti-cancer enzyme. The study did not examine the impact of applying traditional herbicides vs the natural occurring plant hormone.
Prior studies have revealed that when broccoli is ingested, bacteria in the lower intestine convert sulforaphane in measurable amounts and is available for absorption in the body.
Kang Mo Ku, Elizabeth H. Jeffery, John A. Juvik. Influence of Seasonal Variation and Methyl Jasmonate Mediated Induction of Glucosinolate Biosynthesis on Quinone Reductase Activity in Broccoli Florets. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013; : 130930141624005 DOI: 10.1021/jf4027734
Ren-Hau Lai, Michael J. Miller, Elizabeth Jeffery. Glucoraphanin hydrolysis by microbiota in the rat cecum results in sulforaphane absorption. Food & Function, 2010; DOI: 10.1039/C0FO00110D
Edward B. Dosz, Elizabeth H. Jeffery. Commercially produced frozen broccoli lacks the ability to form sulforaphane. Journal of Functional Foods, 2013; 5 (2): 987 DOI: 10.1016/j.jff.2013.01.033
Edward B. Dosz, Elizabeth H. Jeffery. Modifying the Processing and Handling of Frozen Broccoli for Increased Sulforaphane Formation. Journal of Food Science, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.12221