There are several good reasons to eat your broccoli. This bright green vegetable from the cruciferous family has long been recognized as one that packs a powerful, nutritious punch. In fact, broccoli consumption has been well established to have a multitude of beneficial effects on health.
Broccoli is a well established source of essential phytochemicals known as glucosinolates, as well as its active partner, the enzyme myrosinase. Glucoraphanin – the primary glucosinolate found in broccoli – is converted to sulforaphane by myrosinase or, if the enzyme is deactivated by the cooking process, through conversion by the body’s gut microflora. When the broccoli is chewed or cut, the myrosinase and glucoraphanin react to form sulforaphane. In plant cells, glucoraphanin and myrosinase are kept separate and only interact when these cells are damaged (i.e. chewed or milled), allowing the components to come together and for the reaction to proceed.