THE right way to cook vegetables is just to blanch them to retain their nutrients. Or better yet, not to cook them. However, the latter option may not suit ordinary Filipinos’ appetite on cooked vegetables.
Vegans would rather eat raw or half-cooked vegetables to reap all its disease-fighting superpowers.
Most vegetables are sensitive to heat and knowing the right cooking technique will unleash all their molecules especially the anti-oxidants. A lot of other vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and valuable chemicals that can be unlocked or blocked, depending on preparation and the foods they’re eaten with.
One of these is the broccoli. Broccoli is sensitive to heat and if you overcooked them, you may block the compounds that fight cancer. Unlike tomatoes and carrots, the more you give them heat, the more they release their antioxidants.
You can easily tell if you overcooked green leafy vegetables on their physical structure in your wok but broccoli doesn’t. They do not show physical signs of overcooking.
Cooking broccoli too long destroys the enzyme that breaks down chemicals called glucosinolates into cancer-fighting agents. If you think boiling broccoli or drowning them in a soup will retain their nutrients in the liquid, they won’t.
The best way to eat broccoli once chopped is raw or steamed for just two to three minutes. This applies to other cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, kale, wasabi and cabbage. These vegetables all have compounds that can “target sick cells and keep normal cells happy, which is what you want for cancer prevention,” according to Emily Ho, an associate professor and researcher at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Ho had been studying broccoli for years.
If you really want to achieve all optimum benefits of vegetables and fruits, eat five to nine servings of them to boost your body defense against diseases.