Choosing carefully the foods is a good habit that can really be helpful to live longer, healthier and also happier, as several scientific studies have demonstrated. Focusing the attention on food combinations, namely which food we put together in a recipe, is also very important. Today we speak about broccoli, a variety of Brassica oleracea. Broccoli belongs to the Cruciferae family, it is a source of proteins, fiber, vitamins such as A, group B, C, but also mineral salts such as magnesium, calcium, sulfur, phosphorus and sodium, and folic acid. Finally, broccoli contains also sulforaphane, a compound within the isothiocyanate family with a powerful anti-cancer action. For what concerns bad food combinations to avoid, according to dr Fausto Aufiero in book The nutritional and therapeutic role of food, it would be better not to associate broccoli with legumes and cheeses, because the excess in nutrients may cause poor digestion and an overwork of liver and kidneys. And what about recommended food combinations?
Broccoli, garlic and oil
Broccoli contains iodine and, consequently, is able to stimulate the thyroid. A good combination to balance the excitability of the nervous system caused by the iodine is given by broccoli, garlic and olive oil (F. Aufiero, the book). For this reason, you can prepare a quick and yummy pesto by blending in a blender a clove of garlic, a handful of parsley, that will help absorb better the nutrients, and a little olive oil. Use this pesto to season the broccoli.
Broccoli and Brazil nuts
And for a really anti-cancer dish you can add also a handful of chopped Brazil nuts, and you know why? Because a research, published in 2003 on the scientific journal Carcinogenesis and performed by a team of the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, has demonstrated that the sulforaphane of broccoli, when it is taken together with selenium, a mineral contained, for example, in the nuts such as Brazil nuts, shows an action 13 times higher in counteracting cancer than the action that it shows when it acts alone.
Broccoli and fish
But selenium can be found also in fish, however, because of the content in iodine of the broccoli, it is better to serve broccoli with types of fish that are low in iodine such as cuttlefish, octopus, squid but also sole.
Broccoli and tomatoes
Moreover, another research has shown that the combination of broccoli and tomatoes is very efficient to fight the prostate cancer than the foods alone (Canene-Adams et al, Cancer Res, 2007). We add also that, in order to guarantee the maximum benefit from tomato, it is better to cook these vegetables and season it with a little olive oil, for example, you can use some cherry tomatoes, cut them into half and cook them shortly in a frying pan with olive oil and broccoli. In this way the lycopene of tomatoes, a powerful antioxidant substance, can easily be absorbed by the body because the heat and the combination with a fat, the olive oil, makes it available.