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Which is Better, Raw or Cooked Broccoli?

Which is Better, Raw or Cooked Broccoli?

We all know that George should eat his broccoli. But, do we know how he should eat his broccoli? Deep fried? Not quite. Boiled? Maybe. Raw? Possibly. There are studies on this all important subject and our favorite go to guy for such important Nutrition facts, Dr. Michael Greger has once again provided an answer. When you need a specific question answered I highly recommend his site NutritionFacts.org. His exhaustive list of questions and answers is really quite astounding. Just to help you a little bit I will at least let you know that fried broccoli was NOT the best way to eat broccoli. Are you surprised?

Dr. Greger compares different cooking methods and how they affect the nutrient content of fresh broccoli in the following video: 

Please understand that even if you are offered broccoli that was not cooked the best and most nutrient efficient way, it will probably still be good for you. This video is not intended to make us broccoli snobs. Although I do suggest you turn up your nose if offered fried broccoli. Frying broccoli is just not right.

A Few Benefits of Broccoli

  • Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane which is sulfer rich and may help to prevent arthritis.
  • Cancer stem cells have been shown to be killed by contact with Sulforaphane. Another compound in broccoli, Glucoraphanin, has been shown protective from some chemicals that cause cancer.
  • Blood pressure and kidney function may significantly improve from the Sulforaphane in broccoli.
  • And more importantly; Broccoli is DELICIOUS. 

For more information, see:

(1) Raw Food Diet Myths

(2) What's the Best Cooking Method?

(3) Raw Food Nutrient Absorption

Michael Greger MD Links

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Dr. Carney,

If we are going to cook some broccoli or other cruciferous veggie (not deepfried), I understand from Dr. Greger's book, How Not to Die, that we should cut the broccoli and let it sit for 40 minutes before cooking in order to allow sulforaphane to form. I imagine most people are not aware of this needed cooking step in order to enhance the cancer fighting potential of eating broccoli. From your knowledge, is there any other way to eat cooked broccoli without letting it sit after cutting that could still provide the sulforaphane benefit? If not, I'm thinking this needed step needs to be advocated more by chefs and others preparing cooked broccoli dishes.

  Denise Rose
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Hello Denise,
So sorry for a slow response. I am going to ask my wife what she thinks about this. My guess is that while there may be a best way to eat broccoli, the differences are probably not significant as long as people are eating WFPBNO. :-) But, if there is evidence to the contrary, I for one would LOVE to see it. :-)

  Sean Carney
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Steamed is better for overall digestion and absorption of nutrients.

  Linda Carney MD
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