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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > June/July 2017 > KITCHEN MAGIC


A few tips can improve the nutritional value of everything you eat, says botanist James Wong. Here he shares three from his new book

The magic of broccoli

What you serve with cooked crucifers can have a phenomenal impact on their potential health benefits, and it’s all to do with a little bit of kitchen chemistry. Crucifers are packed with glucosinolates which are broken down into chemicals called isothiocyanates, and which actually appear to hold the health promise. But the heat of cooking, stops the production of these all-important isothiocyanates dead in its tracks, by destroying the enzyme responsible for the chemical reaction. Damn! In fact, one Dutch study found that cooking broccoli could slash the absorbable isothiocyanate levels a whopping 90 per cent; the same happens in other cruciferous veg. Fortunately, a team from the University of Reading found that simply adding a tiny amount of powdered mustard seeds (also a cruciferous plant, which contains a heat-resistant form of the enzyme) to cooked crucifers like broccoli restores their ability to generate the isothiocyanate. Adding just half a teaspoon of mustard powder for every 200g of cooked crucifers made them, almost as if by magic, pretty much as good as raw.

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About Healthy Magazine

Get that #summerglow with the June/July issue of Healthy, which features the incredible Davina McCall on the cover. We’ve got a brand new natural beauty section, plus a summer body guide covering lean protein and expert fitness advice. Also, find out how to make street food at home with everything from Buddha bowls to cashew and coriander falafel. Plus! We ask: can a sun tan EVER be healthy? And do you really need those expensive trainers? Find out more in the brand new issue of Healthy.