I find this to be so fascinating! Did you know that if you cook your vegetables BEFORE chopping them, you destroy those amazing cancer-fighting compounds? I know! Crazy, right? Just imagine some of your soup recipes. You throw your veggies in a pot of water with all of your ingredients. Once soft, you pour into your blender/vitamix – and voila! You’ve just succeeded in destroying those protective, cancer-fighting weapons you SHOULD have had in your arsenal. And by the way, those compounds (now destroyed 🙁 ) are thought to be potent enough to change the course of cancers already in your body. That’s SO not good! So how do you make your soups AND fight cancer at the same time? Ya just gotta do it a little backwards!
(CONTINUE READING HERE) First, a little science 101! This is very interesting and easy to understand so don’t tune out because you see some crazy “science-y” words. Here goes: Many cruciferous vegetables contain sugar-based molecules called glucosinolates. All veggies that contain these glucosinolates also contain the enzyme myrosinase, which converts the glucosinolates into anti-cancer compounds, called ITC’s (ITC’s have potent anti-cancer effects). How does the enzyme myrosinase convert the glucosinolates into cancer-fighting weapons? By the breaking down of the cell walls while RAW which happens thru blending, chopping, chewing….
If you cook these veggies BEFORE that compound is created, the heat will destroy the enzymes needed. Once those enzymes are destroyed thru heating, they cannot create the ITC’s that give you the whopping cancer-fighting benefits that veggies provide. However, once those compounds are created thru the chopping, blending process of RAW veggies, those compounds are NOT destroyed by heat. The trick is to create the cancer-fighting compounds before DESTROYING the enzymes needed to create them! Make sense? If not, re-read in slow motion! 😉
An important tip/fact: After chopping, blending, etc. – letting the veggies sit for a few minutes maximizes the production of the anti-cancerous effects. If you THEN put the veggies in your soup, the compounds are present in your soup and cannot be destroyed by the heat. Did I say that? I must really mean it 😀
Next time veggies are on your menu (and I hope that’s at EVERY meal!), chop them all up, let them sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out the health-promoting qualities and THEN cook, sauté, add to soup (whatever cooking you plan to do) to fully reap the benefits! Bon appetit!