Broccoli for immunity

I have been very busy (in a good sense!) these last couple of days, and today is no exception, which means I don’t have time to do any research or answer any e-mails, sooooorry! 
I did, however, want to post the link to a recent Science Daily article ( on broccoli, which contains a fantastic chemical (about which I have already written, see my Page on broccoli) called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane “switches on a set of antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which then combat the injurious effects of molecules known as free radicals that can damage cells and lead to disease.” This means that by eating broccoli we may be able to slow down what one of the UCLA researchers called “the age-related decline in immune function.”
Read this: “In particular, the scientists discovered that dendritic cells, which introduce infectious agents and foreign substances to the immune system, were particularly effective in restoring immune function in aged animals when treated with sulforaphane.” Indeed, when sulforaphane was administered to old mice, their immune systems became as efficient as those of young mice. Well, well.
Hmmm, it just so happens that I will be making (and freezing for future use) a bit of broccoli pesto today. And here is my easy-peasy recipe:
  1. Wash and cut some broccoli florets, as many as you want, into half or quarters, depending on size. Let them sit for 5 minutes or so before cooking so that the cancer-preventive compounds have time to form (see: Steam them for no more than 5 minutes. Overcooked broccoli has about the same nutritional content of cardboard, so watch out.
  2. Crush or mince some fresh garlic, again as much as you want, but don’t go overboard!, and, as you did for the broccoli, set it aside for 5-10 minutes (see why here: If you don’t care for the strong taste of fresh garlic, prepare the fresh garlic as above and slightly steam it with the broccoli. A solution for any problem…!
  3. Blend the broccoli and garlic…in a blender together with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper (omit the latter if you are on eight grams of curcumin WITH bioperine, which is a black pepper extract, so we don’t want to consume too much extra pepper on a daily basis). If the mixture is too stiff, just add some water from the pot where you steamed the broccoli (aha!).
  4. If you want, you can add a bit of hot red pepper for the capsaicin (a myeloma-cell-killer in vitro!). I may also try adding a dash of turmeric today. Hmmm.
That’s it for now. I have to get back to work! Take care, everyone!


  1. Margaret, thanks for this recipe. I’ll certainly try it. And I’ll also add some parmigiano and pinoli
    BĂ©liveau & Gringas, in their book on food that fight cancer, say more than once that is very important to chew very well your broccoli as sulphoraphane is not ‘naturally’ present in it, but it becomes available once you chew the broccoli, crushing and mixing their different molecules.
    Buon appetito 🙂

  2. Quite right, Sherlock. I should have mentioned parmigiano, but I don’t add cheese to anything that I freeze; it doesn’t freeze well, in my experience. So I add parmesan at the last minute. But if you are going to eat the pesto right there and then, or a few days later, do add some parmigiano, as Sherlock suggests. And pine nuts, if you wish. Why not? The more, the merrier.
    By the way, I just made my pesto with some a bit of hot red pepper and turmeric. Yummy! I tried taking a photo to put on the blog, but it just looks like green slime…;-)

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