Grow your own sprouts to consume more sulforaphane!

Sulforaphane in Cruciferous Vegetables

As outlined in the Primal Blueprint food pyramid, the bulk of any meal should be vegetables – lots of fresh, organic, or farmers’ market vegetables ideally. The non-starchy ones might be the best picks if you have to watch your blood sugar levels closely. And along with leafy greens, cruciferous/Brassica vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts) probably give you “the most nutritional bang for your buck.” 

Cruciferous vegetables are high in a sulfur-based phytochemical compound called sulforaphane or SFN. SFN is created when the cruciferous plant’s enzyme myrosinase and the plant’s compound glucoraphanin combine by chewing, chopping, or cutting the given plant. Because of its substantial bioavailability, SFN is found to have many protective benefits.

Sulforaphane’s Health Benefits

SFN has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-like effects and aids in fighting oxidative stress. Here’s a brief list of sulforaphane’s health benefits:

  • Aids by lowering inflammation and strengthening the immune system
  • Can aid in staving off diabetes
  • Can aid with treating certain cancers
  • Assists liver function and detoxification
  • Enhances synthesis of glutathione (a “Master Antioxidant”)
  • Protects against lung damage
  • Helps with gastrointestinal function
  • May shield the brain from damage, in some instances 

Vegetables Rich in Sulforaphane

  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • Wasabi
  • Watercress

On a Final Note

As you can see, there are plenty of vegetables to choose from to get a little bit of sulforaphane into your diet every day if you wish. Last winter, as vegetables are definitely more scarce then, I decided to grow my own sprouts for the first time. I got a basic sprouting kit and some seeds, after purchasing The Sprout Book, by Doug Evans. Of course, you don’t have to wait for winter to grow your own sprouts. And no need to have a green thumb for that either. Give it a try!

Until next time!


Levy, Jillian. “Sulforaphane Benefits: The Secret to Broccoli’s Superfood Status.” Dr. Axe, 16 July 2022, Accessed 31 July 2022.

Lipman, Dr Frank. “Protect Your Heart, Brain and Life with Sulforaphane.” Frank Lipman MD, 5 Apr. 2021, Accessed 31 July 2022.

You can also find me on Instagram.

Success! You're on the list.

How to Support Your Detox System 

There are two kinds of toxins that can accumulate in the body: endogenous toxins (the metabolic processes’ natural waste products) and exogenous toxins (like chemicals and heavy metals we are exposed to via the air, water, and food).

To “work up a good sweat” often (by exercising or using saunas, for example) is one way to get rid of toxins. Dry brushing the skin’s dead cells away helps the lymphatic system and it also helps the liver and kidneys, which are the body’s major detoxification organs.

But is also good to know that if you eat foods that are beneficial to the liver and kidneys (and avoid the foods that aren’t helping), you are participating in the detoxification process a little bit every day too.

Foods That Can Help With Detoxification

If you want to support your detox system, there are certain foods that can help you do that. Here’s a short list:

  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli (sprouts), cauliflower, cabbage, kale, arugula, collards, as those vegetables have compounds like sulforaphane that aids the liver’s detoxification process.
  • The allium foods, like garlic, onions, leeks, chives, scallions, and shallots, which are rich in phytonutrients (including sulfur).
  • Spices and herbs as they offer so many antioxidants (good against oxidative stress). They can also have detox properties, like rosemary, turmeric, ginger, etc.
  • Pomegranate and berries (with dark pigmented skins).
  • Green tea, rooibos tea, burdock tea, dandelion tea, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds, like Brazil nuts (for the selenium) and pumpkin seeds (for the zinc and selenium), ground-up black seeds and chia seeds, etc.
  • Artichokes, great for detoxification with the fiber they offer (among other things) because when toxins come out they have to be bound up and eliminated through the stool.

Sidenote: Toxins can be eliminated via the stool, urine, and sweat. Dr. Mark Hyman calls it the triple P: “poop, pee, perspire.”

In Summary

Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” So eat the rainbow! We can benefit from so many nutrients when we eat whole foods every day. A wide array of foods can help with detoxification. Buy organic whenever you can (check the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists)!

Also, visit the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website to see which household cleaning products and personal care products are okay to use. Supporting our body’s detox system the best we can is an important part of maintaining our health and wellness.

Until next time!


Greenfield, Ben. Boundless : Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging. Las Vegas, Victory Belt Publishing Inc, 2020, pp. 301-2.

“How To Optimize Your Body’s Detoxification System with Maggie Ward.” Dr. Mark Hyman, 26 Oct. 2020, Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

Lipman, Frank M D. How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life. Houghton Mifflin, 2019, p. 178.

Ward, Maggie. “Top 5 Food Picks to Support Liver Detoxification.” UltraWellness Center, 22 July 2016, Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

You can also find me on Instagram.