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
- Bok choy
- Broccoli sprouts
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
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, draxe.com/nutrition/sulforaphane-benefits/. Accessed 31 July 2022.
Lipman, Dr Frank. “Protect Your Heart, Brain and Life with Sulforaphane.” Frank Lipman MD, 5 Apr. 2021, drfranklipman.com/2021/04/05/protect-your-heart-brain-and-life-with-sulforaphane/. Accessed 31 July 2022.
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