Are you eating enough cruciferous veggies?


May I take a few moments to share some information with you about cleansing and detoxing the body. Detoxification is probably not high on your agenda right now, but it should be because with the arrival of fall we need to prepare for the stress of winter. Fortunately, the body doesn’t stop to think about cleansing itself because the human body is designed with its own built-in systems for detoxification. Without this system, the toxic burden would have devastating consequences on the body.

Even if you are eating the healthiest of diets, consuming mostly organic foods and doing everything right, you are still exposed to many chemical toxins. The foods you eat, the air you breathe, the water you drink, and even stress cause a toxic burden on your body. Exercise also creates a need for detoxification in the body. One of the most dangerous toxins to the body is Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. It is EVERYWHERE! (That is a whole other topic to cover.)

When researching the best antioxidant supplements, I looked for something comprehensive to support our own innate detoxification process instead of using different compounds that focus on specific aspects of detoxification in the body. Sulforaphane is a sulfur compound that is found in cruciferous vegetables which include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and others.

Sulforaphane is amazing and does just that. It helps the body’s own ability to detoxify wherever and whenever necessary. It supports all three phases of the liver’s detoxification process, but specifically phase 2, and the research is vast. Phase 1 is where oxidation takes place when compounds are broken down to prepare for phase 2. Conjugation is the process that takes place in phase 2 where the liver attaches another molecule to make it less harmful to be eliminated from the body. If this phase doesn’t take place fast enough or someone struggles with phase 2 detox, then free radicals can cause inflammation and tissue damage. This is why this is so important. Someone may suffer from a “detox reaction” because of the lack of phase 2 support. I see this occur more often than not.

The benefits and how it works:

  1. By protecting our DNA from damage and enhancing the deactivation of carcinogens like glyphosate. (Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide that can kill certain weeds and grasses. Glyphosate works by blocking an enzyme essential for plant growth.)
  2. Sulforaphane is a sulfur-rich compound found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, and cabbage. It has been shown to provide powerful health benefits by working on all three phases of liver detoxification. Most antioxidants like glutathione and niacin push phase 1 of liver detoxification. Phase 2 prepares toxins by increasing water solubility and adding compounds such as sulfur for excretion through the kidneys, making compounds less toxic and less reactive. Most importantly, sulforaphane activates proteins NRF2. NRF2 protein, also called transcription factor, controls gene expression. These are the genes that help protect the cells from free radicals and toxins that cause many diseases of aging.
  3. Reduces inflammation in the body.
  4. Is an antimicrobial.
  5. Protects the brain and restores cognitive function. It increases a protein called BDNF which helps with the survival of neurons and the formation of new neurons. Low BDNF is common in conditions such as obesity, depression, schizophrenia, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and accelerated aging. It is also shown to increase glutathione levels in the brain. Glutathione is essential for the immune system’s proper functioning and is vital in building and repairing tissue. It acts as an important antioxidant, which helps protect your body from damage to cells caused by free radicals.
  6. Slows the aging process.
  7. Improves metabolic health by decreasing insulin resistance and increasing glucose tolerance.

Sulforaphane is a Sulfur compound derived from the precursor glucoraphanin and activated in the body by an enzyme called myrosinase that is produced by our gut bacteria. An unhealthy microbiome is more common than not and we have access to very little sulforaphane in our diet. Cruciferous vegetables are not the best way to obtain enough of this wonderful compound as they contain a protein called ESP that will inhibit the enzyme myrosinase that makes the sulforaphane. Cooking the vegetables also destroys myrosinase. Fortunately broccoli sprouts are a great source of sulforaphane, however is very labor intensive to make them ready to eat and frankly, I’m not willing to go through all that trouble.

The best way to get a consistent, stabilized source is through supplementation. Many supplements on the market do not contain stabilized forms and rely on precursors with added myrosinase that is degraded by stomach acid before it can effectively convert to the active compound to be absorbed by the body.

I have found one that does contain a consistent, stabilized source of sulforaphane and does not use chemical extraction, but watercress process, which is another sulfur compound that compliments sulforaphane. This product is called BrocElite. I have experienced some incredible benefits myself and I feel it is one of the best forms of antioxidants on the market today! Contact us to get some today.

Deborah Cyrel, CNC