Sulforaphane The Magic compound in Broccoli Sprouts & Cruciferous vegetables
Sulforaphane – found in Broccoli sprouts & other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower & Kale – is a modern day super compound! A particular favorite of biochemist Dr. Rhonda Patrick, sulforaphane has been shown in studies to reduce gut & brain inflammation, possibly prevent cancer cell growth, and even detoxify the body of air pollutants common in metropolitan cities. Here, we delve deep on sulforaphane and find out how to best make the compound a part of your diet.
WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES?
Before we can dive deeper into broccoli sprouts and sulforaphane, let’s take a step back and talk about cruciferous vegetables.
We all know that fruits and vegetables are essential elements of a well-balanced diet. However, according to research, eating cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, and brussel sprouts, seems to have an even more significant effect than fruits and veggies in general.
According to an article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, diets rich in cruciferous vegetables are associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality. For the period the study was conducted, people in the top twentieth percentile of vegetable consumption were 22 percent less likely to die from all non-accident causes of death within their age group . This was regardless of other lifestyle factors like exercise, sleep, etc.
SULFORAPHANE: THE MAGIC BEHIND CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES?
What makes cruciferous vegetables potentially so powerful? The most likely answer is a phytochemical known as isothiocyanates.
Isothiocyanates are formed from plant compounds known as glucosinolates.
Glucosinolates are transformed into isothiocyanates through enzymes. These enzymes are known as myrosinase.
Myrosinase is activated when cruciferous plants are chopped, crushed, or chewed .
That means, when you chew your broccoli, kale, or cauliflower, you’re activating the myrosinase enzymes, which then transform glucosinolates into isothiocyanates.
Sulforaphane is a potent isothiocyanate that has been heavily researched and linked with the various benefits of cruciferous vegetables .
Sulforaphane is formed from the glucosinolate known as glucoraphanin.
Broccoli sprouts are the single best source of this glucoraphanin, containing almost 100 times more than mature broccoli.
The myrosinase then transforms glucoraphanin in broccoli sprouts into sulforaphane. Sulforaphane  is the potent plant compound that has been linked with the various health benefits of cruciferous vegetables.
WHAT IS SULFORAPHANE?
Cruciferous vegetables have phytochemicals known as glucosinolates. They also have enzymes known as myrosinase, which are activated by chewing, crushing, or chopping.
Once activated, the myrosinase enzymes transform glucosinolates into isothiocyanates. Sulforaphane happens to be one of the most potent isothiocyanates found in cruciferous vegetables .
If that’s a bit too much to comprehend, just remember this; when you chew your broccoli, cabbage, or kale, you activate myrosinase enzymes. The enzymes make sulforaphane available to your body, which can have many significant health benefits.
WHAT ARE SOME POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF SULFORAPHANE?
The following are some of the potential health benefits of sulforaphane.
- Studies have shown that regular consumption of sulforaphane may reduce the risk of cancer .
- May aid in detoxification by removing carcinogens and certain airborne pollutants .
- May fight harmful inflammation .
- Might boost brain health and fight depression .
- Regular consumption may boost heart health .
- Might improve gut health .
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