If you’re like the late President H. W. Bush and you can’t bring yourself to eat broccoli, try adding the sprouts to your salad.
Or eat other cruciferous vegetables. They’re some of the healthiest plants on Earth. Numerous studies show a high correlation between the consumption of cruciferous vegetables and reduced levels of cancer. They all contain phytonutrients to create enzymes that are powerful for protecting your cells.
One of those important phytonutrients is sulforaphane. Broccoli contains a lot of it – and broccoli sprouts contain up to 100 times more sulforaphane than the adult plants.
What Does Sulforaphane Do?
It triggers the Nrf2 biological cell-signaling pathway. Nrf2 is critical for protecting the DNA of your cells from toxins and pollutants. Nrf2 detoxification enzymes remove toxins from your cells and destroy free radicals that can cause cancer.
And sulforaphane uses the NF kappa B pathway to lower your body’s inflammation. This is important because chronic inflammation encourages the growth of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other problems of old age.
Sulforaphane is a highly potent and selective antibiotic. It helps your body fight off H. pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers and can lead to stomach cancer.
It also kills cancer and tumor cells by blocking their ability to grow and spread.
When given to obese patients with diabetes, it lowered their fasting blood glucose levels.
All that’s according to one of the foremost researchers of sulforaphane, Dr. Jed Fahey.
There are Many Cruciferous Vegetables (Though Broccoli has the Most Sulforaphane)
* Brussels sprouts
* Red cabbage
* Bok choy
* Garden cress
* Collard greens
* Turnip greens
If you enjoy hot food, add horseradish along with chili peppers.
These Powerful Vegetables Also Contain Other Important Phytonutrients
Two of them are closely associated with men’s health, especially of the prostate.
These are diindolylmethane (DIM) and indole 3-carbinol (I3C). According to Dr. Michael Zeligs, M.D., “A recent study of Seattle men showed that three or more servings of cruciferous vegetables a week can reduce prostate cancer risk almost by half.”
DIM and I3C increase levels of free, active testosterone. Only free testosterone is able to go into your brain, muscle and fat cells. And this is important to both men and women. Obviously, men benefit from having an optimal level of free testosterone. But women also need some, because women with low levels of free testosterone have higher risk of PMS.
Just as women do need some testosterone in addition to estrogen, men need some estrogen in addition to testosterone. But estrogen dominance, when that hormone becomes excessive, is unhealthy for both men and women.
As men age, estrogen accumulates in their body. Plus, they are exposed to harmful xenoestrogens. Those are chemicals that are not estrogen but pass for it in the body. They include pesticides and many forms of plastic.
Just as estrogen exposure in women increases breast cancer risk, in men it raises the risk of prostate cancer.
And estrogen accumulation in the prostate appears to encourage prostate enlargement (BPH).
Therefore, older men who find themselves often waking up in the middle of the night to urinate should consider eating broccoli, broccoli sprouts or other cruciferous veggies.
In short, both DIM and I3C help men maintain a favorable balance between estrogen and testosterone. And this results in a healthier prostate, with less risk of enlargement and (probably) cancer.
The Phenethyl Isothiocyanate (PEITC) Displays Strong Anticancer Effects
PEITC does that in several ways.
First, it suppresses the tendency of cells to become cancerous in the first place.
If cancer is already present, it targets the tumor’s ability to grow and to spread through metastasis.
A Healthful Relative of Cruciferous Vegetables
If you just can’t force yourself to eat broccoli (though it’s really not THAT bad), in the United States you can buy powdered moringa. Also called the horseradish tree, it grows in the tropics. Its leaves contain another type of isothiocyanate. It’s not sulforaphane, but it also stimulates the Nrf2 pathway.
Moringa has never been studied in cancer trials with human beings. However, it has been tested in vitro – that is, in Petri dishes against cell lines of breast and colorectal cancer.
The study verified moringa was effective against breast, prostate and ovarian cancers. https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1634&context=jhdrp
Therefore, the isothiocyanates in moringa also show strong promise in preventing and fighting cancer.
Moringa is a superfood that definitely has many proven healthful qualities, so you can’t go wrong adding it to your daily green smoothie or salad.
Even better – eat BOTH broccoli and moringa at least several times a week.
Chew Your Cruciferous Vegetables Well
Technically, broccoli and other vegetables contain NO sulforaphane. They contain the precursors.
However, these precursors turn into sulforaphane when the fibers are torn up. That is, cut or torn – or chewed.
Or shredded by the blades of the blender.
Therefore, if you’re not fond of the taste of broccoli sprouts (the sulforaphane makes them bitter), just add them to a smoothie – with fruit for sweetening.
No matter how you eat them, you want to consume plenty of isothiocyanates to protect your cells.