Researchers say a potent compound from broccoli sprouts could ignite the body’s defenses against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer!
Sulforaphane is a small sulphur-containing molecule derived from cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, kale, broccoli and broccoli sprouts, with the last being by far the highest source. It has been researched for 25 years for its preventive properties against chronic diseases, and academics worldwide now say there is growing evidence that sulforaphane acts against cancer at different levels within human cells, although at this time there are limited clinical trials of sulforaphane in humans.
Dr Christine Houghton, a leading Australian nutritional medicine researcher and expert in nutrigenomics, says sulforaphane is among only a handful of powerful food molecules shown to enhance the activity of the many genes known to protect cells. “When we incorporate these food molecules into our daily routine, we can maximise their benefits on our cells, and if all our cells are healthy, we will be healthy,” she says.
Cruciferous vegetables don’t actually contain sulforaphane. Rather, it’s a compound and an enzyme in the vegetables that, when combined by chewing or cutting, produces sulforaphane, and cooking the vegetables destroys the sulforaphane-producing activity. However, broccoli sprout powder is available as a supplement.
Feeling the need for something green about now?
Big green chiller
This wonderful concoction is like the contents of a farmers’ market stall in a glass! Recipe from 1000 Juices, Green Drinks & Smoothies (Struik) by Deborah Gray.
Makes 1 large or 2 small glasses
- 2 cucumbers
- 4 celery stalks
- 2 courgettes
- 6 kale leaves
- 6 spinach leaves
- 1 small bunch coriander
- ½ a lime, peeled and chopped
- 2,5cm piece of ginger, peeled
- lime slices, to garnish
Put all the ingredients through a juice extractor. Pour into a glass and serve immediately. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Tip: The spinach used is full-sized spinach, not baby leaves. If you have baby leaves, use about a handful.
Now try the Big Green Chiller juice…
…as a cold defier
Replace the coriander with a small bunch of parsley and add 2 peeled garlic cloves. The garlic is used as an immune booster and the parsley will help neutralise its odour.
Replace the courgettes with 1 green and 1 yellow pepper. Mixing the peppers balances their sweetness.
Replace the lime with a peeled and chopped orange.
Replace the spinach and kale with a small head of broccoli, broken into florets. Broccoli is full of folic acid, so this is an ideal juice for expectant mothers.
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