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The Power of Broccoli Unleashed
Sulforaphane found in broccoli sprouts, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables has shown potential for reducing inflammation, increasing antioxidants, aiding detoxification and decreasing the risk of illness more than just eating fruits and vegetables alone.
Mom was right when she told us to eat our veggies!
The antioxidants in vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables are associated with lower rates of illness. Cauliflower, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, contain high amounts of sulforaphane – studied for its ability to prevent disease.
The Causes of Disease
Environmental toxins cause inflammation and free radical production that ultimately damages our cells and DNA leading to illness and disease. Unregulated inflammation is responsible for the illnesses associated with aging and the balance between free radical production and elimination may determine whether we develop heart disease, cancer or other degenerative conditions.
Our liver plays a key role in manufacturing antioxidants in the body and reducing inflammation through its detoxification enzyme pathways, which are grouped into two phases. In Phase I environmental compounds are changed and may become more toxic. In Phase II, these compounds are made less active and water soluble; so, they can be eliminated from the body.
The ability of sulforaphane to “down regulate” Phase I and “up-regulate” Phase II enzymes may explain the association between high cruciferous vegetable consumption and the decreased risk of developing disease. By increasing Phase II detoxification and glutathione; a powerful antioxidant, it protects cells against damage, reduces inflammation and increases the elimination of harmful substances from the body.
The Wide Applicability of Sulforaphane
Heart Disease: Oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to hypertension and atherosclerosis. Sulforaphane can help decrease blood pressure and reduced inflammation of the heart and arteries, leading to a healthier cardiovascular system.
Chemoprotection: Studies have documented that diets high in cruciferous vegetables reduce the incidence of human cancer and sulforaphane has been studied as a chemoprotective agent against various cancers. By enhancing Phase II detoxification enzymes and glutathione, it can block the formation of cancer promoting compounds and promote their elimination.
Skin disorders: UV radiation causes DNA damage that can lead to numerous skin conditions. By increasing protective enzymes, sulforaphane can reduce the effects of UV induced skin damage. Topical sulforaphane can improve skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation, moles, acne, stretch marks, scars, skin tags, eczema and certain forms of skin cancer.
Eye health: Sulforaphane offers protection against UV light and free radicals that damage the retinal cells over time, resulting in macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.