The health benefits of sulforaphane
Active compound Sulforaphane is a natural plant compound which is found in many cruciferous vegetables especially when they are eaten raw. This has some amazing health benefits for the human body, especially when it comes to detoxification. It can be found in vegetables like broccoli, radish, bok choy, kale, kohlrabi, cauliflower and cress, but is most concentrated in broccoli sprouts.
In this article, we will highlight the many health benefits of sulforaphane for the human body.
1. Liver Health: Sulfur is the most important mineral which is used by the liver to remove harmful toxins from your body. Sulforaphane is rich in sulfur and this supports phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification in the liver. This is a natural process where the liver breaks down and gets rid of harmful chemicals from the environment like pollutants, pesticides, heavy metals and alcohol.
2. Anti-Cancer: Scientific studies show that sulforaphane can help to prevent prostate and breast cancer, especially as we get older. It activates many natural mechanisms within the cell of the body that prevent cancer cells from forming, also known as carcinogenesis. It helps to protect the small cellular energy factories called mitochondria to stay healthy by reducing the effects of free radicals.
3. Anti-Inflammatory health benefit of Sulforaphane: This active compound has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body as it is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants like this reduce the effects of free radicals and protect the body from many different health problems such as autoimmune diseases, arthritis and leaky gut.
4. Heart Health: As sulforaphane reduces inflammation it can also protect the heart and cardiovascular system. Inflammation in the arteries leads to plaquing and clogging, however, this compound keeps these passages clear, so that blood can flow freely. Vegetables in the brassica family like cabbage have also been shown to reduce high blood pressure.
5. Brain Health: With a healthy liver, and a fully functioning heart you get more oxygen flowing through the body. This supplies the brain cells with important energy and protection against damage with age. Studies show that sulforaphane can help to protect the brain from dementia and stroke. It may also improve conditions like autism, traumatic brain injuries and by triggering cytoprotective enzymes.
6. Diabetes: If you suffer from diabetes you should consider getting more sulforaphane into your diet. The best source of this is broccoli sprouts and radishes. The compound is a potent antioxidant which helps the body to regulate its blood sugar levels. It helps the cells to accept more insulin which also gets more nutrition into your cells.
7. Skin Protection You can also take a daily supplement of sulforaphane in pill form which has been naturally extracted from plants. Studies show that this can help to protect your skin from UV radiation. As it is a potent antioxidant it also fights the effects of ageing by protecting your collagen and fighting free radicals.
8. H. Pylori: Over 50 percent of people are infected with a bacteria helicobacter pylori. This bacteria causes damage to the stomach lining and can cause gastritis and gastric cancer. Although sulforaphane does not destroy this bacteria, it has been shown to activate certain enzymes which protect the stomach cells from being damaged.
9. Breathing Broccoli sprout extract is a rich source of sulforaphane and has been used to reduce inflammation in the lungs for people who exposed to diesel exhaust fumes. The chemical may also help those with asthma or COPD, as it helps to prevent bacterial infections in the lungs.
10. Hormone Balance The body absorbs many dangerous toxins from the environment like pesticides, heavy metals and pollutants. These are called endocrine disrupters which puts the hormones out of balance and are very dangerous for your health. Sulforaphane rich foods like broccoli sprouts help to detoxify these chemicals from the liver, therefore helping to balance hormones like estrogen and thyroid hormones.
As you can see sulforaphane has some excellent health benefits for the human body and continues to be researched by scientists for its potential. You can purchase sulforaphane in a concentrated capsule form, get it from eating cruciferous vegetables or purchase broccoli sprout extract. Broccoli sprouts are the young seedlings which come from germinated broccoli seeds. These are easy to grow at home and take around 3-4 days to sprout. We recommend throwing these into delicious salads each day to support a healthy liver and immune system.