Cultures around the world and medicine systems, like Ayurveda and Chinese
medicines, have practiced and still do recommend detoxification as a means to our bodies health and well-being. At its optimum health, the human body is perfectly capable of detoxifying the impurities without any outside help. The body eliminates toxins through the liver, the kidneys,
intestines, lungs, lymphatic system, and skin. However, when these systems are compromised, impurities aren’t properly filtered and the body is adversely affected. The liver is the largest internal organ in the body. From drugs and alcohol to unknown foreign substances – the liver helps filter and detoxify the materials not meant to be in our body! Ensuring toxins are safely removed from your blood is one of the livers most critical jobs. Enzymes, in our body, help the liver in carrying out this important function of detoxification.
So how does broccoli act as a detoxifier?
Let’s see what Dr. Michael Greger says about this.
>> Dr. Greger: There’s lots of talks, these days, about detoxing but talk is cheap. Our liver is
actually doing it all day, every day, and if we want to detoxify the best thing we can do is boost our liver’s own detoxifying enzymes. And sulforaphane is the most potent natural phase 2 enzyme inducers known. That’s one of our livers detoxification systems.
So where do we find this stuff?
Broccoli which produces more than any other known plant in the world. In micromoles per gram seed, fresh weight broccoli is number 1. Then kohlrabi and cauliflower get the bronze! It’s interesting.
Broccoli rabe, you know, which is all gourmet, expensive – is it worth the extra price?
No! Broccoli rabe produces about 500 times less than broccoli. Broccoli is an exceptional source of sulforaphane. But, at the same time, there’s none actually in the vegetable! Until you bite it!
You know those chemical flares or glow sticks, where you snap them, two chemicals in two
different departments mix and sets off a reaction? Broccoli does the same thing! In one part of the cell, it keeps an enzyme called Myrosinase and in another part, it keeps something called glucoraphanin. There is no sulforaphane, which is what we want, anywhere in the broccoli until some herbivore starts chewing on the poor thing. Cells get crushed, the enzyme mixes with the glucoraphanin, which is a type of glucose simile, and sulforaphane is born. And the herbivore is like
“Eww! This tastes like broccoli!!”, and runs away.
The plant uses it as a defence against nibblers. Little did broccoli, count on a little lemon juice and
some garlic, maybe little tahini dressing – it’s our counter-attack! Just make sure to chew.
Otherwise, you won’t get as much of that magical mixture. In this study, they had people just swallow broccoli sprouts whole, day one, and got some action. Obviously their stomachs stepped in and did a little churning. But on day three, when they actually got to chew their sprouts, you can see significantly more got absorbed into their bodies.
Chew it or lose it.