These foods start a chemical reaction that most super foods can only envy.
Everyone knows that eating vegetables has profound health benefits. But, like all foods, not all vegetables are created the same. A few vegetables appear to be downright “miracle” foods.
One such group of veggies are those of the Brassica family; commonly known as cruciferous vegetables or simply cruciferae. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radish, rutabaga, turnip, and even arugula.
What makes this group of veggies so special? Sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane is a phytochemical abundant in cruciferous vegetables, and it’s been getting a ton of attention from researchers. But it all starts with glucoraphanin.
These plants convert glucoraphanin to sulforaphane through an enzyme process when they detect damage from insects, or are cut or chewed.
It just so happens that cruciferous vegetables contain a remarkable amount of glucoraphanin. That makes them powerhouses of nutrition, thanks to the list of benefits this phytochemical has for human beings.
There is a growing body of research into the wide array of applications for sulforaphane across the gamut of diseases and health issues. In fact, hundreds of studies have been carried out across the globe since the first scientist, esteemed Johns Hopkins researcher Paul Talalay, realized this chemical’s potential in 1992. GreenMedInfo has a database of more than 200 diseases researched that may benefit from sulforaphane consumption.
In this study, Talalay and his team explored and confirmed the anticarcinogenic properties of broccoli and sulforaphane. So excited was the world at large, his findings were even featured in The New York Times.
Since then Talalay has dedicated years to researching sulforaphane, going so far as to found The Brassica Chemoprotection Laboratory, no doubt helping inspire future generations of scientists who want to know the truth about what the plants and their compounds can do for the betterment of humanity.
With that in mind, here are the top ten reasons to eat your cruciferous vegetables.