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Sulforaphane… what is it?

Sulforaphane is a naturally occurring compound that can be found in a variety of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and brussel sprouts. These vegetables are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients that are beneficial for our health.

Numerous studies have been conducted to explore the potential health benefits of sulforaphane, and the findings have been quite promising. It has been shown to possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help protect our cells from damage and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

But that's not all! Sulforaphane has also been found to have neuroprotective effects, which means it can help protect our brain cells and potentially improve cognitive function. This is particularly exciting for those who are interested in maintaining a sharp mind as they age.

If you're wondering how to incorporate more sulforaphane into your diet, microgreens is the answer. They are known to have higher concentrations of certain nutrients, including sulforaphane, compared to their mature counterparts. It’s mild tasting and easy to add to your meals by putting a small handful on top of almost everything!

Broccoli microgreens on cheese blintzes
Broccoli microgreens on cheese blintzes

When it comes to microgreens with high levels of sulforaphane, broccoli, cabbage, radish, and arugula take the lead. However, don't overlook other microgreens like kale, and watercress – they also contain this beneficial compound and can be a great addition to your meals.

Broccoli microgreens have a higher concentration of sulforaphane than broccoli sprouts or mature broccoli. Microgreens have a sulforaphane bioavailability of 30–60%, while broccoli seed and sprout extracts have a bioavailability of around 30%.

So, next time you're planning your meals, consider incorporating these cruciferous vegetables or microgreens into your dishes. Your taste buds and your health will thank you!

Please note that the information provided is for reference purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice.

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Here are some references that provide evidence of sulforaphane's ability to fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and protect DNA:

  • Tarozzi A, Angeloni C, Malaguti M, Morroni F, Hrelia S. Sulforaphane as a potential protective phytochemical against neurodegenerative diseases. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013;2013:415078. doi:10.1155/2013/415078

  • Fahey JW, Holtzclaw WD, Wehage SL, et al. Sulforaphane bioavailability from glucoraphanin-rich broccoli: control by active endogenous myrosinase. PLoS One. 2015;10(11):e0140963. Published 2015 Nov 2. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140963

  • Xiao Z, Lester GE, Luo Y, Wang Q. Assessment of vitamin and carotenoid concentrations of emerging food products: edible microgreens. J Agric Food Chem. 2012;60(31):7644-7651. doi:10.1021/jf300459b

  • National Library of Medicine: Sulforaphane.

  • Joanna TomczykAnna Olejnik: Sulforaphane--a possible agent in prevention and therapy of cancer. . 2010 Nov 29:64:590-603. • PMID: 21160094.

  • Raymond A. Otoo, Antiño R. Allen. Sulforaphane’s Multifaceted Potential: From Neuroprotection to Anticancer Action. Revised: 16 August 2023 / Accepted: 30 August 2023 / Published: 1 October 2023.


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