.I became very interested in nutrition and how it affects us psychologically and physically. The greatest influence was Dr Rhonda Patrick who is doing a brilliant job in publishing very important, interesting and helpful information. I came across her on one of the Joe Rogan’s podcast, which I definitely recommend to everyone.
Now to the point of this article. So, basically broccoli and the rest of cruciferous vegetables are very healthy for us and doing a splendid job in keeping our body clean, washing out all the heavy metals and carcinogens that we gain from food, air pollution etc. It was also shown to prolong our lifespan. You can find a substance called sulforaphane in all those vegetables. The most sulforphane (in fact, only glucoraphanin which is a precursor of sulforaphane) can be found in broccoli sprouts which have 100x more than mature broccoli.
Sulforaphane is the main reason for all of the positive things are happening. All the things I am writing on in this article are backed by a number of human and animal studies and I am doing only a little summary of and I am going to be focusing more on the psychological side of things.
For starters, sulforaphane is reducing risk of cancer and slow down progress of cancer in people who already have it. The most significant ability of sulforaphane is reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. These processes are central to cancer, aging, neurodegenerative diseases and more. It also reduces risk of heart diseases. Broccoli sprout drinks increased the success of people with autism and schizophrenia in cognition tests significantly.
Inflammation, that’s something we all have in our bodies all the time. It is good for us to a certain degree but we have become “so healthy” that our body is overreacting to all kinds of stuff and damaging itself by overinflammation. By the way, a great deal of the inflammation in us is driven by sugars which we consume incredible amounts of.
Now to the psychological side of things which I got really interested in and how inflammation causes stress
- Body overreacts to something in the body. Then brain is like “What is going on I have to do something with it.” And makes kynurenin from tryptophan instead of serotonin. (Tryptophan is precursor for kynurenin and serotonin) Kynurenin travels to its destination but then there’s serotonin missing in the brain, therefore we feel “shitty” because serotonin is a neurotransmitter and thought to be the main contributor of feelings of well-being and happiness. That’s the first thing that causes us a depression or stress.
- There is another problem. Kynurenin then changes into quinolytic acid which then travels through blood to the brain and crosses the blood-brain barrier and acts like a neuro toxin.
Those are the major drivers of stress and depression hidden under simple inflammation and what sulforaphane does is that it activates NRF2 gene pathway. There are over 200 hundred genes that play an important role in reducing inflammation, excreting carcinogens and much more. So, there you have it! That is the reason why I am sprouting broccoli. Why would I, or anyone for that matter, in this age of incredible possibilities should feel shitty, even though there are such easy steps to feel good and be happy. You don’t have to go all the way to sprout your broccoli, but there are a few things that you can do, instead of eating pills or something like that! Just don’t eat low-quality food all the time, exercise, and suddenly, you are simply going to feel so much better!
How to get sulforaphane into you
If you want to get sulforaphane into you, the best way is to grow your own sprouts. It’s cheap, easy plus there isn’t any other choice, really. Some tablets exist, but they have bad bioavailability, which means that the body won’t process the substance and it won’t remain inside the body anyway (once again, it’s backed by studies). The best bioavailability has broccoli. You can buy it, but growing your own is definitely cheaper and feels better! By the way, an important note, you can store broccoli sprouts in the freezer and the amount of sulforphane can double, that is because it’s produced when the vegetable and its cells are chewed or torn. Freezing it does exactly that. Then it has more time to form. Also, when you are cooking these vegetables, most of the sulforaphane disappears. Broccoli sprouts are delicious addition to your salads or simply on your bread.
Broccoli and its sprouts aren’t the only sources of sulforaphane, as I mentioned at the beginning, all cruciferous vegetables are. Now I am just going to write about three more vegetables which, I think, do really impressive stuff.
- Kale – Very good for eyes and also a source of sulforphane.
- Parsley and celery – A source of apigenin which was shown to strengthen connections between neurons and cause stem cells to make new neurons which helps with memory.
Alright that was all for this one. I hope you are all going to be happy and healthy!
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