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SuperNutrient – Sulforaphane

We’re all aware of how awesome vegetables are for our health. My favorites are broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers, yellow squash, mushrooms, onions (ok, ok, basically all except eggplant!). And we talk a lot about what to eat, but we also need to understand how best to eat them. If we learn that, we’ll know how to extract all their wonderful vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and even protein! One key nutrient, Sulforphane is a potent weapon against cancer, COVID, you name it…let’s find out how to get it! 

Q: What is Sulforaphane?

A: It’s a natural occurring sulfur-rich compound/phytochemical that’s found in green, cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage. 

Q: What makes Sulforaphane so powerful?

A: Studies have shown it neutralizes toxins, reduces inflammation, protects DNA, and cancels out damaging free radicals caused by stress. It’s known to be a “chemoprotectant”, slowing cancerous formations and tumor growth.  It’s the single biggest reason why these vegetables are so healthy for you. 

Q: How do I get the most Sulforaphane?

A: You need to eat these veggies raw and chew them thoroughly! These veggies contain the inactive form of Sulfurophane, called Glucoraphanin, when you cut, chop, chew these veggies in raw form, it activates an enzyme called myrosinase, and myrosinase turns Glucoraphanin into the potent, powerful, amazing Sulforaphane! 

Q: What happens if I cook/heat the veggies?

A: You destroy the myrosinase, the enzyme is very sensitive to heat. So grilling, sauteing, boiling, microwaving, all will break down myrosinase, therefore you lose much of the cancer fighting, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties of these veggies. NOTE: a quick, light steam will preserve most of the myriosinase. 

Q: Is there anyway to keep the myrosinase?

A: Yes! You only need the myrosinase to activate for 30-45minutes, so what you can do is chop/cut these veggies (the finer the better), and let them sit for 30-45minutes, this will allow enough time for the Glucoraphanin to change to Sulforaphane. You can then pop them in the oven or sauté!

Q: Any other ways?

A: You can also add foods/spices with myrosinase to the cooked veggies. Adding mustard seed, stone ground Dijon mustard, daikon radish, horseradish, and wasabi are packed with myrosinase. Even a small amount of fresh greens can add enough myrosinase to active the Sulforaphane. 

Q:  Can you buy Sulforaphane supplements?

A: Yes, I’ve heard about one, Avmacol from NutraMax Laboratories. It has the inactive form (Glucoraphanin) and enzyme (Myrosinase), it’s well tested and validated. However, I still feel eating your veggies is a much better option. 

Q: Any other veggies I should eat raw or cook?

A: Here are my favorites and how I cook them: