Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Sulforaphane is one of my favourite supplements because of its amazing anti-aging benefits but there’s a lot more to this powerful compound!
What is Sulforaphane?
Sulforaphane is a sulphur-rich phytonutrient that is potent in brassica vegetables (broccoli sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale).
Sulforaphane needs to be "activated" to optimize its health benefits:
Starts off as the inactive form of glucoraphanin in foods;
Sulforaphane is made when glucoraphinin is combined with the myrosinase enzyme. Myrosinase enzymes are produced when a plant is damaged (cut or chewed);
Sulforaphane is produced.
What are the benefits?
Anti-aging – studies show topical application decreases skin damage by protecting against UVA and UVB radiation
Lowers inflammation by neutralizing toxins. Sulforaphane upregulates antioxidants by turning on Nrf2 and the antioxidant response element (ARE), which reduce free radicals in the body. Free radicals are tiny particles that form in your body from many factors but some include environmental pollution, food preservatives/additives, household cleaning chemicals, and beauty products. Antioxidant’s job is to neutralize free radicals that could have damaged healthy cells.
Reduces cancer risk by eliminating carcinogens through detoxification. Some studies also have shown promising evidence that sulforaphane reduces the ability of cancer cells to multiply and can even kill cancer cells.
Improves energy by sulforaphane and Nrf2 activation. This enables your mitochondria (the powerhouse of the body) to produce more ATP (your body’s energy source).
Boosts metabolism by activating Nrf2 and it also prevented obesity in mice given a high fat diet
Preserving sulforaphane in foods
Steam your brassicas for 3-4 minutes (triples the absorption of sulforaphane)
Buy brassica vegetables fresh and not frozen. It deactivates the myrosinase when being blanched before frozen = no sulforaphane
Remember myrosinase enzyme is released by physical damage - cut or chewed. When eating brassica vegetables, especially raw, be sure to chew your vegetables well to get the most sulforaphane out of your food.
Myrosinase + glucoraphanin = sulforaphane
When supplementing sulforaphane make sure it’s an enzyme-activated supplement or you might not see much benefit from it - Professional grade supplements are important! If it’s not already enzyme-activated you’ll need to have a bite of a raw cruciferous vegetable when taking the sulforaphane to get the right enzymes for activation.