Crucify your vegetables

Vegetables whose leaves grow as a cross (cruciferous) are all part of a special food family that enhances the liver’s capacity to detoxify. They are profoundly cancer protective.

They includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale. This is because they contain substances called glucosinolates and glucarate that help a critical liver detox process called glucuronidation. This is possibly the most important detox pathways of all, dependent on something called calcium-d-glucarate, found in apples, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, and bean sprouts.

Let’s make this real. Some ingenious scientists managed to extract the glucosinolates from Brussels sprouts and fed volunteers either regular Brussels sprouts, with glucosinolates, or without. Those fed the glucosinolate-containing Brussels sprouts had 30 per cent more active antioxidant enzyme function showing just how powerful these glucosinolates are. That’s why we recommend a serving of cruciferous vegetables every day.

Your homework today, and for the next three days, is to have a serving of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale or tender stem. Tender stem, also called broccolini, is a cross between Chinese kale and broccoli containing 45% more glucosinolates than ordinary broccoli. Recipe ideas include whole roasted cauliflower (leaves kept on), chargrilled cabbage and air-fried Brussels sprouts.