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Sulforaphane. The anti-cancer chemopreventative everyone should know

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Home Farm Hydroponics isn't just about hydroponics, it's about growing fresh healthy produce at home. We believe in home based hydroponics because it provides unparalleled nutrition where you control and maximize your health. Taking control of your food and health, it's the end game. So although we use the science of the latest hydroponics technology, we also follow the science of healthy nutrition. On our nutrition discovery journey, we learned about a little known but critical molecule called sulforaphane. This is an incredibly important compound that everyone should know and use to stay healthy.

Plants have evolved for mega-annums, creating a natural defense when attacked by insects, animals and more. In the case of cruciferous plants like mustard, garden cress, wasabi, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, kale e.t.c. have evolved with a pungent raw taste when eaten raw for a reason, to deter predators and enhance their survival. When eaten raw, there are two molecules in these cruciferous vegetables that must bond together to make sulforaphane. The isoenzyme myrosinase and glucoraphanin. These molecules are separate in the plant until they are damaged (cut, crushed or chewed) and when combined, create sulforaphane. Interestingly, aphids (our not so favorite garden pest), also uses myrosinase and glucosinolates from these plants to deter predators and enhance their survival too but I digress.

Sulforaphane, is one of byproducts of this long evolutionary cycle and we humans have benefitted from in this long evolution of plant based anti-bacterial, antioxidant molecular process. Here at HFH, we think science based nutrition is cool and especially when it empowers we begin to understand health and wellbeing. The true purpose and benefits of specific foods is amazing and we need to pay more attention to how we are meant to get the maximum nutritional value.

Our goal must be to get the data out to the medical community and the public where it can change lives-creating healthier and longer ones." - Dr Kim Allen Williams, Division of Cardiology

That said, it is critical to recognize that myrosinase is a heat sensitive molecule so cooking this enzyme will destroy it. When humans were evolving, we didn't have pots and pans and instantaneous fire at our fingertips to boil our pungent smelling and tasting vegetables. Unbeknown to us during the last century and perhaps millenia, we have been nullifying myrosinase to make our veggies taste nicer and easier to consume. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons why we have seen unprecedented exponential increases in disease in the past century. We're not eating the way nature intended us to. Glucoraphanin is however, not heat sensitive, so the trick to creating sulforaphane is to add myrosinase in another form to your cooked cruciferous vegetables when you eat. Once these two molecules mix, it takes 40 minutes for the molecules to bond and create sulforaphane. If eaten raw, this chemical reaction would normally take place in your stomach prior to digestion. An alternative to waiting so long or eating raw vegetables, is to add the isoenzyme of myrosinase found in mustard powder or another rich enzyme packed source. As per the video below, sprinkle some mustard on your fresh cruciferous vegetables (or add some fresh arugula) and allow these two molecules to instantaneously bond, creating sulforaphane as soon as it contacts the glucoraphanin. Then you can cook away and the sulforaphane molecule will remain intact under heat.

Listen to world renowned nutritionist Dr. Greger talk about sulforaphane in this video below:

Big pharma has spends billions on plant science research every year to extract these plant miracles so they can sell it back to us. Fortunately for the those that read up on nutritional science, we can circumvent for profit greed and just be smart and healthy when we eat. Speaking of big pharma, a sulforaphane supplement was produced but has so far been proven not as effective as the real thing *. Given the convenience of immediately creating sulforaphane at pennies on the dollar at home, it makes sense to add mustard powder to your a daily diet of vegetables.

We hope this has been useful. Stay healthy and well.


Disclaimer: Home Farm Hydroponics and its writers are not trained medical professions. We are students of learning. No information, services, or materials offered by or through this site shall be construed as or understood to be medical advice or care. None of the information on this site shall be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. You must consult with a physician, doctor, or health care provider before taking any product or using any information on this site. Please discuss any concerns with your physician or registered and qualified nutrition dietitian.

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