Looking for a Superpower? ​Eat Your Dark, Leafy Greens


Image: healthsomeness.com
By The Honest Human*
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What kind of proteins do you consume? Aged bone-in ribeye, grilled chicken breasts, or maybe smoked Alaskan salmon?

Now, what kind and how much of dark leafy greens do you eat? Kale, chard, broccoli sprouts? For many carnivores, this may be a tricky question. What reason is there to eat bitter dark greens when the green garnish on that 16oz steak is enough.

Unless you’re a T-Rex, vegetables are key to a well-balanced eating regiment. However, not all vegetables are created equal, cruciferous veggies, the dark-leafy kind, yields more vitamins and minerals than your typical iceberg lettuce. In addition, there is a compound present in cruciferous vegetables called sulforaphane that plays a major role in combating cancers and diseases.

Image: selfhacked.com

Sulforaphane activates the Nrf2 which is a basic leucine zipper (bZIP) protein that regulates the expression of antioxidant proteins that protect against oxidative damage triggered by injury and inflammation. Sulforaphane helps protect against injuries such as muscle inflammation, body trauma, and cancer. According to Rhonda Patrick and Jed Fahey from the Salk Institute:

“Men with prostate cancer that were given pretty relatively high doses of sulforaphane, it slowed their doubling rate of the PSA by 86%,” (Patrick & Fahey).

On the clinical trials, mice were given sulforaphane injections for five days to see if it would affect the mitochondrial respiratory production and antioxidant properties.

The results founded that healthy mice treated with sulforaphane were seen with 28% increase in antioxidant capacity, and an increased in respiratory capacity of the mitochondrial.

For active individuals, how does sulforaphane help in regards to performance?

For active individuals, sulforaphane helps with muscle inflammation reduction and leads to less fatigue / Image: selfhacked.com

It increases the respiratory capacity of the mitochondrial, which means better time on that 1600-meter lap. There is a reduction in muscle inflammation, which means more play time! And athletes do not fatigue as quickly. Even if you’re not an athlete and want to simply enjoy the health benefits, there are many reasons to incorporate dark leafy greens.

While many cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, broccoli sprouts rank above all others. They may look small but they pack a punch. They can be found in major markets and online. However, if you are a “farm to table” enthusiast, then it would be cheaper to grow them in your very own backyard.

Broccoli Sprouts / Image: selfhacked.com

Although not widely available throughout the world, there are supplements that may be purchased online. Companies such as Kuli Kuli have a proven track record that provides safe regulated products.

As accessible as supplements can be, Salk researchers warn to be wary of those that say their magic pill cures cancer. Companies that invoke illustrious names such as John Hopkins Research are to be avoided.

As promising as sulforaphane may be, more research is needed to fully harness its potential. The cruciferous vegetable is the best medicine against diseases and cancer but it is not the antidote that many are seeking.

Be Kind and Stay Human.

References: https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/jed-w-fahey
*Sulforaphane Research Led By Rhonda Patrick and Jed Fahey at the Salk Institute.

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