Every year, World Hepatitis Day is celebrated on July 28 to raise awareness about liver health and liver inflammation. One of the primary functions of the liver is to cleanse the body by pushing all the harmful toxins (such as drugs, heavy metals, poisons, etc.,) out of the body.
However, this organ also plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into useful substances such as glucose, cholesterol, phospholipids, and lipoproteins. The liver also plays a key role in the synthesis, secretion and metabolism of bile, which further helps in the digestion and absorption of fat.
With so many functions, it becomes important that we keep our liver clean and healthy at all times. Sulforaphane, a compound that is present in a few vegetables, helps in improving liver function. This sulphur-rich compound is found in cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Here are some of their benefits:
Sulphur is a mineral element that is found in our body and plays an important role in our immune system as an antioxidant, for liver health, heart health, and the brain as well. Since sulforaphane is high in antioxidants, they cancel out free radicals from our body and therefore works on reducing oxidative stress, which gradually protects our body and each cell from damage.
These days, most people are falling sick because of a sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, and junk food. We are creating inflammation of the liver quite rapidly, which can then turn into chronic inflammation that can lead to speeding up the ageing process. But sulforaphane has the ability to rejuvenate the DNA of our cells and reduce inflammation by cancelling free radicals, which ultimately helps in slowing down the ageing process and also keeps us healthy.
These cruciferous veggies when ingested release compounds in the body that bind to a protein inside the cell, increasing the production of enzymes that help the cells resist toxic substances, including carcinogens.
Most importantly, sulforaphane help in activating glutathione, the master of all antioxidants of the body, which helps in detoxifying the liver and the entire body by working on reducing free radicals as well as inflammation. Glutathione helps in improving the protein levels, various enzymes and bilirubin levels in the blood, especially for people suffering from alcoholic and non-alcoholic chronic fatty liver disease.
It should now be pretty clear that sulforaphane act as a superb antioxidant to cleanse the liver and improve overall health. So, let us add cruciferous veggies into our diets more regularly and benefit immensely from these tasty vegetables.
Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems.
The writer is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.