I’ve been writing for a naturopathic doctor for the last several years. If truth be told, when I first started, I found the whole thing kind of wacky. Things like supplements and dietary changes seemed downright silly.
Yet, I gradually started altering our diet to help manage Garrett’s diabetes. I have friends who’ve discovered their food sensitivities and it revolutionized their life. I watched as something so simple as salt became a life-and-death battle for my dad.
Still, those steps were nice for everyone else. Supplements, diet tweaks, and using nutrients to help your overall well-being just wasn’t something I needed…
Fast forward a few years, a few hundred hours of research and interviews — and — reaching a point in my life when I really needed help. My attention span had dipped. My memory was wavering. I was battling the biggest weight gain I’d ever experienced. And, I was in mental place so dark I’d only ever been there once before — when I signed my medical discharge papers and effectively quit being a ‘basketball player’.
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you haven’t. Maybe this all sounds wacky. I totally get you if it does. But when I started taking Ginkgo and Super B (the two recommended supplements), it revolutionized my life. I seriously ramped up my intake of vegetables. And, I re-committed myself to working out regularly.
The results have been staggering. Mentally, I still have my off days (who doesn’t!?!?). But overall, I’m happy. Genuinely happy. Not the fake it until you make it kind. But the f*** ya, let’s do this thing called life kind.
My attention span is improving. My weight’s moving in the right direction. (Hello. A girl still needs donuts on occasion.) And, I’ve been loving all the color that veggies are bringing to my plate.
Why Broccoli is SO Good for Detoxing
Why am I dishing all of this? In part because I’ve found the transparency of other people’s battles so empowering. (Shandon. Girl. Your strength and wit amaze me! You can follow Shandon’s story on the Insta.)
But also, I feel it’s important for you to understand that the following advice isn’t just some crackpot boasting about the latest diet. A large portion of the West Coast (from Vancouver Island and Seattle to the Bay Area and Southern California) is engulphed in so much smoke spending a day outside has been equated to smoking five or more cigarettes. Needless to say, the air right now is TERRIBLE for everyone’s health.
Avoiding heavy exertion outside and hydrating like it’s your job are two essential steps you can take to protect your health. But thanks to the research I’ve been doing lately, I’ve learned about one diet addition that can also help – broccoli!
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences published a study that explored how, “drinking a broccoli sprout beverage daily can enhance the detoxification of some airborne pollutants.”
Among the numerous nutrient benefits of broccoli is Glucoraphanin. This naturally occurring compound found almost exclusively in broccoli. It’s been linked to reducing the risk of chronic diseases. And, it’s been shown to help with detoxification.
While most of us probably aren’t going to run out and buy broccoli sprout juice, we can get many of the same benefits from incorporating more broccoli into our daily diet. A 2018 study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that raw broccoli offered the highest levels of Glucoraphanin.
So when possible, add some of those babies to your salad. Not the biggest fan of raw broccoli? Have no fear. The researchers from The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry also compared the Glucoraphanin levels of broccoli when it was cut and cooked immediately against broccoli that was cut and allowed to rest for 90 minutes before cooking. The 90-minute rest time offered more Glucoraphanin! (Apparently, it’s not just our meat that should be allowed to rest. Who knew?)
Quick Grilled Broccoli
2 cups broccoli florets
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp salt
Allow broccoli florets to rest for 90 minutes. Heat a cast iron grill pan over high heat. (I like to do this on our outdoor grill.) Toss broccoli with olive oil and salt. Dump onto hot grill pan in an even layer. Allow to brown for 2 minutes. Toss. Allow to brown for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm.
Additional Broccoli Recipes
Chicken + Spicy Wing Sauce + Tangy Garlic Greek Yogurt Dressing = a salad riff on buffalo chicken wings that’s loaded with raw broccoli.
Hearty barley salad loaded with raw broccoli and topped with ground peanuts for all kinds of flavor and all kinds of nutrients.
This one doesn’t have broccoli specifically, but it would welcome it just the same. Simply add it to the kale. because who doesn’t want some creamy avocado and roasted sweet potato when they are paired with protein-rich quinoa, chicken, and cashews?