I served as Mara's juicer for four years during her cancer therapy. Our primary blend included carrot, ginger, lemon, apple juice with 2-3 ounces of broccoli sprouts, which I describe in more detail here. We later transitioned to 15 ounces of BrocElite liquid with 15 ounces of lime juice and stevia. However, there was a months-long gap between the transitions the reason for which I cannot recall, filling me with unhelpful "what ifs."
Juicing demands discipline, and incorporating broccoli sprouts makes it akin to a part-time job. Because of this, Mara understood the importance of bringing a stable form of sulforaphane to market, raising seed money for our company that now bears her name. Some people still prefer to juice, especially for therapy, so I will discuss the benefits and challenges in this blog.
But before I get into juicing, I want to discuss how sulforaphane is created from broccoli. The precursor molecule, glucoraphanin, is in broccoli and broccoli sprouts. It is called a glucosinolate. Glucosinolates have a glucose molecule that is cleaved by the myrosinase enzyme inside the cell wall of the plant. This enzyme gets released from the cell wall during chewing or juicing. The resulting molecule is called an isothiocyanate, which is what sulforaphane is. Glucoraphanin is stable. Sulforaphane is historically not stable, which is why BrocElite was created.
So, let’s get back to juicing.
Benefits of juicing:
- Cost-Effective: Juicing mature cabbage is relatively inexpensive, containing beneficial isothiocyanates similar to sulforaphane.
- Accessibility: Cabbage has allyl, benzyl, AITC, and phenyl isothiocyanate, akin to sulforaphane's family of molecules.
- Cabbage DOES NOT HAVE Sulforaphane: Dr. Jed Fahey emphasizes in this video that cabbage does NOT contain sulforaphane.
When juicing mature cabbage, you would have to juice 10 lbs of cabbage to obtain the equivalent amount of AITC found in three ounces of cabbage sprouts. For individuals juicing cabbage or another cruciferous vegetable and experiencing benefits, this outcome is expected. The molecules related to sulforaphane, like AITC, are indeed advantageous. However, it's worth noting that scientific research has predominantly focused on the benefits of sulforaphane, with minimal investigation into other isothiocyanates such as AITC.
- Seed Variability: Growing broccoli (and cabbage) sprouts for juicing poses challenges as not all seeds have the same amount of beneficial molecules.
The primary challenge in cultivating broccoli (and cabbage) sprouts for juicing lies in the variability of these beneficial molecules among seeds. Through our extensive testing of organic seeds over the years, we've discovered that a surprising number of them lack these molecules altogether. YES! Some organic broccoli seeds do not produce sulforaphane, while others contain minimal amounts. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine if the seeds you purchase carry these molecules without testing them. While I haven't specifically tested cabbage seeds, it's reasonable to assume that they may have similar issues.
For therapeutic juicing, ensuring seeds or mature plants contain these chemicals is crucial. We sell tested broccoli seeds online, where one half-pound bag can yield about 400 mg of sulforaphane.
Why do people experience benefits from juicing cabbage?
For those juicing cabbage or another cruciferous vegetable, the presence of sulforaphane’s cousin molecules like AITC can offer benefits. However, scientific research primarily focuses on sulforaphane, leaving little information on other isothiocyanates. We would never suggest you stop eating a healthy and varied diet, but as scientists, it’s important that we clarify the importance of pure and stable sulforaphane and the fact that it is notIn conclusion, remember:
• To match the benefits of three ounces of broccoli sprouts, you'd need to juice about 10 lbs of mature broccoli daily.
• Purchase seeds tested for sulforaphane content.
• Consider BrocElite for an easy and confident source of sulforaphane in each serving.