Even if you live in the country, far from the nearest city, air pollution is hard to escape.
Sure, you’re less likely to breathe in those invisible particles if you live on a farm than if you live in the center of a metropolitan area, but regardless, we’re all subject to the dangers of pollution.
Your home may be the biggest source of exposure to air pollution. And there’s no safe level of ozone or small particulate matter.
In fact, exposure to these pollutants can cause heart disease, stroke, cancer, kidney disease, even diabetes. They can infect your brain and dramatically increase your chances of having Alzheimer’s disease.
So run, don’t walk, to the nearest produce aisle and start eating (and drinking!) the tiny veggie that can help eliminate these deadly toxins from your body…
Broccoli sprouts get rid of pollutants naturally
Scientists at Johns Hopkins University, along with several Chinese researchers, figured out that a phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts is the key to eliminating air pollutants from the body.
In their 12-week study, 291 Chinese adults were asked to drink either a half cup of broccoli sprout drink daily or to drink pineapple or lime juice.
Throughout the 12 weeks, those who drank broccoli sprouts excreted 23 percent more acrolein (a nasty irritating toxin emitted from smoking, second-hand smoke, and burning fuel), and 61 percent more benzene — a well-known carcinogen found in gasoline and in paints, paint thinners, and varnish. It gives gasoline its distinctive smell.
Exposure to benzene has harmful effects on bone marrow, where it decreases red blood cells, causing anemia. It affects fertility. And, it can also cause leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
How do broccoli sprouts work against toxic pollutants?
In one word: sulforaphane.
This powerful phytonutrient is found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. But broccoli sprouts are much more potent, containing 100 times more sulforaphane per gram than the mature broccoli plant.
Sulforaphane improves the liver’s ability to deal with toxins and allows them to be excreted in urine.
In the Johns Hopkins study, subjects who drank broccoli sprouts continued to excrete pollutants throughout the 12-week period.
“This study points to a frugal, simple, and safe means that can be taken by individuals to possibly reduce some of the long-term health risks associated with air pollution,” said lead researcher Thomas Kensler of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Other foods that help you fight pollution
Broccoli sprouts certainly top the list in this department. But detoxifying yourself with food isn’t news.
Here are four other detoxifying foods you may want to start eating (or drinking)…
Dandelion root. More than a cancer-fighting superweed, dandelion root makes an effective tea that can help the liver detoxify naturally. It’s also a natural diuretic (it increases urine production, eliminating even more toxins).
Avocado. The essential fatty acids of the avocado promote healthier intestines and liver.
Dill. This aromatic herb is rich in vitamins and minerals, is anti-inflammatory, and helps activate glutathione, one of your liver’s master antioxidants that protects the body from oxidative stress.
Green tea. Another diuretic, green tea helps eliminate toxins through the urine. It also protects the liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances.
And Dr. Isaac Eliaz also talks about nine other detoxifying foods you can try.
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- Mighty Broccoli Sprouts Rapidly Detox Pollutants — GreenMedInfo
- Rapid and sustainable detoxication of airborne pollutants by broccoli sprout beverage: results of a randomized clinical trial in China — Cancer Prevention Research
- Facts About Benzene — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Eating Broccoli May Give Harmful Chemicals The Boot — NPR
- What Are Natural Cleansing Foods? 10 Detoxing Foods to Add to Your Diet — Showbiz Cheat Sheet