Nrf2, what can't you do

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I'm a fan of nutrients. Antioxidants/detoxicants are cool, although I'd rather my body make them in the exact quantity and location they're needed. 

That's what Nrf2 does splendidly.

As a quick reminder: glucosinolates present in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, etc., are separated from the enzyme myrosinase on a cellular level. If you cook them in this condition, without crushing them a bit (like you do with the side of your knife to a clove of garlic), the myrosinase is destroyed by heat before it gets the chance to convert glucosinolates to sulforaphane & isothiocyanates. 

No Nrf2 for you.


don't rush your crucifers, crush your crucifers! #Nrf2


Everyone says "detox is BS." In general, I agree, except for stuff like this: activation of the Nrf2 pathway literally removes air pollution chemicals from your body (Egner et al., 2014). In that study, consumption of broccoli sprouts (a source of glucosinolates and thus sulforaphane) rapidly induced renal clearance of conjugated air pollution chemicals. They pee'd 'em out.

That kind of "detox" is not BS, imho. And it doesn't happen with antioxidant pills, which may do more harm than good.

Nasal allergies (stuffy/runny nose)? In a similar experimental paradigm, this study showed reduction of nasal allergies in response to diesel exhaust particles after a few days of Nrf2 activation via broccoli sprouts (Heber et al., 2014).

Many studies have confirmed that crucifer preparation is key: don't expect these benefits from boiled Brussels sprouts (gross). The myrosinase is destroyed before it has a chance to magically convert the glucosinolate precursors into the requisite isothiocyanates.

Cut your Brussels sprouts in half, give 'em a good smash, then bake/saute/whatever. Smashing cauliflower is a bit trickier without making a mess, but it can be done!

That's all for now!

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