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Loving God more. Loving others more. Living obediently in Christ.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Brussels, broccoli and cauliflower essential to your health

Brussels sprouts
Milk Thistle seed

Not everyone enjoys the flavor of Brussels sprouts.  Broccoli and cauliflower are often left off the menu when the "cook" has an aversion to eating these essential vegetables.  Sadly, many children could not identify them in the produce section.

Toxins and the body  The liver plays an important role in cleansing the toxins from the body.  Whenever there is something to be removed from the blood stream in order to protect the body's cells from potential damage, the liver can get the job done.  This is even true when heavy metals enter the blood stream.  

The role of the dynamic trio  What happens to the toxins after the liver filters them out?  They are stored. . . that is until the proper order of events takes place to bind the toxins and release them for elimination.  This is where Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower play an important dietary and liver detoxifying role.  These incredible vegetables were created with the special antioxidants, vitamins and other phytochemicals that bind to toxins in the liver in order to be carried out of the body. These three vegetables are necessary agents to detoxify the liver.

Milk thistle seed comes from the milk thistle plant (every plant part is edible).  It is the source of the phytochemical Silymarin, available in supplement form.  Milk thistle has been identified as the most potent  liver detoxifier known.  I do not believe that Silymarin by itself, without other important dietary measures in place, can completely restore a sick liver to full health.  Milk thistle seed is not available in groceries, but can be purchased online or at a natural food store.  One tablespoon a day of ground milk thistle seed for a couple of weeks post chemotherapy was an effective liver detox for my husband.  His liver function comes back very normal in all of his blood tests. 

More great sources that detox  There are other important foods that detoxify the liver at a slower pace, such as gelatinous seeds like flax and chia or cruciferous vegetables.  The blue green algae, spirulina, can bind with metals such as mercury. Some herbs like parsley and cilantro are great liver detoxifiers as well - but the dynamic veggie trio of Brussels, broccoli and cauliflower plus milk thistle seed beat all the other foods hands down! 

How can I develop a taste for them?  For those who dislike Brussels, broccoli and cauliflower, I would suggest trying broccoli and cauliflower in their raw state first.  It is the cooking process that brings out the undesirable bitter taste of the phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) for which half of the population has the genetic ability to taste (I am one of these special people).  Brussels seem to have the most bitter flavor among the three vegetables.  I have been told that roasting Brussels doesn't draw out the PTC as much as boiling, so that is how I will try to prepare them next time.  Gladly, I have loved both broccoli and cauliflower since I was very young.  The taste for these foods can be achieved through regular exposure.  Eat them often and season them up for your personal preference.  After a few tries, you will find the most tolerable way to prepare them.  Keep eating them and soon you will find that you crave them because your body has learned that these foods are useful for your health.



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