Fall Cleansing and Detoxifying Foods, Part 2
See Part 1, here.
Broccoli and other Cruciferous Vegetables
Okay, cruciferous vegetables get complicated, so here’s the quick version: If they’re cooked, they lose the enzymes that stimulate the liver and help detoxify the body (though based on some comments in this study, I think cooked vegetables were used, so likely cooking the veggies only partially changes the effect).
If they’re raw, they may block iodine absorption, causing hypothyroid in those with low thyroid tendencies (though again, this may be a bit exaggerated, as if you have plenty of iodine in your diet to start with, it may not harm your thyroid at all to have some of the iodine blocked).
Fermented cruciferous veggies (such as kimchi and sauerkraut) get the best of both worlds with the full benefit of raw enzymes, but no iodine blocking effect. The downside here is that most people find it difficult to eat large amounts of sauerkraut or other fermented cruciferious veggies on a daily basis.
My recommendation: Include cruciferous vegetables in your diet however you like them best, ideally with some combination of all three methods: cooked, raw and fermented. Your body will probably tell you which way it’s getting the nutrients it needs the most at the moment, simply by how much you enjoy eating them compared to other methods of preparation. If you’re particularly aiming at detox though, you might want to focus in on the raw and fermented versions of these veggies.
Side note: This article claims that because of the enhanced liver function after eating these vegetables “if you eat a lot of these healthy vegetables you’d actually have to drink more coffee to get the same buzz because your liver is so revved up.” I’m pretty sure this is similar to the reason Captain America can’t get drunk because his body processes alcohol so quickly, therefore broccoli clearly give you superpowers.
In case you were wondering, besides broccoli, you can get the benefits of these cruciferous vegetables from eating cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, rutabegas, turnips,kohlrabi and others even including horseradish! Most cruciferous vegetables, including all the ones listed above, grow best in the cooler seasons, so are plentiful in the fall.