Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RN
Although the United States has pretty good air quality compared to other countries, experts think it’s only a matter of time before conditions get worse here and around the world.
With environmental toxins constantly on the rise, it makes a lot of sense to implement ways to protect yourself. And according to a recent study, a tea composed of broccoli sprouts - believe it or not - may do that and more.
Broccoli Sprouts Detoxify your Body from Air-Borne PollutantsScientists recruited 291 volunteers who lived in a heavily-polluted area of China. They were assigned one of two treatments. One group drank a tea composed of water, pineapple and lime juice. The other group drank the same tea with the addition of freeze-dried broccoli sprouts containing glucoraphanin and sulforaphane.
Urine and blood samples were taken before and during the trial to measure levels of crotonaldehyde, benzene (a carcinogen), and acrolein. All are toxic byproducts of air pollution.
Compared to the placebo group, participants drinking the broccoli sprout tea were able to excrete 61% more benzene conjugates and 23% more acrolein from their bodies.3
Eat More Cruciferous Vegetables (or Supplement) to DetoxThe key ingredients in the tea administered to the treatment group were glucoraphanin and sulforaphane. They assist the liver in detoxifying reactions and have anti-cancer properties.
Sulforaphane is found in cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbages, and Brussels sprouts. It converts to glucoraphanin when the plants are chewed or damaged. Both are available in dietary supplements.
Decrease your Exposure to PollutionThere are steps you can take to minimize your exposure to air pollution. For one, you may want to stay indoors on a “bad air day”.
The government actually has a system in place which classifies the level of air pollution on any given day. It’s called the Air Quality Index. It measures common pollutants such as ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Check your local air quality by clicking here.
When walking outside, stay away from roads or major highways. This way you avoid breathing in exhaust fumes from other cars (a major source of air pollution).
When driving, keep your windows closed and set your air setting to recirculate. This can significantly reduce your exposure to pollutants as well.
Improve the air quality of your home by installing air filters and vacuuming with a HEPA filter. They’re more effective at reducing air pollutants such as dust, lead, and other air-borne toxins than regular filters.
- Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/. Accessed June 20, 2014.
- Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/. Accessed June 20, 2014.
- Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Jun 9. pii: canprevres.0103.2014.
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