And how you too can protect yourself from the environmental toxin
Most of us live in industrialised cities across the world, so it is very difficult if not impossible NOT to be affected by air pollution. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has confirmed that air pollution is a carcinogen.
What Is Air Pollution?
Air pollution is the emission of carbon, sulfur and nitrogen from smoke and other harmful gases from various apparatus into the air. The emission lowers the quality of the air we breathe in and therefore dangerous to our health.
The Main Causes Of Air Pollution
In most industrialised cities, major causes are smoke and exhaust from types of various machinery including vehicles emission. In the ordinary sense, we also do get pollution from some household cleaning items, which are usually irritant and made from part-toxin products.
The effect of global warming and toxic emission from pollutants in the sea has reached an intolerable level that is a concern we cannot ignore, and this also does cause air pollution.
Impact On Health — Staggering Statistics
Air pollution has a serious effect on human and environmental health. It is known to cause serious illnesses like pulmonary diseases, asthma, stroke, heart diseases and other chronic illnesses.
In a highly industrialised city like China (deem manufacturing country of the world), death due to pollution is as high as 16.9% of the population, and this is increasing by the day. China is, unfortunately, the most polluted country in the world, and will, therefore, be a point of reference in studies relating to environmental pollution.
In the United Kingdom where I live, poor air quality is one the largest environmental risk to health. The cost in money terms to the Department of Environment is about £40 billion each year, and the death rate caused by air pollution is around 8.3% of the population.
With such staggering statistics, it is therefore beneficial to us to look for ways to minimise the impact of the environmental toxin on our health, and whether as usual, we can look at what nature has provided for us in food is relevant here.
Researchers from John Hopkins University conducted extensive studies on Broccoli Sprouts and the results were very impressive. These studies were conducted in the most polluted areas in both China and the United States.
‘’Air pollution is a pervasive and complex public health problem. To address this problem comprehensively, in addition to the engineering solutions to reduce regional pollution emission, we need to translate our basic science into strategies to protect individuals from these exposures. This development supports food-based strategies as part of the overall prevention effort’’ George Groopman & Anna M. Baetjer
These studies were conducted on 291 adults. Half were made to drink half a cup of broccoli sprouts juice, while the other ‘placebo’ group took pineapple with lime juice.
Within the twelve weeks of study, the group who took broccoli sprouts juice were able to eliminate benzene in their body by 61%, increased their excretion of acrolein by 23%. Having too much acrolein in the body may result in respiratory tract infection.
Benzene is a known carcinogen, which is emitted from vehicles exhausts, gas station, smoking and other toxic combustion. Burning fuel, oil and gas, as well as smoking rather gives out acrolein in the air.
The Power Of Broccoli Sprout To Detoxify The Body.
The researchers found that broccoli sprout contains a powerful compound called GLUCORAPHANIN. This compound is present in all cruciferous vegetables. In animal studies, when glucoraphanin is chewed or swallowed, it produces a cancer-protective compound SULFORAPHANE. This sulforaphane absorbs toxins from the body and flushes them out through urine.
The rate of this detoxification continues throughout the twelve weeks study and is effective for air pollution and other irritants that are just been absorbed in the body. The study did not go further to investigate whether this is true for long term irritants and pollutant that have found its way into the fat cells.
How To Get Your Sulforaphane
It is a well-known fact that most cruciferous vegetables, like Kale, Broccoli, Pak Choi, Cauliflower, Cabbage and Brussels sprouts are known to fight cancer. This is done by the ability of the sulforaphane to support the liver ability for detoxification.
The best way to get sulforaphane is to sprout your broccoli organic seeds in your own home. At between five and six days old, the sulforaphane in broccoli sprout contains up to 100 times more than in mature plant. The sprouts can also be used in smoothies, sandwiches, wraps or salad apart from juicing.
Broccoli sprouts are now readily available in major retail stores, but make sure you buy organic, non-GMO, or better still buy the seeds and sprout at home.