My neighbors must not like me very much.
Every morning, around 7:30am, after my daily workout, I throw a bunch of greens (and other ingredients) in my powerful blender and switch it on.
It’s loud, really loud! But my body thanks me for it.
I make a concerted effort every single day to include cruciferous vegetables in my diet.
What are cruciferous vegetables and why do I include them?
Cruciferous vegetables include:
Your digestive system, and specifically your intestines contain stem cells.
Stem cells are the most powerful cells in the body: they are capable of differentiating into any type of cell to repair damage caused by toxic substances.
In simple terms, stem cells are like someone who, with the flip of a switch, can become a fireman, a policeman, a banker, a nurse, a builder, etc.
This is why they are so critical for repair.
Now typically, one of the best ways to boost stem cell production in the human body is calorie restriction (fasting).
However, recent studies have shown that certain foods contain compounds which help activate stem cells in the digestive system.
These studies have demonstrated that this process helps the body get rid of cells which pose the risk of cancer development in the digestive system through a process called apoptosis (programmed cell death).
One such study (link below) was recently published in Nature, and highlights how certain compounds (glucosinolates) from cruciferous vegetables create a low level of stress in the digestive system.
This low level of stress, in turn, activates a DNA repair process involving stem cells, and this process helps protect the body against cancerous cells.
Damage to DNA is a primary mechanism for cells to become cancerous, and DNA repair process puts a stop to that.
However, we should also note that other studies have shown that there is such thing as “consuming too many” cruciferous vegetables.
As I mentioned above: the compounds from such vegetables create “low level stress”, which stimulates the DNA repair process.
Eating too many of those compounds creates “high level stress”, which may overwhelm the body’s systems and create more damage.
So by all means, do include cruciferous vegetables in your diet, but don’t overdo it.