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Cruciferous Vegetables Crush Diabetes

Sinigrin Compound Prevents AGE Formation 

According to the CDC, over 9% of Americans have diabetes and more than one out of three adults has pre-diabetes, putting these folks at severe risk for health complications. As we discussed last December, high blood sugar associated with diabetes can result in the formation of AGEs (advanced glycation end products), harmful compounds that are linked to kidney disease, nerve disorders, cataracts and Alzheimer’s disease. New research from India finds cruciferous vegetables may play a defending role in preventing these compounds from forming. 

The 2016 study, published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, showed that sinigrin, a glucosinolate compound in cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and kale, was able to prevent the chemical reactions that form AGEs. Lab work indicated that sinigrin trapped certain compounds that are crucial components of AGEs and chaperoned them away before any harm was done. 

Cruciferous vegetables make a healthy addition to any diet, and research shows you actually have to eat the food, not a supplement, to reap the benefits. If you can’t get over the bitter taste (the strong taste and smell come from the very compounds that make these vegetables so healthy!) try roasting cruciferous vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil, which brings out a slightly sweet flavor. Add a squeeze of lemon juice or some grated Parmesan cheese and these veggies will please even the pickiest of palates. Our Hail Caesar! salad is a twist on the classic, made with roasted cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. 

BONUS: British researchers found that sulforaphane—an indirect antioxidant in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables—can help protect the body’s circulatory system from oxidative stress, which is particularly beneficial for those with diabetes.

Published June 1, 2016

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