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If you are currently living the Body Ecology Way of Life then you’ve hopefully been eating probiotic-rich foods, like coconut water kefir and cultured veggies. You know they are powerful cleansers and help greatly improve digestion. But perhaps you are not aware that if you are grilling out and barbequing your food this summer, cultured vegetables are an essential food to have on your dinner plate.
Barbequed foods (and fried foods too) are high in heterocyclicamines (HCA) —highly carcinogenic chemicals that are formed in animal products during cooking. You can actually reduce the formation of dangerous cancer causing HCA during cooking via two ways.
First, marinate your meat, fish, chicken etc. with lemon juice, onion, garlic, and — believe it or not — dark lager beer (German beer).
Second, eat fermented vegetables any time you barbecue. You’ll be very pleased to know that cruciferous vegetables contain a chemical compound that helps the body detoxify and rid itself of HCAs. This very special compound is called sulforaphane.
Sulphoraphane has been shown to control type 2 diabetes, lowers cholesterol and even protects the brain from depression. Research shows that sulphoraphane prevents breast, prostate, and colon cancer and actually triggers a cellular response called “apoptosis, cellular suicide. As if that isn’t enough, sulphoraphane also controls H. pylori. Usually a commensal bacteria that naturally lives in the stomach H. pylori can become pathogenic and cause serious problems, including stomach cancer. Research even suggests that sulphoraphane may even help people suffering from COPD.
While you can buy sulforaphane as a supplement, it is obviously more delicious to eat foods that provide it!
Sulphoraphane can be found in cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli has the most but broccoli seeds are an even richer source.
Unfortunately, cooking the cruciferous vegetable destroys an important enzyme called myrosinase, a precursor for the production of the sulforaphane. In other words, when cooked the cruciferous vegetables lose this anti-cancerous property. So what’s the ideal solution?
Fermenting! Yes, fermented vegetables, top the list of HCA-fighting foods.
Broccoli, cabbage, kale and other members of the cruciferous family are actually hard to digest when eaten raw and also suppress the thyroid. Fermenting not only pre-digests the vegetables it also enhances the sulphoraphane content. Fermenting also makes all the many other vitamins and minerals in the vegetables hundreds of time more bio-available.
Bottom line, both barbecued meats and fried foods (like fried chicken and French fries) contain dangerous HCAs. If you want to live a longer, happier life it’s best to eliminate all fried foods from your diet. But if you love barbecuing do it from time to time but always marinate your meats before you toss them on the grill them and always serve them with fermented vegetables.
Another great tip: Besides the fermented vegetables also serve a leafy green salad made with other raw, cruciferous vegetables like radishes, watercress and arugula. Cooked turnip greens, collard greens, and kale are dark green cruciferous vegetables that we also love to see served on every Body Ecology menu.
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