Glucosinolates are a group of sulfur-containing glycosides found in many plant species, including radishes (root vegetables) and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. As part of the cruciferae family, radishes are excellent for maintaining gut health and preventing inflammation.
Radishes were cultivated extensively by the Egyptians in the time of the Pharaohs and were highly esteemed by the ancient Greeks. Radishes are presently eaten in many parts of the world in a variety of ways: juiced, raw, cooked, brined, fermented (pickled), and dried.
Like other members of the cruciferous vegetable family, radishes contain glucosinolates. These are sulfur-containing compounds that help protect cells from cancer-causing genetic mutations. Unique to the radish members of this family are their anthocyanins, which is a blue, violet or red flavonoid pigment found in plants. (These pigments are most well-known for their free-radical scavenging and antioxidant properties). These potent flavonoids not only provide the radish with its red hue, but also are anti-inflammatory in nature which aids in prevention and protection against illnesses.
Sulforaphane, a phytochemical available primarily in cruciferous plants, shows immune-strengthening effects, is used therapeutically as well as preventatively and has evidently antioxidative and cell-protecting properties. Latest research results prove that the active substance even is able to reduce social and communicative challenges in those with autism. (Click here for more information on the healing benefits of cruciferous plants such as broccoli).
Important to note: there is research that it is critical for people who have thyroid insufficiency to avoid bitter-tasting vegetables such as radishes as autism can be linked to hypothyroidism. So before adding uber-healthy radishes to your juicing recipes and salads, please check with your doctor to ensure that consuming radishes will not upset your thyroid balance.
I was invited to talk with realtor Faby Gonzalez, the host of Good Day Chula Vista for Episode #18 to talk about my journey with a child with autism and how my son Jovan helped raise my awareness to live a better, healthier life. Healthy, organic eating habits changed not only my family, but also the lives of many of my loved ones and co-workers. I was thankful for the invitation to talk with my good friend Faby about these important topics. Please view the Facebook live video below.
Polyphenols are micro nutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods. They're packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. It's thought that polyphenols can improve or help treat digestion and weight management issues, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular disease.
70% of your immune system lives in your digestive tract. Your body's naturally-occurring probiotics feed on polyphenols. A polyphenol-rich diet can help you feel better and digest your food better. That's right, eating foods with polyphenols can help fuel our own probiotics, making our own digestive systems healthier.
It's best to get polyphenols by eating foods containing them rather than via supplements, which can limit iron absorption. There are polyphenol blends available for purchase, but they need to be soy-free, lactose-free and manufactured to cGMP standards and have the same high polyphenol content you'd receive if you simple at the food itself, rather than purchase a supplement.
The best way we've found to harness the highest nutrient content of these powerful foods is to eat them raw and also blend them to add to our kombucha and daily blended juices. This has a wonderful effect on my family's health. It helps to detoxify and reduce the inflammation Jovan experiences in his gut. As I've said before, all health begins in the gut, and that's one of the main places we started to try to heal Jovan with his digestive health.
A number of different types of berries are rich in polyphenols. These include popular and easily accessible berries like:
Less commonly found berries (depending on your region) include:
Berries aren't the only fruits with plenty of polyphenols. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a large number of fruits contain high numbers of polyphenols. These include:
Nuts can be very nutritious yet high in caloric value. Full of protein, these nuts are high in polyphenol content as well:
Polyphenols in food plants are a versatile group of phytochemicals with many potentially beneficial activities in terms of disease prevention. There are many vegetables that contain polyphenols, though they usually have less than fruit. Here are a few of our favorites:
Here are a few of our favorite organic greens that make healthy, nutrient-dense green juices. These have greatly helped Jovan on his healing path:
I found the website It Starts With Juice on Instagram. I was reading about how raw vegetables could heal and detox everyone. I was on the path to heal Jovan and I found raw juicing interesting. I considering juicing with Jovan so I could find out how I would feel.
When Jovan's autism was newly diagnosed I was giving him organic store-bought juices that contained fruits and vegetables. I was shocked when I read the juice bottle's list of ingredients. The sugar and sodium levels were high and unnecessary! I was overloading Jovan on sugar. It wasn't until he was seven when I realized that I needed to begin making his juices from raw veggies on our own at home. When our family started the ketogenic diet I was in awe as I learned about the greens and fruits that had excess sugar. Sadly, I learned I was actually hurting my son by giving him fruits. The juices were converted into sugar. The worst thing I could have done for Jovan was give him sugar because sugar feeds the gut's bad bacteria. I researched which juice items would give Jovan the highest health content and the lowest amount of sugar and found the answer was pure greens. Berries were the only type of fruit we could give him due to their high antioxidant content and low glycemic (sugar) levels.
Jovan's Daily Juiced Veggies:
- One whole celery stalk
- One whole lettuce
- One bunch of kale
- Two to three inches of tumeric and ginger
- One lemon
- One bunch of celery
- One bunch of parsely
Another Juice Recipe:
- One bunch of collards
- One bunch of chards
- One bunch of spinach
- One bunch of cilantro
- One whole cucumber
- A few leaves of fresh basil
Another Veggie Juice Blend:
- Two bunches spinach
- One whole celery stalk
- One bunch of asparagus
- One grapefruit
(I also add fermented garlic and tumeric)
I researched the benefits of each vegetable and it's sugar content. I have been blending our juices for the past three years. I now find that I feel healthy when I've consumed two-three juices each day.
Jovan even asks for his juices now (with his limited non-verbal cues). It's really amazing how the body will thrive on the nutrients it needs. These juices really don't taste good in my opinion. Their texture is very thick, but they keep me full and healthy. We also add MTC oil to the juices which breaks down the veggies and makes the juices a lot more nutrient-based. But everyone in our house truly has at least one juice serving per day. Our days have a good solid start because it's the first thing we consume in the morning.
I sometimes add green apples and cucumbers in my blended juices which helps detox, but I do not give them to Jovan since his diet is very strict and sugar is not allowed. Although green apples do have a lot less sugar than red apples, we still adhere to Jovan's sugar-restricted diet. I suggest that those who are interested should check the sugar content of fruits to determine which veggies and fruits are healthiest to add to the blended juices.
I have seen documentaries that describe scenarios of people with cancer who have healed themselves with these vegetable juices. I also read about the life of the person that does the "it starts with juice" and she mentions that she cured herself from cancer by juicing. Research has shown that cancer is caused by sugar. I always suggest that others read and research. God knows I do :-).
Hello my name is Stephany and I want to share my story. I am a mother of an autistic child. My son is Jovan, and this is his journey.
Brotherly Love: Jovan adores his big brother.