Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage (all members of the Brassica family, also termed "cruciferous vegetables"), have a number of important detoxifying compounds in them.
One is called sulforifane, also known as sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS) or just glucoraphanin. It induces a range of detoxifying enzymes. Another compound, called indole-carbinol, works synergistically with tamoxifen in fighting breast cancer. Indole-3-carbinol is the only compound known that shifts the type of estrogen that predisposes one to cancer (16-hydroxy-estrone) to the 2-hydroxy-estrone which is a biologically less powerful estrogen metabolite. A number of studies in animals and humans show this effect is readily demonstrable by eating broccoli.
These vegetables also contain diindolylmethane, a much more powerful phytochemical which is actually just two indole-3-carbinol molecules attached chemically to each other. It is perhaps 10 times more effective. Extracts from these vegetables, such as diindolylmethane can be taken supplementally, allowing a therapeutic dose to be achieved without consuming large amounts of the vegetable. The amount of active ingredients in brocolli, for example, is unpredictable based of freshness or whether it is grown organically or not. Sprouting brocolli seed can reliably produce 50 times the amount of active ingredient by weight as the vegetable.
These agents seem to stimulate the production of protective enzymes such as glutathione that detoxify carcinogens.
For those who don't love the taste of broccoli - or fear you might come to despise it if you eat as much as you might need to reap these health benefits - there's a new, more palatable option for getting the broccoli you need. Now you can get your dose of broccoli in your morning cup of tea. It's called Brassica Tea, and it starts out with regular black, green, or oolong tea leaves, but the natural SGS extract found in broccoli is added to the tea in a dried powder form. No need to worry about potential broccoli or vegetable flavor: It tastes like regular tea, just that much better for you