The cruciferous vegetable family is well represented among those plants with the most clinically researched evidence for its nutritional benefits. Within the cruciferous or brassica family, there are varying levels of those phytonutrients responsible for these benefits. Kale contains a variety of sulfur-based molecules with extensive supporting clinical and animal research.
The phytonutrient sulforaphane, isothiocyanates, and indole-3-carbinol are all found in kale. The liver’s Phase II detoxification pathways is accelerated by sulforaphane and this may explain the increased clearance of estrogen metabolites by those women consuming cruciferous vegetables.
Kale is also anti-inflammatory and has relatively high anti-oxidant properties as well. Kaempferol is a potent anti-inflammatory phytonutrient found in kale at high levels. This inflammation-blocking property is most likely an integral part of the mechanism that has also been demonstrated with respect to brassica or cruciferous vegetable consumption.
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