Sulforaphane for diabetics

Sulforaphane for diabetics is a complex subject but the bottom line is that vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and radishes have the scientifically proven property of increasing the ability of the liver to take up glucose, and raise the glycogen content in cells.

This alleviates insulin resistance, a key factor in diabetics in which the cells have a limited ability to absorbe glucose from the blood stream.

Radishes in autumn for more sulforaphane.

Eat more broccoli, cabbage and radishes

The take-home from sulforaphane for diabetics is that we should all eat more of these vegetables if we want to live long in the land.

It's found in all cruciferous vegetables like kale and other green leafy vegetables.

Diabetes affects roughly one in twelve people worldwide, but in South Africa and America it's about 50% higher. Chronic excessive refined carbohydrate consumption is the chief culprit.

Sprouting broccoli

Branching broccoli florets for more sulforaphane.

Branching or sprouting broccoli as it is sometimes called has even greater amounts of sulforaphane for diabetics; and the plant goes on bearing for months if you pick the florets regularly.

Another advantage for me is that as you wander through the garden, forest bathing as I call it, plucking florets for a broccoli soup, you have undisturbed time to contemplate the events of the day and the meaning of life.

It would take about five to ten minutes to pick enough for a broccoli soup. There are of course dozens of ways to cook them.

Broccoli plants are quite large, but two or three would provide enough sulphoraphane for diabetics for a couple months; the flowers will brighten up any salad too.

Branching broccoli plants.

The best broccoli plants I ever grew were from seedlings planted on a trench filled with compost. It takes a bit of time and energy, and beats going to the gym for a power workout, but gave me a massive amount of protection against my prediabetes lasting for months.

The exercise too of course helps lower one's blood glucose.


And now for the chemistry of sulforaphane for those who might be interested. Its precursor is glucoraphanin.

Glucosinolates are compounds naturally found in leafy greens and other plants such as radishes and mustard; they have a slightly pungent taste. They have a structure like this.

Structure of glucosinolate.

The R can be any number of different structures giving rise to the large number of compounds known as glucosinolates.

Notice that it they all contain a glucose molecule, hence their name, and sulphur and nitrogen atoms that are derived from an amino acid, and a central carbon atom to which the R is attached.

Glucoraphanin is an example of a glucosinolate.

The importance of compounds like glucoraphanin is that, in the presence of a particular enzyme, the glucose molecule is sheared off leaving sulforaphane, the wonder phytochemical of interest to those suffering from diabetes. 

That enzyme called myrosinase is released when the cells are damaged, so your kale and broccoli needs to be thoroughly chopped, or chewed; and not cooked for more than a few minutes.

In short diabetics can live long and completely normal lives if they follow the rules. One of them is that they enjoy their greens daily, raw or lightly cooked and thoroughly chewed.

Sulforaphane for diabetics really can make a meaningful change in your life.

Broccoli, kale and radishes with their piquant, slightly bitter flavour are the queens of the castle. Brussels-sprouts too, but they need a colder climate than ours; like you get in Belgium.

Don't buy them as an expensive supplement; think rather about how to grow broccoli and enjoy the vegetable fresh from your garden. The forest bathing whilst picking your supper, the exercise as you prepare the ground and the sulforaphane will keep you out of the clutches of doctors of many ilks selling their snake oil. 

Broccoli soup is to die for and radishes on a green salad will make your day, freshly picked.


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself, your family and friends, and Mother Earth for future generations. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books!

Here are the back issues.

  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home


There are also many studies showing that sulforaphane also gives protection against tumours. Recent studies using it along with chemotherapy have been very promising.

Sulforaphane for diabetics also targets tumour stem-cells, modulating the various faulty pathways that lead to neoplasms[1].

As always, treatment rather than prevention is the word today, and using an expensive broccoli sprout preparation rather than just enjoying it from your food every day.

"Let thy food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food."

Hippocrates (460 - 370 BC)

Hippocrates is the most quoted and totally ignored doctor of all time. As for me and my family we just enjoy Eggs Hilton almost every day, I mean that, which always has a few leaves of kale and other greens.

Eggs Hilton poaching is rich in sulforaphane.

Fatty liver

Sulforaphane for diabetics improves glucose tolerance and insulin-sensitivity. Equally important is that it reduces hepatic triglyceride content[2]; it is a big helper with fatty liver.

Just as important of course is to avoid chronic excessive carbohydrate consumption; that is the cause of fatty liver, leading to steatohepatitis, also known as cirrhosis.

Sulforaphane for diabetics

Sulforaphane for diabetics comes from greens like broccoli and kale; radishes are great too.

  1. Targeting tumour stem cells with sulforaphane, a component from broccoli and sprouts
  2. Sulforaphane Prevents Hepatic Insulin Resistance

Did you find this page interesting? How about forwarding it to a friend, or book and food junkie; or, better still, a Facebook or Twitter tick would help.


56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa