Lesson 15: Sulforaphane Copy


Why are Cruciferous Vegetables so important?

Because they contain a isothiocyanate called Glucoraphanin which when exposed to the enzyme Myrosinase coverts to a powerful antioxidant called
Sulforaphane. Broccoli Sprouts is The Ultimate Cruciferous Vegetable for Sulforaphane Benefits.

Sulforaphane Benefits:

Sulforaphane Protects the Gastrointestinal Tract(GI)
Sulforaphane Promotes Healthy Skin
Sulforaphane Improves Immune System Function
Sulforaphane Promotes Weight Loss
Sulforaphane Encourages Fully Body Detoxification
Sulforaphane Reduces Autoimmune/General Inflammation
Sulforaphane Promotes Hair Growth
Sulforaphane Supports Healthy Liver Function
Sulforaphane Combats Cancer
Sulforaphane Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Sulforaphane Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Sulforaphane Helps Control Diabetes
Sulforaphane Acts as an Antiviral
Sulforaphane Fights Fungal and Bacterial Infections
Sulforaphane Slows Down Degenerative Disorders
Sulforaphane Turbocharges Cognitive Function
Sulforaphane Combats Depression/Anxiety
Sulforaphane Can Reduce the Symptoms of Autism
Sulforaphane May Help Asthma Sufferers
Sulforaphane Alleviates Bladder Dysfunction
Sulforaphane Promotes Healthy Eye Function
Sulforaphane is Great for Bone Formation + Density
Sulforaphane Improves Arthritis Symptoms
Sulforaphane Shields the Kidneys from Disease
Sulforaphane Facilitates a Healthy Pregnancy

What Are Cruciferous Vegetables?

Broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and bok choy are all examples of the cruciferous, or cabbage, vegetable family. The name stems from the latin Cruciferae, meaning ‘cross bearing’, as the general shape, including four leaves, resembling a cross. All of these vegetables share in common a slightly sharp, mustard-taste and, in fact, cruciferous vegetables are part of the mustard family. These diverse veggies all endow multiple benefits, giving us a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Perhaps most importantly, they all help to reduce bodily inflammation and play a huge role in fighting the possibility of developing cancer. Most people do not manage to get enough cruciferous veggies in their diets, but since a daily adult intake of only 2½ cups should do the job, it seems like something we could all easily do.

Why Are Cruciferous Vegetables so important?

1. Vitamin A: For good vision, cell growth, and a robust immune system. Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant and promotes strong neurological function.

2. Vitamin B: Including B9, or folic acid, the basic building bricks for DNA repair and synthesis. It’s also an important contributor to male/female sexual health and helps reduce cholesterol levels and the potential for stroke.

3. Vitamin C: Fights colds of course! C also helps you heal faster, protects skin from free radical sun exposure damage, and as an antioxidant plays a big role in cancer prevention.

4. Vitamin E: Protects at the cellular level against cancer, ultraviolet radiation, and when taken in healthy amounts really clamps down on free radicals in the body.

5. Vitamin K: Super important for overall bone health and healing. K works with vitamin D to make sure calcium regenerates bones and promotes a healthy ability for blood clotting.

6. Calcium: As the strengthening core of your skeletal system, calcium forms 2% of your body weight. However, it also protects your heart, regulates blood pressure, prevents kidney stones and colon cancer, and, of course, as the basis of teeth it gives you that beautiful smile.

7. Fibre: A form of carbohydrate that passes through your body and slows down the digestive process, fibre is the ‘bulk’ that keeps your system regular by acting as a slow working and natural laxative. Without it we wouldn’t be able to keep the body cleansed and in good working order.

8. Zinc: This promotes hormone production, so it enables robust growth and athletic performance. It’s critical for male fertility as it anchors testosterone production, and in doing the same for oestrogen and progesterone regulates female reproductive health. It also helps you sleep, think clearly, and maintain energy levels.

9. Iron: Around 70% of iron intake goes to forming haemoglobin and myoglobin in blood, the primary transporters of oxygen around your body. Adequate oxygen means healthy muscles, tissue, and brain. Iron also regulates your body temperature, boosts immunity, and helps fight chronic fatigue.

10. Carotenoids: As powerful antioxidants, carotenoid-rich foods protect against the excesses of sunlight, lack of water, and overheating. You may know the most familiar of the family, beta-carotene, as found in dark veggies and carrots. As carotenoids convert to Vitamin A, they are critical in regulating eye health.

11. Antioxidants: Cells are the building blocks of our bodies, and antioxidants defend them. They do this by preventing the oxidation of certain substances that create free radicals, a natural by-product of the body breaking down food, pollutants, or medicines. Too much sun means more free radicals too, and antioxidants hinder the cellular breakdown by stepping in and neutralising the nasties.

12. Phytonutrients: These are substances derived from plants. They contain a tonne of antioxidants, natural acids, enzymes, non-digestible carbohydrates and plant sterols, which help to block the absorption of cholesterol. They’re a treasure trove of potential!

13. Glucoraphanin: This is a compound found in broccoli, cauliflower, and mustard. The levels are particularly high in broccoli, and as a phytonutrient ingested in the digestive system, it holds huge promise by releasing high levels of…sulforaphane!

14. Sulforaphane: Here we come to the star of the show! What is sulforaphane? Well, when you eat broccoli, glucoraphanin converts to this biochemical nutrient compound. Once sulforaphane enters your bloodstream, it goes to work activating antioxidant defences throughout the body. Classed as an isothiocyanate, sulforaphane antioxidants are one of the most powerful ways to ‘waken’ your body and create a strong, resilient and active natural system defence. This is why ingesting sulforaphane foods makes sense. The sulpforaphane benefits are extensive and we will find out more about them below.

Broccoli Sprouts: The Ultimate Cruciferous Vegetable for Sulforaphane

Young broccoli plants hold the key to accessing huge levels of sulforaphane. At 3 to 4 days old, the tiny plants resemble alfalfa sprouts and exhibit a pleasantly bitter taste, but since raising good quantities of the plants takes considerable time and effort, people tend to miss out on them and receive low dietary levels of this wonder food. Broccoli sprout benefits are huge. Critically, organic broccoli sprouts at this age contain the highest levels of glucoraphanin known in the vegetable world. As glucoraphanin converts to sulforaphane, the sprouts contain the largest potential sulforaphane food levels of the cancer-fighting isothiocyanate. Higher levels mean more enzyme vitality and capability to strengthen and detox the body’s immune system. Crucially, although broccoli and other cruciferous veggies do contain the compound, nothing else comes close to the amazing broccoli sprout sulforaphane levels. In fact, three-day-old sprouts contain up to 100 times more than mature plants! In short, broccoli sprouts = sulforaphane!

Sulforaphane Benefits in More Detail

Sulforaphane effects have been extensively researched and the evidence is continually building for humans regarding the huge range of impressive potential sulforaphane benefits for your health :

1. Sulforaphane Protects the Gastrointestinal Tract(GI): A Japanese study found that broccoli sprouts, when ingested daily for two months, can protect against ulcers, stomach bugs, and possibly stomach cancer. Specifically effective against the Helicobacter pylori bacterium, sulforaphane proved to be a powerful antibiotic, reducing bacterial levels by 40%.

2. Sulforaphane Promotes Healthy Skin: Sulforaphane reduces inflammation and oxidative stress so when topically applied, it can help the skin oxygenate and breathe by enabling greater oxygen uptake.

3. Sulforaphane Improves Immune System Function: Sulforaphane activates an enzyme called Nrf2, a defensive protein that is extremely adept at hunting down and destroying carcinogenic free radicals, effectively preventing cancers from forming.

4. Sulforaphane Promotes Weight Loss:By activating Nrf2, sulforaphane releases a substance that improves the way the body’s adipose fat cells consume energy. By also improving your gut flora, the efficiency benefits are twofold and this can contribute to weight loss.

5. Sulforaphane Encourages Fully Body Detoxification: The Nrf2 activation also affects the way over 200 of the body’s genes express themselves, meaning an improved ability to dispose of toxins.

6. Sulforaphane Reduces Autoimmune/General Inflammation: Similar to the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, sulforaphane inhibits the body’s mechanism of sending inflammation signals to cell nuclei.

7. Sulforaphane Promotes Hair Growth: Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causes hair follicle regression, leading ultimately to hair loss. Sulforaphane treatment has been shown to block this suppression, leading to improved growth.

8. Sulforaphane Supports Healthy Liver Function: Research indicates that oxidative stress caused by overworked liver function can be successfully reduced with broccoli sprout dietary supplementation. This is through suppression of the inflammatory response and the introduction of antioxidants.

9. Sulforaphane Combats Cancer: Sulforaphane and cancer is a hot topic. Antioxidants target cancerous cells while protecting healthy ones, and sulforaphane has been shown to reduce the overall number of cancer cells, kill other cells outright, and prevent existing cancer cells from generating new tumours. It may be the targeting of microtubules that results in success. These are the tiny fibres in living cells that control cell division. Sulforaphane blocks this progressive division and thus reduces the spread of cancer. Studies show this may be the case for breast, cervical, liver, prostate, and colorectal cancers.

10. Sulforaphane Lowers Bad Cholesterol: LDL levels are reduced by regular sulforaphane intake as specific genes are switched on to activate immune defence. This simply ‘rebalances’ your system so that LDL cholesterol production is therefore curbed.

11. Sulforaphane Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Sulforaphane appears to activate a protective protein that prevents atherosclerotic plaque development on the arterial walls of the heart. Therefore, regular intake could be part of a sensible cardiovascular health regimen.

12. Sulforaphane Helps Control Diabetes: Lab tests have shown that sulforaphane can help Type 2 diabetes patients in blood sugar control by inhibiting the production of liver glucose. Glucoraphanin as a supplement improves diet-induced insulin resistance.

13. Sulforaphane Acts as an Antiviral: Bodily response to viral incursion is increased when sulforaphane activates the immune system. This may contribute to better defence against respiratory/nasal viral conditions such as the flu.

14. Sulforaphane Fights Fungal and Bacterial Infections: One study has shown that sulforaphane suppressed and inhibited the growth of 23 out 28 total different bacterial and fungal species that were tested.

15. Sulforaphane Slows Down Degenerative Disorders: In current testing, sulforaphane has increased the brain dopamine levels, thus alleviating related loss of motor coordination present in Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s. Amyloid beta peptides, which contribute to the plaque buildup in Alzheimer’s, are reduced via sulforaphane, and certain proteins that slow down degenerative conditions are also activated.

16. Sulforaphane Turbocharges Cognitive Function: Research supports the idea that sulforaphane helps working memory efficiency and task performance following certain head impacts or injuries. This could be due to inflammation reduction and the Nrf2 enzyme driving detox and free radical scavenging to reduce damage. Likewise, broccoli sprout extract has been shown to aid cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia.

17. Sulforaphane Combats Depression/Anxiety: Sulforaphane has been found to inhibit the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) area of the brain as well as the inflammatory response to stress. The results are lowered corticosterone transmission and reduced anxiety in chronic stress cases. Sulforaphane could be a realistic treatment for such disorders.

18. Sulforaphane Can Reduce the Symptoms of Autism: Similarly, significant research points to sulforaphane producing encouraging results that link sulforaphane and autism. Measuring behavioural improvement in autistic cases, one study noted marked increases in calmness, social responsiveness, and request compliance by caregivers after the patients had been blind tested with sulforaphane.

19. Sulforaphane May Help Asthma Sufferers: Reduction of free radical irritation of the upper airways can mitigate the stress caused by airborne pollutant inhalation in asthma sufferers. Sulforaphane via broccoli sprouts has been proven to increase antioxidant scavenging and thus aid the mucous effectiveness, resulting in lowered inflammation and symptoms. Similar effects can be seen in lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

20. Sulforaphane Alleviates Bladder Dysfunction: Sulforaphane’s ability to kick-start the Nrf2 antioxidant response means that free radical scavenging and detoxification can increase. Such reduction of oxidative stress can also reduce bladder outlet obstruction, and therefore alleviate overall dysfunction.

21. Sulforaphane Promotes Healthy Eye Function: Sulforaphane has been shown to reduce the oxidative damage in the eyes associated with exposure to ultraviolet light. Diets richer in such foods as broccoli sprouts form a more preventative long-term approach to reducing macular degeneration and help protect your eyesight.

22. Sulforaphane is Great for Bone Formation + Density: As the effects against progressive osteoarthritis show, sulforaphane can deliver a protective effect that fosters conditions for healthy bone formation. This is true for existing instances in which bone quality improves at the micro-architectural level, and could mean it endows developmental strength in bone formation in babies and children.

23. Sulforaphane Improves Arthritis Symptoms: Since sulforaphane can to block certain signals, it can regulate the pathways relating to instances of chronic disease. Osteoarthritis results in crippling degradation of joints and cartilage, so blocking the inflammation in the first place could radically reduce damage and the resulting joint degradation, as well significantly mitigating chronic pain endured by sufferers.

24. Sulforaphane Shields the Kidneys from Disease: The ‘rebalancing’ effect of sulforaphane on bodily systems has been shown in kidney testing to normalise the ratio of albumin to creatinine. Abnormal ratios of these compounds indicate renal disease. The oxidative damage suppression and anti-inflammatory effects both further reduce stress.

25. Sulforaphane Facilitates a Healthy Pregnancy: Research has pointed to maternal ingestion of sulforaphane inducing the Nrf2 genetic expression in utero so that many of the above-listed benefits may also develop prior to birth. Particularly, this could relate to an increased protection of the foetus against toxins crossing the placental boundary, resulting in higher chances for full-term healthy babies.

Sulforaphane Supplements: Getting Broccoli Sprouts into your Diet

Ingesting fresh broccoli sprouts may be the logical route to upping your sulforaphane levels, though for several reasons this might not be as practical as you think. Depending on cultivation conditions, you may experience differing phytonutrient concentrations and therefore uncertain effectiveness. Remember that broccoli, like all plants, is highly variable regarding any specific concentration of active ingredients. Multiple microclimatic, hydrological, disease or soil qualities will ultimately affect the nutritional outcome of the sprouts. Equally, timing is key and you may miss the optimum moment to ingest your sprouts when they will do you the most benefit. Again, depending on conditions, the optimum time could be from 48 hours to 5 days for highest sulforaphane levels.

Growing your own sprouts, though undoubtedly fun, can be time-consuming and involve many steps including observation, rinsing, modification of light conditions, draining and de-hulling prior to consumption. Ensuring you have access to 1-2 cups of sprouts per day per person, at the right moment, can again be a challenge! Using supplements can solve the issue of getting broccoli sprouts in your diet while on the go or within a hectic lifestyle. However, looking for reliable sulforaphane supplements and enzyme activated sulforaphane can also be confusing. Many market brands have inconsistent or low levels of glucoraphanin. Ensuring the site-grown sprouts have had sulforaphane levels tested and extracted to ensure a standard dosage requires relevant certification and guarantees.

It’s also important to gauge the uptake efficacy, or bioavailability, or what you use. Just ingesting glucoraphanin will give you an average bioavailability of 10%. Looking for myrosinase/enzyme activated products (with glucoraphanin) raises this figure to 35%. Taking sulforaphane alone means a 70% bioavailability. Look for a guaranteed yield of sulforaphane such as with Probiotic Power Greens. Using broccoli sprouts to access the insanely beneficial addition of sulforaphane in your diet can be a smart move. Research is pointing to a slew of healthy reasons why it would be insane not to. From prevention of cancer and heart disease to organ function and sheer immune system defence, to alleviation of inflammatory issues and reducing depression, ensuring you ‘finish your greens’ by getting sulforaphane in your diet is a sensible choice for a healthy life.

The fact that oxidative stress is now commonly seen to be the causative factor in many diseases means that you need to look for ways to reduce that stress. Many ‘classic’ antioxidants found in vegetables are direct, meaning they actively terminate free radical reactions. Sulforaphane instead works to support the body so it self-induces protective mechanisms to fight oxidative stress. This kind of indirect antioxidant functions more holistically to help your body help itself. Whether ingested fresh or via well researched and validated supplement products, broccoli sprouts are the most potent source of sulforaphane, a systemically effective addition to your diet that is essential for vitality and preventative health, whatever your age or circumstances.

List of Foods Containing High Sulforaphane Yield

Brussels Sprouts
Broccoli Raab
Broccoli Sprouts
Cabbage (Red & Savoy)
Bok Choy
Collard Greens
Chinese Broccoli

Sulforaphane and The NRF2 

Sulforaphane, as a pure chemical, protects against chemical-induced skin, oral, stomach, colon, lung and bladder carcinogenesis and in genetic models of colon and prostate carcinogenesis. In many of these settings the antitumorigenic efficacy of sulforaphane is dampened in Nrf2-disrupted animals. Broccoli preparations rich in glucoraphanin or sulforaphane exert demonstrable pharmacodynamic action in over a score of clinical trials. Measures of NRF2 pathway response and function are serving as guideposts for the optimization of dose, schedule and formulation as clinical trials with broccoli-based preparations become more commonplace and more rigorous in design and implementation.

Based on findings from epidemiology studies suggesting that frequent consumption of cruciferous vegetables was associated with lower incidence of multiple tumor types, Talalay and col- leagues screened extracts of these and other vegetables for bioac- tive molecules for efficacy and potency in the induction of enzymes known to detoxify carcinogens (Zhang, Kensler, Cho, Talalay & Posner, 1992), a process now known to involve NRF2 signaling. Sulforaphane [1-isothiocyanato-4-(methylsulfinyl)butane] (Fig. 1) a phytochemical belonging to a large chemical family of iso- thiocyanates was thus identified. Sulforaphane is formed from the stable, water-soluble precursor glucosinolate termed glucor- aphanin in a variety of cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage by myrosinase, a b-thi- oglucoside glucohydrolase (EC, during damage of plant integrity or by hydrolysis by uncharacterized b-thioglucosidases of the gut microflora (Shapiro, Fahey, Wade, Stephenson, & Talalay, 2001). During glucoraphanin hydrolysis, glucose is liberated and an unstable aglycone is formed that spontaneously rearranges to metabolites such as sulforaphane (Fig. 1). At high or neutral pH, sulforaphane will be the primary product of glucoraphanin hy- drolysis. In contrast, at acidic pH, or in the presence of Fe2þ, with the enzyme epithiospecifier protein, the production of a nitrile, which is less bioactive, will be favored (Hayes, Kelleher, & Eggleston, 2008). In mammals, glucoraphanin is also taken up from the gut to the liver where it is interconverted to its reduced glucosinolate analog, glucoerucin, as is sulforaphane to its corre- sponding reduced isothiocyanate analog, erucin [1-isothiocyanato- 4-(methylthio)butane] (Bheemreddy & Jeffery, 2007; Melchini & Traka, 2010). The highest concentrations of glucosinolates are typically found in reproductive organs of the plant, including dormant and germinating seeds, and developing inflorescences, followed by young leaves, roots, and mature leaves, which is consistent with the function of glucosinolate-myrosinase system as defensive mechanism in the plant (Brown, Tokuhisa, Reichelt, & Gershenzon, 2003). Three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain 10e100 times higher levels of glucoraphanin than do mature broccoli.

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The Professional Certificate Course Curriculum Modules:

Module 1 – Plant Based Nutritional Science: Plant Based Health Myths, Pitfalls & Essentials. Long Term Sustainable Raw Veganism.

Module 2 – The Art of Advanced Fermentation & The Science of Gut Microbiota, Probiotics, Prebiotics, Synbiotics & Psychobiotics.

Module 3 – Culinary Medicine & Medicinal Liquid Nutrition. Smoothies, Seed Milks, Salads, Sprouts & Cold Pressed Elixirs.

Module 4 – Taoist Herbalism & Medicinal Mushrooms. Tonics, Teas, Tinctures & Extractions. The Science of Adaptogenics & Herbal Nootropics.

Module 5 – The Art and Science of  the World’s Healthiest Raw Chocolate & Healthy Light Refined Vegetable Desserts. Healthy Sugar Alternatives, Nut Free Cakes & Medicinal Cookies.

Module 6 – Low Temperature Cooking & Food Dehydration. Warm porridge, Soups, Crackers, Breads, Crisps, Cookies, pizza & Wraps. The Science of High & Low Temperature Cooking.

Module 7 – Molecular Gastronomy & Fine Dining Raw Foods: Classic French Culinary Preparation Techniques and Knife Skills. Plant Based Jelly, Tartare, Carpaccio, Ceviche & Spherification. Nutrient Optimisation Techniques.

Module 8 – Raw Gourmet Meal Demonstration. Costing, Planning,Writing & Executing a Menu. Menu Presentation. Refined Culinary Medicine at Michelin Star Level.

Module 9 – Practical & Written Exam. 5 Course Fine Dining Refined & Medicinal Plant Based Menu Presentation. Setting up a Plant Based Business, Menu Costings & Profit & Loss.

Module 10 – Plant Based Skin Care & Cosmetics which are Raw Vegan Organic & Edible. Medicinal Face Care Protocal & Nuturing the Moist Envelope of the Soul with Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB).

Module 11 – Lifestyle Medicine Part I. BioHacking & Functional Health. How to achieve optimum Health, Happiness & Longevity with Passion, vitality and Incredible Relationships.

Module 12 – Lifestyle Medicine Part II. Raw Food on The Go & How to Travel and Thrive on Plant Based Health Foods. Lifestyle Biohacks & Travel BioHacks.

Modules Explained:

Module 1 – Plant Based Health & Essentials & Plant Based Nutritional Science – The Facts & Myths 

Raw Food Essentials is an Introduction to raw cuisine, which provides a thorough orientation to our program and philosophy and a thorough discussion about the effects of raw food, the raw food lifestyle, the enzyme theory, the conflicting science surrounding the raw food diet and potential pitfalls of raw vegan diet. On this module the students will learn the basics of raw food, what is raw and what is not raw food. Students will learn some of the basic but essential recipes for creating gourmet raw cuisine such as sweeteners, thickeners and emulsifiers. Students will learn about eating the rainbow, exploring the different colors of fruits and vegetables and learning how to maximize absorption of essential nutrients, minerals and phytochemicals from raw foods. This module also emphasizes acquainting the students with basic kitchen equipment, proper handling and use of ingredients from soaking to slow cooking, and standard food safety guidelines. Some of the highlights of this module will be learning about healthy sweeteners, as the world is addicted to sugar and those in health movements becoming addicted to using toxic sweeteners such as agave syrup, Finding the right low glycemic healthy tasty sweeteners can be a challenging endeavor but worth while journey giving the negative impact sugar as on our health.

Module 2 – The Art of Advanced Fermentation & The Science of Gut Microbiota & Probiotics 

The Art of Advanced Fermentation is one of our most popular courses. It is a repertoire of many many years of fermenting research and experimentation. On this module students will learn very basic lacto fermentation such as Kimchi, sauerkraut and pickling fruits and vegetables to wild fermentations such as Tepeche from Mexico and Smreka from Bosnia to advanced fermentation techniques such as second stage medicinal mushroom and Gynostemma Kombucha, Blue cheese without cashew nuts and blueberry yogurt. Students will learn how to work with raw cultures such as water kefir grains and Kombucha. This Module provides a thorough lesson on the art, history and science of fermentation and gut micro biome, how to use probiotics, which probiotics to use and basic equipment needed for fermentation. Making guilt free extremely healthy vegan cheese that tastes so good without using high fat toxic nuts like cashew is a real highlight of this course.

Module 3 – Liquid Nutrition. Smoothies, Seed Milks, Slow Cooked Soups & Cold Pressed Juices 

On this Module, we cover Smoothies, Milks, and Soups & Juices through a frame of nutritional science and maximum optimal nutrient absorption. We set out to challenge the current dominant concept of smoothies, which are generally not very healthy, and we take a real close look a juice, a Green Juice is not just a juice that is green. This module gives a master class on making stocks and world-class soups including slow cooked soups, cold soups and warms soups full of flavor and extremely healthy. This is also a master class of the best nut milks you ever tasted using turmeric, Spirulina, coconut, Goji berries, cacao and much more. This Module provides a thorough lesson on how to make the best soups, smoothies, juices and milks possible but also all equipment needed to make this happen including an overview on juicers and blenders.

Module 4 – The Kitchen Pharmacy. Medicinal Herbs & Medicinal Mushrooms. Tonics, Teas, Tinctures & Extractions 

Module 4 focuses on herbal preparations, extraction methods and tincture making using medicinal herbs and mushrooms from a number of herbal systems including Chinese, western and Ayurveda traditions. Students learn which extraction method should be used for in order to extract the most medicine from barks, mushrooms, roots, leaves and flowers. You will discover cold extractions, warm infusions, decoctions and a number of different techniques to use to extract medicine from herbs. This is a fantastic introduction into herbalism including advanced theory, technique and recipes. The beginning of an exciting journey with plant medicine from St. Johns wart to kava to turkey tail mushroom.

Module 5 – The Art of Raw Gourmet Chocolate & Healthy Light Refined Desserts 

The Art of Raw Chocolate module for obvious reasons is a very exciting and enjoyable class, as everybody loves chocolate. In this module we go into the science of chocolate, the biochemistry, is it plant medicine or neurotoxin, how to temper chocolate, how to make perfect truffles and professional chocolate bars & how to create decadent raw desserts.We do not use coconut sugar, agave, cashew nuts or any other toxic or refined sugar in our desserts which make our chocolate and cakes zero sugar, extremely light and healthy and medicinal. Students will learn about using plant based thickeners, emulsifies to replace eggs to make light desserts, agar agar and date paste. This is a master class in the art, history and science of raw chocolate and healthy guilt free sugar free raw desserts.

Module 6 – Raw Food Dehydration. Crackers, Breads, Crisps, Cookies & Wraps.

Raw Food Dehydration module is a master class in Crackers, Wraps, Breads, Crisps, Donuts, Cookies, Pancakes and other health savory snacks. Students will discover how to create soft raw leavened breads, which are extremely pleasing and healthy. How to manipulate recipes to create wraps, crisps and crackers with intense flavors unlike commercial raw dehydrated products. There will also be class discussion around the science of food dehydration and the arguments for and against dehydrated foods.

Module 7 – Molecular Gastronomy. Raw Preparation Skills & Sprouting 

Molecular gastronomy, this is where science really meets culinary. This class focuses on raw vegetable preparation skills, professional chef techniques, Sauces, Salads  & Sprouting. For the keen food scientist you will learn how to use a number of techniques such as spherification, smoking, gelification, foaming, slow cooking, Spiralizing, marinating, quick pickling in order to manipulate ingredients in such a way to create art on a plate, to enhance flavor, and to break down the cell wall to make the ingredient more palatable and more nutritious. The highlights of the class is learning to make amazing sauces, incredible salads and preparing fruits and vegetables in so many different ways to create amazing raw vegan healthy dishes.

Module 8 – Raw Gourmet Meal Demonstration. Costing, Planning,Writing & Executing a Menu.

Module 8 focuses on recipe and product costing, all culminating in the menu creation and presentation in Module 9. On this Module the professional chef and course facilitator will present a sample 5 course raw meal that you will taste and ask questions about. Students will learn about producing and costing marketable raw vegan goods, the basics of ingredient costing, converting units, how to factor waste and small amounts of ingredients into the price of a product, and how to determine a final selling price and achieve optimal gross profit margin.

Module 9 – Practical & Written Exam. 5 Course Gourmet Plant Based Menu Presentation – 

Module 9 is the Practical Exam. Students will create and present a typed or hand written professional 5-course menu along with the dishes contained on the menu in a simple refined, professionally and well-presented fashion. The menu will include sale prices and cost of sales. This is the ultimate test for any chef and aspiring chef or raw food vendor. This module is where all information and learning from previous weeks comes together. Students will be critiqued on their presentation.

Module 10 – Plant Based Skin Care & Cosmetics which are Raw Vegan Organic & Edible 

Module 10 is all about the foods that feed the largest organ of the body, which is the skin. Students will learn how to create amazing raw vegan organic edible cosmetics including toothpaste, Moisturiser, hand soap, mouthwash, shower gel, shampoo, face cream, face masks, perfume, toners and massage creams. This module brings awareness to everyday chemical exposure and its impact on health including elimination of healthy bacteria and compromising the immune system. In Ayurveda it is said don’t put anything on your body that you can not eat, we take this very literal and show to create everyday skin care, cosmetic and home care products that are not only safe, organic and non toxic but also edible.

Module 11 – Lifestyle Medicine & Functional Health 

On This module students will learn about the bigger picture, health outside of diet that we call Lifestyle Medicine. Students will learn and discuss therapies and treatments for stress reduction, immune health, lymphatic health and state of well being including psychotherapy,conscious parenting, tantra, dance, colon hydrotherapy, massage, yoga, sauna, meditation and rebounding. We will also explore a number of clever devices such as grounding products, zappers and Scenar device used for optimum health and disease prevention. On this Module we will also taker a closer look and review of the nutritional science that has been referenced throughout the course. Students will gain access to elaborate; comprehensive and world-class functional health treatment plans for people suffering with chronic illness and gastrointestinal disorders.

Module 12 – Raw Food on The Go & How to Travel and Thrive on Plant Based Health Foods 

Module 12 is the final class of this advanced course. During this module, students will learn techniques to stay healthy and thrive whilst traveling including how to achieve optimum hydration and health during flights without compromising with toxic water and plane food. Our course facilitator has travelled all over the world researching raw food places and practices and has much information and tips to share with you about staying healthy whilst traveling including legal simple process to overcome liquid restrictions on flights. Students will also learn a number of on the go recipes that can be fantastic for traveling.

Some of our Testimonials;

I loved doing this course. I did it out of personal curiosity without having a major grand plan but I was blown away by how much there is to learn and know and keep on learning in relation to food as medicine and medicine as food. It’s an ever-expanding path and the possibilities are endless. I had Greg teaching initially – he was excellent, passionate and enthusiastic and walks the walk and then Darren joined us. Darren is a very unique individual who has so much of his own research and skills that he brings to this subject in such an all-encompassing way addressing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual through plants. This was such an eye-opener to me, to really start to grasp the synergy between us as a species on this planet and the plants the planet offers us to support us and keep us alive… if only we understood and embraced that. This course took me into a black hole and out into multi-verses in relation to medicinal plants and Darren taught me that anything goes… all flavours, all colours, all the tastes you want with no right or wrong. It’s like being given all the colours of the rainbow and told you can paint whatever you want… you can be any kind of artist you want to be. This all played out in the presentation of menus that my class produced at the end of the course… each display represented each unique individual. No approach was the same or even similar! I can’t recommend this course enough…even if you just want to know how to care for your own body and those you love… to have all these skills and Darren’s approach in one course was an invaluable resource. Our family kitchen has changed as a result and has become more of a laboratory (in the best possible way) and less a kitchen-kitchen. More fun. More possibilities and everything goes. You can’t go wrong when it comes to plants really. They have all the intelligence and they know how to work together, compound stacking on compound. Wonderful! P.S. I also happened to lose 18lbs of excess weight over the few months I was doing the course… inadvertently! What’s not to like?!

Breda Walsh

I gained so much more from this course than I ever could have anticipated when I signed up. Darren is not only a clear expert in his field, but a wonderful, humble and entirely present teacher. No questions or opinions went unheard or unaddressed. Each module, fascinating in it’s own right, was thoroughly explained and practised. I had a preconception about the modules I would like most and least after reading the course summary but this was challenged in real-life when I found the learning on nearly every topic truly engaging. My expectations were very much exceeded and I would highly recommend this course to anyone considering it.

Daniella Moyles 

I can’t begin to express how grateful and fortunate I am to have Darren teach us in Bali this January. I have been searching for a plant based culinary school for a while. And though I came across a few, I knew they weren’t the right ones. When I found PBA’s syllabus I just knew it was the one! And my instincts were right. It was a transformative and mind blowing 2 weeks experience where we got to learn so much more that’s beyond what a plant based diet entails. The foundations of Lifestyle Medicine is incredibly fascinating and inspiring. Darren is a treasure trove of wisdom and knowledge who truly shares from the heart. I sure will miss the daily medicinal teas and fermented drinks we have in class together and tasting the delectable foods he prepares for us, all made with love. Thank you Darren for all that you do, the encouragement and support you provide us.

Stephanie Hoo

Coming on to this course I was not entirely sure what to expect. However this has probably been one of the best & wisest decisions I have taken in the past few years. Darren’s knowledge about raw foods, lifestyle medicine and general awareness about this entire subject is immense and extremely impressive. Even though he is a strong advocate for following the Raw Food Lifestyle, not once did he try to force his thoughts or compel us to implement these. Rather the way he taught and took us through the entire process allowed for a holistic learning. Our class was small and intimate which allowed for great interaction and education. There’s tons of information throughout the course and definitely provides valuable lifestyle approaches that can be implemented in our daily lives.
Overall I was extremely pleased and definitely something I’d recommend for anyone willing to bring about changes to their lifestyle and wanting to better themselves.  Thank you Darren for the amazing 2 weeks in Bali!

Prachet Sancheti

Darren provides a course that is fun and enjoyable. That good nutritious food can taste amazing becomes abundantly clear as the weeks unfold. This course is life changing. That you can take control of your health and that of your family easily is a message that we cannot ignore amid modern challenges. As a nutritional therapist with considerable raw food knowledge I experienced new learning and deepened conviction toward this healthy way of living. Thanks Darren.

Margaret Loughran – Nutritional Therapist 

One of the best decision in my life was to invest into the Raw Vegan Mastery this summer. There are so many things I had no idea about veganism before the course – however I assumed I get along with online resources and recipes. No way! Darren has a tremendous knowledge about raw food. Lecture by lecture another world opened up while we listened at him. If someone is serious about switching to a plant based diet, this unique course is a must! Each class is crucial if you want to keep up the variety of your vegan diet. Now I have a completely different setup in the kitchen, new equipment, the way I prepare my food and where I supply my organic groceries. I could not be healthier and happier ? Thank you Darren!

Nicolette Cs.

When I got pregnant for first time in 2013 I started taking diet more serious, I wanted to give my baby and myself the best nutrition possible to ensure we have a nice, healthy pregnancy and we I did. When my little girl started to eat her first bits of food I discovered that she loved lots of the things I have been eating during pregnancy so I start searching for more info on raw food for kids. She is 20 months now and I have seen her grow healthy, strong and smart. When she was 10 months I got pregnant again and it was around this time that saw the Raw Mastery Course. I decided to do it because I wanted to learn more about things that I haven’t yet explored, such as raw chocolate, fermentation and dehydration but also because I wanted to get quicker at the raw kitchen and have more ideas, with two babys now I didn’t have that extra time to search on the internet or books . I needed practical recipies and the whys of some of the things in the raw world.. The course was much more than I expected…. I loved it and it gave me the confidence to keep feeding my family knowing that I am giving them the best. I learned how to make yogurts, chocolates and lots of new things that my little girl loves. Thanks Darren to share all this wonderful information.

Natalia Gonzalez – Vegan Mum

I am so happy that I got the opportunity to do this course, I found it very life enhancing and made me look at diet and nutrition in a whole different light. Everything about it was so professional and the food that was prepared was always of the highest quality and most nutrient packed.

Patricia Reddington

I really enjoyed the broad range of topics, from learning how to prepare fermented yoghurt and cheese, kefir and kambucha, herbal teas to delicious pies and desserts etc. I also enjoyed the non food elements of the course, eg. lifestyle etc. The class notes were superb and the contacts gained are invaluable as Darren was very generous with his information, time and follow up. A really great course to inject taste into food and life.

Pat Flanagan – Hippocrates Health Educator

This was a very comprehensive course covering so many aspects of a raw food lifestyle not just the food exclusively. The knowledge and research that Darren shares is very honest and it is delivered in a compassionate atmosphere that put me at ease.I have learned so much that I’m beginning to incorporate into my life . The food we tasted was a treat to look forward to every week. It was great to know that raw vegan food is not only healthy but delicious. Made lovely friends to with my fellow learners which was s bonus . Highly recommended all round.

Angela Healy

The Raw Mastery course I took part in last year was just amazing! I’m really grateful I had a possibility to take part in this, thanks to your support regarding fees. I would not be able to even dream about this if not your kindness! This course really changed my life, it was so different than any other thing I experienced in my life. I did not realized this straight away, but the change happened slowly, week by week, month by month, with small tiny changes in my diet, my lifestyle and my attitude. When I started the course it was really difficult moment in my life, with many things happening, lots of fear and decisions to make and terrible depression that I had difficulties to deal with. Every single day was a struggle for me and every single day was filled with thinking what’s the point of being on this planet. There is still a lot to improve but thanks to you, I’m on a right path. Our Monday meetings was something I was looking forward to, I wasn’t too open on the course, but deep inside I appreciated every single moment, every advice that Darren gave us, every meal he prepared and the energy that was present there. Darren is a great person, he had so much patience, compassion and love for us. For the first time I felt nobody is judging me or my choices. His knowledge and skills are amazing and I’ve learn a lot! I feel grateful that he shared all this with us. And all herbs, spices, fermented foods and other ingredients in his kitchen, breathtaking! It was a pleasure to be there, to taste, to talk, to listen, to laugh, to smell… The course content was just perfect, on every single level, with the resources that opened my eyes on new possibilities. As English is not my first language I’m not able to express my gratitude good enough and I don’t have all the words to say how much I enjoyed the course but hopefully you’ll understand what I wanted to say ? I wish you the best and hope that one day I’ll take part in other courses organised by the Institute. THANK YOU.


This course is a ‘must do’ if you care about yourself! The information covered is enlightening even if you don’t plan to adopt a raw diet. Darren researches and lives everything he teaches & he knows the most effective ways to live a healthier life. If you do one course this year, do this because what could be more important than your health!

Dr. Celine Mullins

Plant based academy-culinary food course is genuinely the creme de la creme of plant based cooking courses that are out there The modules are so informative, varied, interactive, creative and fun The learning has opened my mind so much ! It was such an exciting experience The space where we learned was intimate and had everything necessary to smell, taste and experience first hand Darren has such a kind approach to those new or even just curious about the vegan lifestyle I’ve met some wonderful people- we really bonded, encouraged each other and swapped lots of other info. Related to holistic well being I have a full time job and travelled from kerry to attend the classes but I always left Dublin feeling inspired and motivated – totally worth the investment Darren keeps things simple but interesting and is always very encouraging I have a much better understanding of the food-mind-body connection and can’t wait to keep growing and learning from experimenting in the kitchen Many thanks to Darren and my class mates for Sharing such a beautiful experience together

Rosie McGrath

Best choice I could have made. I thought I had some knowledge yet it appeared that there is so much more.. Medicinal mushrooms, fermentation.. I was amazed every class. Always the highlight of the week and especially with the small cohort that soon became a family! Will miss the regular classes, atmosphere, interesting learnings and Darren as passionate, knowledgeable, compassionate teacher.

Yvette Pelgrom

Took interested in the course after talking to someone who had done it last year. Was a bit doubtfull and the fact I would have to travel from Galway made it even more complicated but all these doubts disappeared after my first class! I am vegan and really love healthy but the course had elevated the food thinking and lifestyle to a new dimension! Worth every minute.Darren is brilliant and his love and passion for healthy life will encourage anybody!

Sandi Zavidić – Vegan Mum & Vegan Cheese Purveyor 

I gained a great understanding of raw food through attending Darren’s classes. He is a wealth of information and practices what he preaches.

Holly White – Tv Personality, Blogger and Author of Veganish 

Enrolling for this course was one of the best decisions I ever made. The classes were very in dept and thorough. Darren the course tutor is very accommodating and more than helpful and patient. I met some amazing people on the course also. Completing the course has giving me the confidence to go on and open my own business in the industry.
I can’t recommend the course enough.

Declan Darcy – Founder of The Hemp Kitchen 

This 12 week course was a fantastic way to really understand a plant based diet and to start introducing into your life . I would highly recommend it .

Sonia Micallef

I attended the Raw Food Mastery Workshop with Darren from Jan to Apr 2018. It was a life-changing experience and I met wonderful people in the class. Darren has an incredible Soul and is very knowledgeable. I really liked the fact that he has taken a true holistic approach to plant-based food. Very passionate about the subject, he has done a lot of research and knows how to share the information with his students. I am taking home so much in terms of tips and enlightenment. Darren was also always available to his students when we had questions. I can only highly recommend the course – you will not be disappointed. Namaste!

Helene Ljubanic – Long Term Vegan

I miss spending my Saturdays learning with Darren, I loved the course!!!

Géssica Paiva

Fantastic course! Teacher took time to consider questions from students and it never felt rushed. Covers in detail plant based food and health in scientific detail whilst teaching natural cosmetics, food preparation, fermentation, herbalism and presentation skills. A thorough and intensive immersion in raw food and holistic nutrition. Thank you Plant based Academy for opening up a new world of health to me.

Ethna Mc Dermott – Long Term Vegan & Founder of Vegan Cafe 

This course was one of the most interesting I have ever done. Before starting, I knew very little about the raw-vegan deit but learned so much so fast and in such detail. Each day on the course was so unique and interesting and full of incredibley detailed information. Darren has so much knowlege on the topic and couldn’t possibly have been a better teacher. It was also very cool to meet people with similar interests and learn and grow together!

Mairead Boland

I would highly recommend this course. I got way more out of doing this course than I could ever have imagined when I started it. It is eye opening and life changing information that you will feel compelled to share and live by yourself. A great addition for me as a chef and future nutrition and lifestyle coach.

Amanda Rosse

I cannot recommend this course enough!!! It’s amazing!! I learnt sooo much. Darren is a great teacher. Each class is so interesting and you learn so so much. I have to praise him for his patience.  I knew absolutely nothing as far as cooking goes, but Darren was always so kind and patient and really supportive to me throughout this course or should I say, raw journey. I loved every minute of it so much I’m actually considering doing it again!!

Elaine Fay