Broccoli sprouts may be the easiest plant to grow in your kitchen. However, do these “mini vegetables” provide enough health benefits to make it worth your time? Below, we discuss the numerous potential broccoli sprout benefits.
First of all, broccoli sprouts contain several vitamins, minerals, fiber. In addition, they may even help to fight cancer (read more below).
Researchers are now studying the effects of these powerful miniature greens on a myriad of diseases and conditions, including autism. Studies show positive results in autism patients who were given high doses of sulforaphane (a nutrient found in broccoli sprouts). That said, the testing included doses much higher that one would get simply from eating a bunch of raw sprouts.
Sulforaphane may be better known for its cancer-fighting benefits. I find it interesting that the sulforaphane doesn’t actually do the “fighting”. Rather, it stimulates the body to do its own fighting. Specifically, researchers see a reduction in skin tumor formation and even preventing existing tumors to progressing to cancerous growths.
What are the Vitamins in Broccoli Sprouts?
The International Sprout Growers Association provides a handy breakdown of the nutritional components of broccoli sprouts to the left.
Sprout contain a significant amount of protein and fiber in a small 35-calorie serving. In addition, these nutrient-dense greens also provide a good amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium and Iron. As you can see, they make a much healthier choice compared to a couple of pieces of iceberg lettuce on a sandwich.
But why broccoli sprouts vs regular broccoli?
Foods in their sprouted form also contain more enzymes. This enables us to absorb more nutrition from the food as well. Rather than cooking a pot full of broccoli, you may just want to reach for a handful of broccoli sprouts.
Consequently, many people refer to them as a superfood. With up to 50 times more antioxidants than full grown broccoli, this Superfood is a roadblock for cancer causing free radicals.
Broccoli Sprout Health Benefits & Cancer Prevention
Broccoli sprouts contain a lot of nutrients for their caloric size. Therefore, people often call them a superfood. You can sometimes find them fresh in supermarkets, however, you can easily grow them at home too.
Many people get inexpensive seed sprouters and grow broccoli sprouts on their kitchen counter year round. Save money by growing your own. Plus, you can also avoid pesticides, chlorine or other chemicals added to produce in grocery stores.
Researchers concluded that only a diverse diet “induced a significant reduction in DNA oxidation.” (DNA oxidation, or oxidative damage, occurs when free radicals cause problems in the body.
Antioxidants like some of the vitamins and phytochemicals found in plants are believed to reduce this damage.) In other words, as the researchers wrote, “smaller amounts of many phytochemicals may have greater beneficial effects than larger amounts of fewer phytochemicals.”
Broccoli Sprouts: Nutrition Facts:
Many of us know broccoli sprouts for having cancer-fighting antioxidant properties, due to the enzyme sulforaphane. However, what other nutritional benefits do they contain?
First of all, sprouted foods can contain significantly more enzymes than in their mature form. Therefore, we can extract more vitamins and minerals from the foods without having to eat a ton of them.
In fact, Joel Fuhrman, M.D. says in his book, Eat to Live, that when people consume more raw fruits and vegetables, they can reduce their blood pressure and lose weight effortlessly.
Broccoli sprouts also contain a high of fiber and vitamin C. Dr Fuhrman reports that the fiber found in edible plants provide multiple benefits. For example, they help with diabetes prevention, lowered risk of varicose veins. Furthermore, they help to boost the immune system, minimize hormonal imbalances and more.
They also contain vitamins A, B, E and K plus protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, chlorophyll and amino acids according to SproutPeople.org. However, don’t expect to get your daily recommended intake of vitamins and minerals from a handful of sprouts.
So, we know that broccoli sprouts are nutritious and contain a good amount of sulforaphane that provides significant health benefits. However, did you know that we can triple the amount of sulforaphane in the sprouts before we eat them?
Can Broccoli Sprouts Fight Cancer?
According to Deborah Mitchell’s book, The Broccoli Sprouts Breakthrough, research done at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute in 1992 showed that vegetables in the Brassica family included sulforaphane, which stimulates the body’s ability to fight cancer. And what is the plant with the highest concentration? Broccoli.
Furthermore, an article on NaturalNews.com reports that broccoli sprouts provide up to 50X more cancer fighting benefits than mature broccoli. That’s a significant difference.
And, if you don’t like broccoli, this is great news. You can get all the benefits of eating broccoli, but you don’t have to eat it at every meal. You can even add the sprouts to a breakfast smoothie if you don’t like the taste of the sprouts. You’ll never know the difference!
And here’s something else that may make you think twice about buying mature broccoli vs broccoli sprouts…
According to Jo Robinson’s Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, research shows that cruciferous vegetables can lose up to 80% of their nutritional value from the time that they are harvested to being on your fridge shelf. Not to mention that most people cook them and lower the nutritional content even more.
Yes, it can be expensive when you buy fresh broccoli sprouts at your local supermarket, but the cancer-fighting benefits are well worth it. If cost is an issue, you can save a bunch of money by simply getting a seed sprouter and sprouting your own at home.
Plus, Life Extension Journal reports that the sulforaphane in broccoli sprout extract helps protect skin against damage from UV radiation. This is another big bonus for people who spend time in the sun or are concerned about the visual effects of aging.
SGS, a compound found in 3-4 day old sprouted broccoli has been found to be a powerful long lasting antioxidant that can help to reduce ones risk of cancer if eaten 3 to 4 times per week.