Cruciferous vegetables such as Broccoli, Kale and, cauliflowers are at the top of the list of cancer-fighting foods because they contain a bioactive phytochemical called sulforaphane which is a powerful plant compound with high health benefits. Yet you would have to eat 10 servings of these vegetables every day to get the desired outcome. But young sprouts contain up to 50 times more of the organic compound than mature plants. Harvested at just four to five days old, broccoli sprouts are the richest source of sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane is derived from glucosinolate contained in the plant, and is released from the vegetables when you chop or chew them. But this natural chemical begins degrading soon after production; that’s why the quantity is so much higher in sprouts than in mature plants.
So, what are exactly the benefits of broccoli sprouts?
Many studies have supported the protective effects of broccoli and broccoli sprouts against cancer. Sulforaphane induces enzymes which deactivate carcinogens and free radicals, thus enhancing the body’s own defense system against cancer-causing chemicals. It enhances the capacity of cells to fight cancer, prevents them from turning cancerous and, can even kill cancer cells. Sulforaphane has been shown to help prevent the growth of many cancers including breast, prostate, colon, skin, lung, stomach, and bladder cancer. Research show that even small quantities of broccoli sprout extract have the power to markedly reduce the size of rat mammary tumors induced by chemical carcinogens.
Sulforaphane may reduce the symptoms of asthma and other lung problems. Broccoli sprout supplementation reduced oxidative stress and inflammation in the airways of participants in a study published in “Clinical Immunology”. Likewise, it has been shown that sulforaphane has the potential to treat respiratory disorders.
Sulfaraphane-rich broccoli sprouts may help lowering your risk for heart disease. High blood pressure and elevated triglyceride and cholesterol levels are strong risk factors for developing heart disease, and people with diabetes are at even greater risk. Broccoli sprout powder decreased blood triglyceride levels in people with Type 2 diabetes in a 2012 study published in “Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.” In another study, a diet supplemented with dried broccoli sprouts significantly lowered the blood pressure.
Broccoli sprouts also contain a natural compound called glucoraphanin which associated with sulforaphane can help detoxify your body from environmental pollutants. A study done at Johns Hopkins has shown greater urinary excretion of air pollutants when sulforaphane and glucoraphanin were consumed.
So, adding Broccoli sprouts to your diet seems like a good idea. You don’t need to eat it by the bucket. Being so rich in Sulforaphane, a small amount regularly will be enough to improve your health. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Just 5 grams of sprouts contain concentrations of sulforaphane equal to that found in 150 grams of mature broccoli. You can just add Broccoli sprouts to your sandwich, sprinkle it on your salad or include it in your smoothies.