What’s so special about broccoli sprouts?
According to various researchers (including Johns Hopkins and Ohio State University), they contain 1,000 percent more nutrients than mature broccoli!
Sulforaphane, the prominent phytochemical in broccoli, combats cancer on several fronts − including removal of carcinogens, prevention of cancer cell production, destruction of breast cancer cells, and tumor reduction.
These small plants are in the cancer research limelight for their unique ability to exert 50 times the amount of cancer fighting power of broccoli.
Sprouts are easily absorbed into the system because they also contain potent digestive enzymes. Their flavor allows for easily adding them to all your favorite meals. Broccoli sprouts are also easy to grow and will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
A high dose of antioxidants has extremely beneficial effects on the body. Its almost impossible to get too much. First of all, the antioxidants in broccoli sprouts are great for stopping both aging and cell decay.
Thus resulting in a healthier body.
They can even help reduce your risk of cancer.
There are few things as packed with antioxidants as broccoli sprouts. And so many people have jumped on to the current health craze by eating them.
It’s not just broccoli sprouts; from Green tea to Vitamin C. Antioxidants are the biggest thing in health nowadays. And its no wonder.
Sprouts are a risky proposition for many people.
If they are commercially grown, they can carry food-borne diseases which are especially likely to effect the old and very young, as well as people with compromised immune systems.
Fortunately, if you grow your broccoli sprouts at home, you can ensure that they are not over-saturated and that you use safe fertilizers which will not infect you with e. coli.
One of the healthiest way to consume these little dynamos is by growing broccoli sprouts at home on your own.
Although you can get the same helpful antioxidants in full grown broccoli, broccoli sprouts have the advantage that they contain 50 times the quantity of mature plants.
Another advantage of growing broccoli sprouts as opposed to buying them is safety.
And you don’t have to eat them plain, as if they were medicine, either. broccoli sprouts are great on salads, over rice, marinated and served with chicken, and in many other culinary combinations.
They can be used anywhere that bean sprouts might be called for.
Of course, some people simply don’t like the taste of broccoli sprouts.
For them, there is broccoli sprout extract. Even if you do think that they taste good, this extract might be the logical choice for you.
If you don’t have that much room to grow plants. Broccoli sprout extract has the advantage of being able to pack a tremendous dose into small, affordable pills.
Of course, before you go out and buy a whole pallet of broccoli sprouts. Keep in mind that this is only one way in which you can get antioxidants to help your body and decrease your chance of cancer.
Not only do tea, and multivitamins contain them, but so do most green leafy vegetables. Although not at quite the dose at which they are contained in broccoli sprouts.
7 Easy Steps for Growing Broccoli Sprouts
Step #1: Start with three tablespoons organic, high germination broccoli seeds for sprouting.
Prep the 3 tablespoons of seeds by rinsing them thoroughly in a tightly woven stainless steel or plastic strainer while removing any debris and non-seed material.
Step #2: Place the rinsed seeds in a quart sized, pre-sterilized, glass jar
(a mason canning jar that’s been rinsed with boiling water and cooled is a good choice).
Fill the jar with approximately ¾ cup or more of spring or purified water. The quantity of water is not crucial as the seeds will only absorb the amount necessary for sprouting.
Push down any floating seeds with your finger as broccoli seeds tend to float at first.
Place the jar in an easy to notice place (such as the kitchen counter near the sink. Which is where I keep mine) for eight hours.
Step #3: Drain-Rinse-Drain again.
In this step you skim off any floating bits and then drain them through the strainer. Or place a plastic screen or piece of cheesecloth in the mason jar lid and drain water out this way.
(If using an ordinary quart jar take the cheesecloth or plastic screen and secure it with a heavy rubber band around the mouth of the jar).
It is important to keep seeds rinsed, but not soaking in water from this point on or they will rot.
Invert the container for ten minutes or so at approximately 45 degrees on a dish rack or other holder to ensure the sprouts are free from excess water.
Then set them in a well-ventilated area where they will be noticed during the day so you remember to rinse and drain them every 8 hours.
You can add water through the screen without removing the lid to make it easier. Then shake the seeds down and lay the jar on its side until it’s time to rinse again.
Repeat this process for three days or until you see two leaves emerge.
Step #4: Place them in indirect or partial sunlight to let them get greener.
After another day or two of rinsing and draining, they are ready to store in the refrigerator.
Step #5: Remove the hulls of the seeds
By placing the sprouts in a bowl or other large container of clean water. Gently pull the sprout mass apart and allow the seed hulls to float to the top.
Skim the top, rinse the sprouts again and return them to their jar with the screen on top.
Invert the jar to allow all the water to drain off and allow to dry sufficiently (approximately 8 hours).
Step #6: Place the broccoli sprouts in the refrigerator
In a covered jar or other suitable container for later use in salads, sandwiches, or to eat alone as a snack.
Step #7: Enjoy!
There are many ways to use this nutrient dense food.
However, to fully benefit from all the nutritional properties of these sprouts it is best to consume them in their natural raw (uncooked) state.
Broccoli Sprouts Vs. Broccoli
For most people, broccoli is one of the standard foods the rule-of-health phrase “eat your greens” brings to mind.
This important vegetable also provides a nutrient-packed addition to the world of vegetable foods in the diminutive form of its sprouted seeds.
According to Johns Hopkins University. 3-day-old broccoli sprouts contain as much as 50 times the amount of some of the health-boosting phytonutrients of the mature broccoli head.
Both forms of broccoli provide valuable nutrition in a delicious and convenient form.
Broccoli contains a wealth of nutrients, including more than 1,000 I.U. of vitamin A, 58 mg of vitamin C, 36 mg of calcium and 1.4 micrograms of selenium in a steamed one-half cup serving.
By contrast, broccoli sprouts contain about half as much vitamin A as mature broccoli and a third of the vitamin C.
Broccoli sprouts are a better source of vitamin K, with nearly 38 micrograms per half-cup serving. Well exceeding mature broccoli, which contains 0.4 micrograms per half-cup.
However, the nutrient that makes broccoli sprouts famous is sulphoraphane. A compound with purported anticancer and antidiabetic properties that is present in high concentrations in 3- to 4-day-old broccoli sprouts.
Two phytochemical compounds in broccoli known as diindolylmethane and indole-3-carbinol were found to have inhibitory properties against prostate cancer in a study published in the April 2011 issue of the journal “Molecular Carcinogenesis.”
The tissue culture study revealed that these compounds have the ability to inhibit both testosterone and estrogen.
These constituents of broccoli inhibit cancer by inhibiting a cell growth factor.
The researchers concluded that, based on the results of their preliminary tissue culture study. Broccoli shows good potential as a cancer-preventive food source.
A study published in the 2011 issue of the journal “Nutrition and Cancer” compared the relative absorption of sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts and broccoli powder and found that a combination of the two showed a synergistic effect, whereby broccoli sprouts enhanced absorption of sulforaphane from broccoli.
Participants in the study consumed four meals to which were added 2 g of broccoli sprouts, 2 g of broccoli powder, both or neither.
Sulforophane absorption, as measured by the amount excreted in urine, was 19 percent for the broccoli alone and 49 percent for the combination of broccoli with broccoli sprouts.
Broccoli sprouts alone showed the highest absorption, at 74 percent.
Broccoli sprouts are heart-healthy, according to a study published in the September 2010 issue of the journal “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition.”
In the laboratory animal study, diets consisting of 2 percent broccoli sprouts for 10 days resulted in lower markers for heart cell damage and up to 86 percent decreased apoptosis — programmed cell death.
Markers for oxidative stress also decreased in the group that consumed broccoli sprouts compared with a control group that did not receive broccoli sprouts.
Liver antioxidants also increased with broccoli sprout supplementation.
The researchers concluded that short-term consumption of broccoli sprouts showed strong cardioprotective benefits in this preliminary animal study.