They may seem small, but these sprouts pack a nutritional punch.
Broccoli comes from the Brassicaceae family, which has been proven to have plenty of health benefits. We all know eating broccoli is good for us, so what are added benefits of eating broccoli sprouts compared to eating a mature broccoli head?
Broccoli sprouts contain more antioxidants and phytochemicals than its mature version. These phytochemicals and antioxidants are what make broccoli so healthy. The compounds contained in these sprouts are also more bio-available (more easily absorbed and utilized by the body).
At about three days old broccoli sprouts contain large amounts of glucoraphanin and myrosinase, compounds which result in the production of sulforaphane. The sulforaphane is produced when the sprouts are being chewed and the glucoraphanin and myrosinase mix. Sulforaphane is the compound responsible for the majority of the health benefits related with broccoli sprouts.
A few reasons why you should consider eating broccoli sprouts:
- Cancer prevention:
By removing potential carcinogens from the body through a process known as “xenobiotic metabolism”, the body is protected against tumour development. Sulforaphane also alters our genetic make-up, through reversing negative mutations in the genes, resulting in a reduced risk of developing certain cancers. Notably skin, lung, breast, prostate and colon cancers.
- Heart Health:
Studies have shown broccoli sprouts to have a protective effect on the heart due to a reduction in oxidative stress and reduced DNA-methylation. It has also been effective in lowering blood pressure as well as resulting in lowered triglyceride levels (a type of fat), this protects the heart against coronary artery disease.
The sprouts are able to combat oxidative stress which is related to aging and inflammation. It specifically targets the gastric lining, helping to maintain a healthy gut lining.
- Combat Insulin-Resistance and Obesity:
By preventing the formation of fat on the liver and encouraging the transformation of white fat cells into beige fat cells, it protects against obesity. This process also helps with reduced glucose tolerance, by improving insulin sensitivity.
This should hopefully have you asking, “How do I grow my own broccoli sprouts?”.
Well I am glad you asked. Here’s how:
You will need:
A clean glass jar (Preferably with a wide mouth)
Optional is a sprouting rack.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of broccoli seeds to the jar and cover with filtered water and add lid. Leave overnight (at least 8 hours) in a dark, well ventilated area that is not too cold.
- Drain the water and rinse with fresh water.
- Place the jar at an angle either on a rack or in a bowl to allow the remaining water to drain out. Repeat 2-3 times per day.
- The seeds should start sprouting on day 2, continue step 3 till there is a spout between 2 & 3cm long.
- The sprouts are ready to be enjoyed once they produce dark green leaves. And are best enjoyed fresh, or well drained and stored in an airtight container.
Making your own sprouts is easy, cost effective and gives you instant access to a nutritious powerhouse.
It can easily be added to most meals and adds and extra helping of antioxidants, due to the chlorophyll content. (the compound responsible for the green colour in some plants) Adding this extra dose of greens to our diets also has anti-inflammatory effects. And sprouts are the perfect way to consume raw, living chlorophyll.