Broccoli Sprouts- An Unsung Superfood
Small but mighty, broccoli sprouts are a nutritional powerhouse and one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Broccoli sprouts are an incredibly rich source of sulforaphane and you can grow them in your kitchen for pennies. Learn how to make broccoli sprouts at home with just a few simple steps!
BENEFITS OF BROCCOLI SPROUTS
Broccoli sprouts are nutritional powerhouses. Basically, broccoli sprouts include the nutritional value of a mature head of broccoli but in a much greater amount. Their teeny tiny little seeds are loaded with enzymes, protein, vitamins and minerals, and an anti-cancer phytochemical called sulforaphane.
What's so special about Sulforaphane? Sulforaphane is a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, asparagus and kale. It's the inactive form of glucoraphanin, a glucosinolate that converts to sulforaphane when it comes into direct contact (such as chopping or chewing) with the enzyme myrosinase. Broccoli sprouts contain up to 100 times more glucoraphanin than mature broccoli plants.
Sulforaphane activates the NRF2 pathway that regulates over 200 genes, including those linked with inflammation. It crosses the blood-barrier and has profound effects on the brain.
Sulforaphane contained within broccoli sprouts:
· Reduce cancer risk and kill cancer cells
· Increase the excretion of carcinogens, including benzene which is highly damaging to the immune system
· Deactivate and excrete other harmful compounds on a daily basis
· Reduce the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease
· Lower inflammatory cytokines
· Reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's
· Improve symptoms of children on the autistic spectrum
· Help to lower fasting blood sugar levels
· Lower cholesterol in Type II diabetes patients
· Activate both Phase I and Phase II detoxification enzymes that help to neutralize and excrete used hormones and toxins
· Destroy H. pylori, a particularly destructive bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers and, in rare, cases, cancer
· Control inflammation and protect the lining of the GI tract
Sprouting is relatively easy to do and helps enhance the nutritional properties of a food. Sprouting can also help aid digestion by helping to break down certain tough-to-digest components of foods, like phytic acid. If you don’t love the taste however, blend them into smoothies or eat with a larger salad. Broccoli sprouts are a fantastic addition to salads, smoothies, and sandwiches.
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI SPROUTS AT HOME
To make broccoli sprouts at home, all you’ll need is:
2 tbsp broccoli sprouting seeds (buy organic!)
a large wide-mouth mason jar or sprouting jar
a sprouting lid
Follow these steps to get started with making your very own broccoli sprouts!
Add broccoli seeds to mason jar.
Cover with 2 inches filtered water and cap with sprouting lid. Store in warm, dark place (such as kitchen cabinet or pantry) overnight.
In the morning, drain the water.
Rinse seeds with fresh water by swirling then draining the water. Most of the water should be drained, to improve drainage, place jar upside down in large bowl at a 45-degree angle.
Repeat the rinse, swirl, and drain process 2-3 times per day.
After a few days the seeds will begin to break open and the tiny sprouts will appear. Once they’ve reached 1 inch and have long yellow leaves, give them some sunlight to help them mature. Once they turn green, they’ve matured, and they’re ready to eat.
Cover and store in airtight container/ jar in fridge and try to eat them within three days to ensure maximum nutritional benefit.