Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli are very rich in nutrients, including several carotenoids; vitamins E, C, and K; folate; and minerals. They also are an excellent fiber source. A high consumption of cruciferous vegetables has been linked with a decreased risk of cancer.
Broccoli contains elements known as glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing chemicals. During chewing and digestion, the glucosinolates are broken down to form active composites such as indoles and isothiocyanates. An indole and isothiocyanate (sulforaphane) have been extensively studied for their anticancer effects.
Indoles and isothiocyanates hinder the growth of cancer in several organs in rodents, such as the bladder, colon, breast, liver, stomach, and lung.
Studies in animals and experiments with laboratory cells have recognized several possible methods in which these composites may help prevent and fight cancer. They :
- Help inactivate carcinogens.
- Kills cancer stem cells.
- Defend cells from DNA damage.
- Have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal effects.
- Are powerful anti-inflammatory agents.
- Inhibit metastasis (tumor cell migration).
- Repress tumor blood vessel formation.
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And now let’s take a look why Broccoli Sprouts are so powerful in fighting and preventing cancer:
Several studies have established broccoli as an anti-cancer vegetable. Broccoli can prevent and help with many health issues. In fact, many studies confirm not only the anti-cancer properties but also to help with cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, asthma, and inflammatory diseases.
The researchers attempted to determine how much Broccoli one would have to eat to produce a significant level of protection against cancer. They state that one would have to eat about two pounds of Broccoli a week to reduce, for example, the risk of colon cancer by about 50%. However, fresh Broccoli sprouts offer an alternative. We can eat 10 to 100 times lower quantities and still get the main benefits.
Broccoli sprouts contain a substance called sulforaphane which is one of the most powerful antioxidants and detoxification elements. ”Paul Talalay, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University isolated the cancer-fighting phytochemical sulforaphane. He discovered that sprouting delivers more sulforaphane than broccoli alone with 20 to 50 times the anti-cancer potential using the right strain of broccoli sprouting seeds.” Just 5 grams of sprouts contain concentrations of the compound glucoraphanin equivalent to that found in 150 grams of mature Broccoli.
Broccoli sprouts are the most hopeful at preventing and killing cancer. The best thing about sulforaphane is that it kills cancer cells, but seems to have minimal impact on healthy cells. It also intensifies the efficiency of anti-cancer drugs.
Detoxify Environmental Pollutants
Johns Hopkins researchers have come up with yet another reason to eat broccoli sprouts. A clinical trial comprising almost 300 men and women living in one of China’s most polluted regions found that daily consumption of a half-cup of broccoli sprouts helped rid their bodies of cancer-causing contaminants.
Broccoli sprouts are a source of glucoraphanin, which produces sulforaphane when chewed or swallowed. That compound stimulates the body’s ability to detoxify from various pollutants…
“This study points to a frugal, simple and safe means that can be taken by individuals to possibly reduce some of the long-term health risks associated with air pollution,” noted Thomas Kensler, a professor at Johns Hopkins.”
Furthermore, recently, researchers are extensively studying Broccoli Sprouts which Shows Promise in Treating Autism (Hopkins, 2014).
The researchers say: “Many of those who took a daily dose of the compound sulforaphane experienced substantial improvements in their social interaction and verbal communication, along with decreases in repetitive, ritualistic behaviors, compared to those who received a placebo.”
“We believe that this may be preliminary evidence for the first treatment for autism that improves symptoms by apparently correcting some of the underlying cellular problems,” says Paul Talalay, M.D., professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences, who has researched these vegetable compounds for the past 25 years.
Sulforaphane also possesses anti-diabetic and antimicrobial properties. In addition, There are hundreds of scientific papers on Sulforaphane alone and some of the other benefits are:
More Main Uses and Benefits of Sulforaphane:
- Supports Detoxification – Sulforaphane boosts the antioxidant capacity of cells.
- Improves Diabetes – Broccoli sprouts improve many parameters in diabetes. In fact, Sulforaphane may prevent nephropathy, diabetes-induced fibrosis, and vascular complications. Also, Broccoli sprouts increased blood antioxidant capacity and HDL cholesterol and reduced oxidative stress, triglycerides, insulin, insulin resistance, and CRP.
- Lowers Cholesterol – In 12 subjects, ingesting 100g of fresh broccoli sprouts for 1 week lowered total and LDL cholesterol, and raised HDL cholesterol too.
- Prevents and Fights Heart and Cardiovascular Diseases – Both sulforaphane and broccoli sprouts decrease blood pressure in hypertensive rats. In fact, a diet rich in Brassica vegetables lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, according to studies.
- Antiviral and Combats Bacteria and Fungi – Sulforaphane manifests significant antiviral activity against influenza, HIV, Epstein-Barr virus and also hepatitis C. Furthermore, In one study, 23 out of 28 tested bacterial and fungal species were suppressed by sulforaphane.
- Protects the Skin – Sulforaphane provides protection against UVA and UVB inflammation, sunburn, and also skin damage.
- Protects the Brain and Restores Cognitive Function – It reduces brain inflammation in several animal models of pathogen-induced neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative disease. In addition, It improves cognitive performance and prevents memory impairment.
- Reduces Health Damage from Pollution – Sulforaphane helps the body detoxify airborne pollutants, pesticides, and heavy metals too.
- May Help with Parkinson’s Disease and also Alzheimer’s
- Effective against H. pylori – Broccoli sprouts inhibit the growth of H. pylori.
- Enhances Liver Function – Broccoli sprouts improved liver function (In men with fatty liver).
- Helpful in Airway Inflammation and Asthma – Sulforaphane has beneficial effects in animals with asthma and also airway inflammation.
- Combats Inflammation caused by Autoimmune disorders – Sulforaphane also reduces autoimmune inflammation, which is helpful in conditions like MS.
- Arthritis – In mice, Sulforaphane reduced the severity of arthritis.
- Protect the Kidneys – It defends against kidney damage in rodents.
- Protects the Eyes – Sulforaphane protects human retinal cells from UVA light-induced damage. Also, it protects human lens cells against oxidative stress and may delay the onset of cataracts.
- Boosts the Immune System – Sulforaphane enhances bacterial clearance and also enhances the activity of natural killer cells (NK cells) in mice.
- Sulforaphane is a strong anti-Inflammatory agent.
Tips and How to Sprout:
Learning how to grow quality Broccoli Sprouts for the lowest cost is one of the best things you can do for your health. Avoid Broccoli sprout contamination by sprouting your own. In addition, Avoid GMO seeds and get organic from a reputable brand.
” First of all, Get your organic sprouting seeds.
1) Place the seeds into the jar with three times the amount of purified water.
2) Let it sit for around six hours, then tip the jar carefully to avoid damaging seeds and sprouts to pour out the water. Rinse with fresh water and drain again.
3) Keep the jar propped at a downward angle to allow for more drainage. Keep away from heat and direct sunlight.
4) This is continued until the jar begins getting filled with fresh sprouts. Then strong indirect sunlight is encouraged.
5) After five days usually, broccoli sprouts are ready and should be refrigerated.”
If you do not want to sprout your seeds, you can get standardized supplements with Sulforaphane to get the mentioned benefits or buying fresh broccoli sprouts from reputace manufacturers.
Safety, Side Effects, and Dosing:
Hypothyroidism concerns: According to the research, it would take a large volume of cruciferous vegetables to cause hypothyroidism, and it seems that there is only a risk if someone also has an iodine deficiency.
Liver toxicity: There is a single case report after drinking large volumes of broccoli juice for four weeks (800 ml/day). So keep in mind that any herb and supplement, in excess, may cause more harm than good.
Broccoli sprouts may cause low blood pressure.
Caution: As with alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts may carry bacteria that may cause sickness when ingested. Broccoli sprouts should be purchased from reliable manufacturers.
Dosing: In clinical trials, 50-100g of broccoli sprouts daily have been used. For preventing cancer, eating a half cup of broccoli sprouts three times weekly has been recommended. And If using extracts, use as directed.
Are we getting enough cruciferous vegetables in our diet? For most of us, the answer is no. With broccoli sprouts, you can see how easy it can be to get the highest benefits and not needing to eat that much. As mentioned, fresh broccoli sprouts are much more potent than mature broccoli, allowing you to eat far less. I hope I have convinced you to start sprouting your own broccoli seeds and adding it to your diet; it is one of the best things you can do for your health. Finally, Don’t forget to check my other articles on my FB page (contacts below).