7 Health Benefits of Broccoli Sprouts
Last updated on July 26, 2012
Broccoli sprouts have long been a favorite of people who grow their own sprouts and in recent years they’ve become more widely available at groceries around the U.S. They have a mild flavor and contain a highly concentrated level of vitamins and compounds (often 10 to 100 times that of mature broccoli heads).
Here are 7 health benefits of broccoli sprouts:
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, which contains substantial amounts of cancer protective compounds. Researchers at John Hopkins have found that one such compound, sulforaphane, found at highly concentrated levels in broccoli sprouts, may help the body fight cancer.
Specifically, sulforaphane may inhibit the growth of breast cancer stem cells while helping the liver to oust harmful toxins and carcinogens from the body. Another study at Ulster University showed that eating around 100 grams of sprouted vegetables every day protects against DNA damage, which is commonly associated with cancer risk.
Research suggests that consuming broccoli sprouts every day may reduce the overall levels of bad cholesterol in the body while promoting good cholesterol.
Sulforaphanes induce Phase 2 enzymes in the liver, which may improve cardiovascular health by decreasing inflammation and increasing heart, artery and kidney function. They may also help protect blood vessels and prevent vascular diseases associated with diabetes.
A study reported in the New York Times cited that patients affected with ulcers stemming from the bacteria H. pylori may have benefited from eating broccoli sprouts. After two months of daily consumption of the sprouts, these patients showed a lower level of H. pylori infection.
A study in Clinical Immunology reported that sulforaphane may reduce the inflammation associated with asthma and nasal allergies.
High in Protein
A great source of protein, broccoli sprouts are a great source of protein for people who are avoiding meat for health or philosophical reasons.
Studies have shown that sulforaphane may protect the eyes from damage by chemical carcinogens and ultraviolet light. These are key contributors to macular degeneration and blindness in elderly people. However, more studies are needed to confirm the connection between eating broccoli sprouts and preventing eye degeneration.