A real live super foodBroccoli Sprouts
Nothing says, ‘I love you’ like a bunch of Broccoli Sprouts!
Holding on for a hero
You want a super food? I’ll give you a real hero: Broccoli Sprouts!
Now, I’ll admit that all bound up in their container, these sprouty things don’t look too dissimilar to a manky mass of hair that I might pull up from the depths of my shower drain… However, this particular type of sprout is in fact the ‘protector of the people’.
A lot of so-called super-foods have only had their antioxidant activity assessed using test tube methods. These methods have little relevance on how they will react in the cells of the body after it is has been consumed — or if they will be absorbed into the body at all.
Human studies have shown that Sulphoraphane (from Broccoli Sprouts) has antioxidant effects and stimulates the body’s production of detoxification enzymes. It is also highly active at low doses.
Mild flavor. Mild crunch. Major nutrition
Getting into the details
The special ingredients found in Broccoli Sprouts
Glucosinolates — specifically sulphoraphane, and indole-3-carbinol. These substances have remarkable anti-cancer effects. They are particularly good for preventing, and helping to treat1:
they can increase the excretion of ‘bad’ oestrogen from the body
they can arrest the growth of cancer cells
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
they can decrease the growth of this virus which is linked to cervical cancer
Helicobacter pylori (H-pylori)
they can help the body to get rid of this bacteria which is linked to a person’s increased risk of gastric cancer
Broccoli sprouts are baby Broccoli
While they may be younger (and more naive…), they contain anywhere from 30 to 50 times the concentration of protective compounds than their more mature counterparts.
Where to get Broccoli Sprouts from
Your Organic Stores (or you can grow your own)
How to purchase Broccoli Sprouts
They are sold in containers to prevent the sprouts from drying out. Containers are also useful as they come with an expiry date… Sprouts don’t keep long, so eat them within four days of purchasing (or before expiry).
Note: ensure your container is recyclable… and recycle it!
How much do Broccoli Sprouts cost
Around $3.95 for 70g
How many Broccoli Sprouts you should eat
For therapeutic effect, you need to consume approximately 30g of sprouts per week. That’s 1/2 a container per week. Share the rest of your pack with a friend or a family member (nothing says, ‘I love you’ like a bunch of Broccoli Sprouts!)
Note: As I always say, don’t go crazy overconsuming any particular food or drink – regardless of whether it is considered good or bad for you! Please bear in mind that Broccoli Sprouts are a member of the Cabbage family. Therefore if you over-consume veges from this family you may end up with a food intolerance, or you may upset your thyroid gland2.
You would need to eat approximately 1kg of broccoli per week to get the same therapeutic effect
Before you eat Broccoli Sprouts
Sniff them! If they are well grown and fresh they won’t smell unpleasant.
How to eat Broccoli Sprouts
You eat these ‘babies’ raw. You could eat them straight — as a snack. But I prefer to add them to salads. Or to scatter them across cooked vege dishes (pizza!) before serving them.
Note: If you’re not a fan of the taste of Broccoli Sprouts, some practitioner grade brands of health supplements have included this super food into specific formulations e.g. Metagenics’ Femme Essentials, and Mediherbs P2 Detox powder. These are available through your Naturopath.