Broccoli sprouts are tender young broccoli plants which are growing in popularity due to their high nutrition levels. In addition to being nutritious, these baby broccoli can add crispness to a salad or sandwich.
Broccoli sprouts and extracts from them have shown promising health benefits
Along with kale, cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, a family of vegetables which are known for their Sulforaphane content. A study has shown that just 3 or 4 servings of one of these vegetables per day can reduce the risks of cancer by as much as 40%.
Sulforaphane has also been shown in studies to potentially be more efficient in treating ulcers than traditional antibiotics. It is also believed to reduce the levels of glutamate which has been associated with mental disorders like schizophrenia and depression.
Besides having a health benefit for you, eating broccoli sprouts during pregnancy, it’s said to provide better health to your baby.
Are Broccoli Sprouts Poisonous
Whilst all sprouts may be associated with food poisoning due to the environment they are grown in, being ideal for bacteria, for healthy people the nutritional value they offer far outweighs their hazards. If, however, you are susceptible to food poisoning or related problems, take precautions before eating them like washing your hands before and after handling them.
Usually food poisoning might occur if you eat the sprouts raw and so, cooking them in soups, stir fries or stews is often recommended. If you don’t intend to use the sprouts immediately, you should refrigerate them.
Freezing Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli sprouts can be frozen and stored for 10 – 14 days and it is perhaps beneficial to do so. Whilst freezing vegetables rarely affects their nutrients, broccoli sprouts are an exception as they contain sulforaphane. Sulforaphane can double its presence in broccoli sprouts when they are frozen, however, it can leach out while thawing.
Sulforaphane is only activated when 2 of its components interact. This usually only occurs when the broccoli sprouts are chewed but the process of freezing and then thawing can initiate early activation.
Are Broccoli Sprouts the Same as Broccoli?
Although broccoli sprouts are mini versions of the full size vegetable, they contain far more nutrients than their fully grown version. In some instances, the differences are substantial, such as:
- 50 times more sulforaphane than regular broccoli
- 7.5mg of vitamin E in 1 cup of broccoli sprouts compared to just 1.5mg in fully grown broccoli
- Broccoli sprouts can contain between 10 and 100 times more glucoraphanin than mature broccoli
Overall, it is considered that you would have to eat 20 times more fully grown broccoli than you would broccoli sprouts in order to get the equivalent beneficial nutrients.
What are Healthier, Broccoli Sprouts or Brussels Sprouts?
Whilst both Broccoli Sprouts and Brussels sprouts are considered to be superfoods as they are packed with nutrients, they do have different properties. 1 cup of broccoli sprouts has 98 calories compared to Brussels sprouts with 65 calories. Broccoli sprouts also have more fat, 1gm compared to Brussels sprouts 0.6, more carbs, 20.1gm compared to 12.9gm. Broccoli sprouts are also higher in fiber, sugar, and protein than Brussels sprouts.
Although broccoli sprouts are higher in calories, carbs, and fat, they are also higher in potassium, iron,calcium and vitamin B. Brussel sprouts on the other hand have a lower sodium level. This means that both broccoli sprouts and Brussels sprouts truly are superfoods. Both are low in saturated fats and have no cholesterol whilst being excellent sources for dietary fiber, vitamins A, B6, and C, manganese, magnesium, riboflavin, thiamin, and phosphorus.
How Much Broccoli Sprouts Should I Eat?
As well as being very nutritious, broccoli sprouts are also versatile, able to be eaten in salads or sandwiches or added to smoothies. Some people even use steamed broccoli sprouts as a side dish for a meal but they are probably more often seen in Asian take outs.
Considering they are so versatile and nutritious it could easily be possible to eat too much but eating too much of anything can turn a benefit into a problem. Perhaps the best measure of how much to eat would be to look at broccoli sprouts’ best asset and take it from there.
The most distinct benefit of broccoli sprouts is its high level of Sulforaphane. It is estimated that 1gm of broccoli sprouts contains approximately 0.425mg of sulforaphane and that an effective amount of sulforaphane is about 40mg to 60mg. This means that 100gms of broccoli sprouts would certainly provide a benefit. It has been suggested though that if sulforaphane is taken regularly, 10mg (25gms of broccoli sprouts) would be sufficient to be beneficial.
Where to Buy Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli sprouts may not be in your local supermarket but they can often be found in health or natural food stores, plus of course your local market. However, due to their limited availability, many people opt to grow broccoli sprouts at home. They are easy to grow and broccoli sprouting seeds are available at Todd’s Seeds.
Broccoli sprouts are a very nutritious alternative to regular vegetables and are known to be particularly beneficial to your health due to their high levels of sulforaphane. Versatile as well as nutritious means broccoli sprouts can be added to many different dishes to provide a well- balanced and nutritious meal.
Many vegetables may lose some of their nutritional value when frozen. However, as the level of sulforaphane increases when broccoli sprouts are frozen, they may even be more nutritious after a couple of days in the refrigerator or freezer.
As broccoli sprouts can be harvested after just 2 or 3 weeks from planting, many people choose to grow them in their homes so they are readily available. Most sprouts are easy to grow at home and broccoli sprouts are no exception. You can find instructions on how to grow them for optimum nutrition here.
You can also watch the video version of this article below.
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