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Sprouts: A Small but Mighty Powerful Plant


Did you know broccoli sprouts are 10-100 times more rich in glucoraphanin (a powerful antioxidant) than mature broccoli does [1]? Broccoli sprouts contain high levels of glucoraphanin, that when consumed, turns into Sulforaphane - a plant compound linked to many health benefits. This process actually happens as a result of chewing. Inside of sprouts' plant cell walls is glucoraphanin and an enzyme, myrosinase [1]. The act of chewing forces glucoraphanin and myrosinase to interact and the interaction produces sulforaphane! Some Highlights of Sulforaphane: As one of the most frequently studied compounds, sulforaphane has exhibited antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, antiinflammatory, neuroprotective, and antidiabetic properties [4]. In particular, sulforaphane protects cells by inducing phase 2 detoxification and increasing cellular glutathione, the body's master antioxidant [2]. Sulforaphane has been distinguished as an anti-cancer compound with studies showing between 30-40% decreased risk of cancer with consumption of broccoli sprouts weekly [3]. Given literature to date, broccoli sprouts have much to offer us. It is important to note however, that heat destroys the enzyme myrosinase, and thus inhibits the conversion of glucoraphhanin to sulforaphane, suggesting broccoli sprouts are best enjoyed raw [2]! They are relatively tasteless and can be put atop salads, pizzas, sandwiches, thrown in with smoothies, or as a side on it's own! Pick some up on your next trip to your local health food store. References: 1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4736808/ 2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC23369/ 3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4432495/ 4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5225737/

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