What are they?
Germinated seeds, 3-5 day old baby broccoli plants!
What’s so great about them?
They are nutritional powerhouses, containing many nutrients (esp vitamin C) & phytochemicals, which are bioactive plant compounds. In particular, sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane is an antioxidant & anti inflammatory compound which can benefit hormone health, but also heart disease, cancer & diabetes. You can buy the seeds and grow them very easily, or buy them ready to eat. I got a bag of freeze dried broccoli sprouts from SkySprouts who also sell sprouting kits. They have kindly allowed me to share a 10% discount with you, which you can find in my instagram bio @naturalnutritionalhealth https://linktr.ee/naturalnutritionalhealth
Are they not the same as broccoli ?
Sulforaphane is also found in cruciferous vegetables e.g. cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli & kale. Broccoli sprouts provide up to 100 times more glucoraphanin than whole broccoli, which converts to sulforaphane when sprouts are chewed/cut. So chew well!
Cruciferous vegetables support liver detoxification due to two components, DIM, which supports the first phase. Sulforaphane supports the second phase, aiding healthy detoxification & removal of excess or unsafe forms of oestrogen. It assists the liver & gut in eliminating them.
Some oestrogen metabolites can have adverse effects on us. Eating broccoli sprouts is one of many tools to support hormone balance. Sulforaphane can also help support healthy levels of more protective forms of oestrogen.
They therefore help reduce oestrogen dominance, possible even in perimenopause, oestrogen levels do not need to be high, just in relation to progesterone levels. Signs can be: heavy periods, tender breasts, weight gain & mood swings.
There is evidence to show women consuming higher intakes of sulforaphane reported a reduction in menopausal symptoms. It also helps to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation, these areas which require extra attention during menopause.
Thyroid & Goitrogens
Raw cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogens which may impair thyroid function. This can be mitigated by simply cooking these vegetables. However broccoli sprouts contain virtually none of these compounds, so can be eaten raw as well as cooked
How to eat them?
You can add broccoli sprouts (approx 2 tablespoons) to salads, sandwiches, wraps, smoothies, soups or sautée in a stir fry. In fact, heating broccoli sprouts triples the sulforaphane formation, so is beneficial.