Popeye was right about one thing. The good stuff is best eaten raw and green. He just had a different vegetable in mind. Don’t stop eating your spinach, but do add a handful of broccoli sprouts. 

I recently met a friend for dinner while traveling east to west. This friend is into all things science and teaches biology on the collegiate level. For several years he has been on a quest to be as healthy and fit as possible. He started this process by paying close attention to science.

When this friend tells me about his latest interests and discoveries, I pay attention!

This time was no exception. My friend had something new to share. He was talking about broccoli sprouts. The way he explained it to me is that he thought it was like a switch being flipped that helped clean out dysfunctional properties in the system. “We have poor diets and we are exposed to external influences, which can negatively impact our internal operations. Adding broccoli sprouts to the diet, helps the body ‘fix’ itself and return to more of a state of homeostasis (balance).”

This made me take notice. My friend left me with dryly written scientific articles. Yawn. I was glad he took time to explain it first. I did read the articles and well, I was intrigued enough to decide to do something about it.

Yes, I have added broccoli sprout supplements and have ordered seeds to grow myself!

Here’s a little bit more information about what adding broccoli sprouts to your regime possibly can do for you.

First of all, why do we benefit?

The magical ingredient is: myrosinase, which is an enzyme that is required to form an anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting element. Yes, you can get it from the kind of broccoli we normally see and purchase at the grocery store.

What makes broccoli sprouts a more powerful source?

It has to do with what happens when broccoli is cooked. As long as you eat it raw or steam it under four minutes, you’re more than likely still getting what you need. My friend said it’s also more potent in the sprouts. He’s not the only one who said this. So did Dr. Talalay, a John Hopkins researcher, who was one of the first, if not the first, to publish information about the benefits of broccoli sprouts. He said in a 1997 press release: “Three-day-old broccoli sprouts consistently contain 20 to 50 times the amount of chemoprotective compounds found in mature broccoli heads and may offer a simple dietary means of chemically reducing cancer risk.”

After getting this little tidbit of information, I did what I normally do. I checked it out by using my good cyber friend, Google. There is research to support the claims with both rats and humans as the subjects and it seems to support the hypothesis that adding broccoli sprouts to your diet can help one fight cancer and inflammatory illnesses.

Sign me up! How do I grow my own?

My friend said: “Just buy the seeds, get a jar, plant the seeds and water.” He told me he purchased his online. That is what I did. It was easy to do and the seeds are inexpensive. “In about four or five days, you’ll have some ready to add to your salad or food. And, it doesn’t take much.” He recommended going for at least 3 to 4 ounces, which supplies a powerful punch.

As I mentioned already, I am taking the supplements until I get my broccoli sprout growing. The supplements are also inexpensive. I found mine for under $15. You can also find them at sometimes in a grocery store.

A caveat: Broccoli sprouts are considered safe to eat raw. They different than sprouts from a legume. According to Dr. Andrew Weil: “The only sprouts I advise against eating raw are legume sprouts  because they contain natural toxins that are only broken down through cooking in water. These include mung bean, lentil, chickpea, and alfalfa sprouts. The toxin in alfalfa sprouts, canavanine, can harm the immune system. Since cooking turns these delicate sprouts to mush, I advise against eating them at all.” (Source: drweil.com)

Happy planting and fighting!

For a wealth of information from some guys who really know, visit www.shealywellness.org or even better, visit their holistic wellness clinic.

Allyn Evans