6 Surprising Health Benefits of Broccoli Sprouts

broccoli sprouts, nutrition, wellness, health

Broccoli Sprouts Are Incredibly Good for You

Broccoli sprouts are three- to four-day-old broccoli plants. Despite being so “young,” these little sprouts can be more beneficial than whole broccoli. For instance, broccoli sprouts contain 10-100 times the amount of chemo-protective compounds found in regular or mature broccoli. They fit perfectly into a healthy lifestyle and help you improve the overall quality of life. If you’re dealing with some health condition or want to prevent various illnesses, broccoli sprouts can help you out.

Benefits of Broccoli Sprouts

So, what can broccoli sprouts do for you? Scroll down to see their amazing health benefits.

1. Weight management

Weight management is essential for overall health and well-being, but it’s easier said than done. Unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle are major factors that lead to weight gain. To slim down or keep your weight in a healthy range, it is necessary to stay physically active and eat a well-balanced diet.

When adjusting your nutrition, you should include broccoli sprouts into the mix. Why? That’s because their benefits for weight management are scientifically proven.

A study whose findings were published in the Diabetes Journal discovered that mice fed a high-fat diet that was supplemented with sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli sprouts, did not gain weight.

More precisely, consumption of sulforaphane in addition to this high-fat diet was associated with less weight gain by 15— including 20% less fat around the waist and chest, and lower blood glucose levels.

This means that introducing broccoli sprouts to your menu is an excellent strategy to keep your weight in a healthy range.

2. Arthritis benefits

Broccoli sprouts are highly beneficial for different types of arthritis. For example, a study from the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation found that a sulforaphane-rich diet improves symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis.

This powerful compound inhibits key metalloproteinases implicated in OA independently of Nrf2 (a master regulator of antioxidant response). At the same time, sulforaphane blocks inflammation through NF-kB (plays a vital role in inflammation and innate immunity), thus protecting against cartilage destruction.

One study found that anti-inflammatory and protective benefits of sulforaphane are beneficial for both OA and rheumatoid arthritis as well.

6 Surprising Health Benefits of Broccoli Sprouts

3. Improved cognitive functioning and memory

We always wonder how to improve memory to stay productive and avoid the stress that comes with forgetfulness, particularly as we age. The best way to improve cognitive functioning is to use everything that Mother Nature has to offer; this includes enriching your diet  with broccoli sprouts.

Evidence shows that sulforaphane increases neuronal BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) that supports the survival of existing neurons and promotes the formation of new neurons and synapses.

It is also important to mention this potent compound decreases brain inflammation, which is a risk factor for poor cognitive functioning, depression, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Additionally, one study found that sulforaphane improves cognitive performance and reduces dysfunction of working memory caused by traumatic brain injury. Consumption of broccoli sprouts has the tremendous potential to improve memory.

Scientists discovered that sulforaphane successfully recovered memory in animals with chemically-induced memory impairment.

4. Cancer prevention

A diet rich in cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of cancer, according to multiple studies. The modulation of the epigenome is essential in development and progression of cancer, contributing to the malignant transformation of cells through the ability to control gene expression without modifying the underlying DNA sequence. These processes are implicated in multistage carcinogenesis, but they are also promising targets for cancer prevention and management strategies.

Studies show that dietary Isothiocyanates, including sulforaphane found in broccoli sprouts and their subsequent metabolites, have a potential to regulate gene expression. Although more research is necessary on this subject, the current evidence demonstrates that sulforaphane has the potential to prevent or help manage cancer.

5. Heart health

Broccoli sprouts contain glucoraphanin which converts to sulforaphane in your body. What’s amazing about this compound is that it reduces the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, according to a study whose findings were published in the Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

This is important because higher LDL cholesterol is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases including heart attack and stroke. Plus, this just proves that one of many benefits of broccoli sprouts is heart health!

Studies show that glucoraphanin fights inflammation and helps improve heart health while research from the American Journal of Hypertension discovered that sulforaphane decreases blood pressure in hypertensive (high blood pressure) rats. Hypertension is yet another risk factor for heart diseases.

A growing body of evidence shows that dietary broccoli sprouts protect after oxidative damage associated with heart attack. Compounds found in these sprouts protect against atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.

One thing is for sure, benefits of broccoli sprouts for different aspects of heart health are well-documented.

6. Depression

The impact of depression goes beyond the feeling of sadness; it affects both physical and mental or emotional health of an individual. A wide array of foods show potential to help manage symptoms of depression, and broccoli sprouts aren’t the exception.

A study from the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that broccoli sprouts do an amazing job in suppressing inflammatory molecules associated with depression. This is because broccoli sprouts are rich in sulforaphane and spermidine, both of which are powerful antioxidants.

By decreasing inflammatory molecules that can pass through the blood-brain barrier, broccoli sprouts alleviate depression symptoms. Why? The answer is simple: these inflammatory molecules “mess up” your mood and behavior.

It is possible to overcome depression through a proactive approach. Adding broccoli sprouts to the menu is a practical complementary therapy to the treatment recommended by the doctor.

Wrap-Up

Broccoli sprouts are incredibly beneficial for your overall health and well-being. They are rich with potent antioxidants and exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. One of their many benefits include arthritis management, which is particularly important because millions of people suffer from problems with their joints.

Together with supplements like Osteo Bi-Flex, broccoli sprouts help improve your quality of life. Let’s not forget better heart health, lower risk of cancer, depression management, and many other benefits that only confirm why you should try out broccoli sprouts.

Updated 5/6/18

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6 Surprising Health Benefits of Broccoli Sprouts