Photo Credit seed sprouts - serving suggestion image by Shirley Hirst from Fotolia.com Broccoli sprouts are three- to four-day-old broccoli plants that look like alfalfa sprouts but may be eaten raw or steamed like other green vegetables. They are low in calories, protein-rich and full of powerful phytochemicals, which are compounds in plant foods that offer health benefits, according to the American Cancer Society. These compounds protect the young broccoli plant as well as acting as an antioxidant to stimulate the ability of human cells to fight diseases, such as cancer, according to such sources as the National Cancer Institute.
Basic Nutrition Information
Broccoli sprouts, like other sprouts and cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, are very low in calories. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, a half-cup serving of broccoli sprouts provides 16 calories, 1.4 grams (g) of protein (35 percent of calories from protein), 1.9 g carbohydrates, less than one g fat, zero g sugar, zero milligrams (mg) cholesterol, 2.88 mg sodium and 1.1 g dietary fiber. Broccoli sprouts are a nutrient-dense food, meaning that they are an excellent low-calorie source of many nutrients essential for human health. Broccoli sprouts also contain Vitamins A, C and E and calcium, among a long list of nutrients.
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Sponsored Links Phytochemical Benefits
According to the Stanford Medicine Cancer Center, phytochemicals may play a significant role in reducing the risk of developing cancer. Major cancer-fighting phytochemicals found in broccoli sprouts include carotenoids, glutathione, indoles, monoterpenes, and thiols. Glucoaphanin is a powerful phytochemical found in broccoli. It is a precursor of sulforaphane (SGS).
When broccoli is chewed, glucoraphanin and another enzyme in plant cells, called myrosinase, are released. They work together to produce sulforaphane. Sulforaphane stimulates the body's immune system to protect cells against free radical damage. A 1992 study conducted by Johns Hopkins University scientists found that the SGS concentration in three- to four-day old broccoli sprouts is 20 times higher than the concentration in full-grown broccoli plants.
Consuming broccoli sprouts has been shown to decrease the risk of developing stomach, breast, prostate, colon, skin, lung and bladder cancers in research studies. For example, a 2005 research study published in the Journal "Lancet" concluded that there is strong evidence for a protective effect of cruciferous vegetable consumption on lung cancer.
***Much of the benefit is due to the fact that sulforaphane inhibits disease progression by initiating the death of damaged cells. (That's initiating the death of damaged cells.
According to a study published in "Cancer Epidemiology," the phytochemicals found in broccoli sprouts help to detoxify (or neutralize) carcinogenic substances from the body, reducing cancer risk.
SGS also may improve cholesterol levels. A research study conducted at The Japan Institute for the Control of Aging discovered that those who consumed 3½ ounces of broccoli sprouts daily for one week had lower blood cholesterol levels as well as an increase in HDL "good" cholesterol levels. SGS may also protect the heart by preventing LDL "bad" cholesterol from oxidizing, which encourages fatty plaque to adhere to artery walls.
Food-borne Illness: Safety Precautions
Consuming raw sprouts can be a health hazard as they may be contaminated with salmonella or E. coli. Therefore, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), seed sanitation protocols require commercial farmers who grow broccoli sprout seeds soak and sterilize them with calcium hypochlorite prior to sprouting. After this process, seeds are thoroughly rinsed to remove residue. These steps are crucial for food safety. In addition, commercial sprout growers are required to test their sprouts for salmonella and E. soli before they are sent to the marketplace.
Note: I've been growing sprouts and rinse mine two or three times a day to nip any pathogen in the bud. Use spring of filtered water. Read how to grow on line.
May we all live long and healthiest lives we are able.
Thinking of you all,
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/94227-broccoli-sprouts-nutrition/#ixzz1hqbSE0SR