The author of the article, Dr. Mercola, maintains that “broccoli, watercress, and sunflower sprouts are foods that virtually everyone can and would benefit from growing.” Excerpts appear below – to read the full article – please click here.
Broccoli, for example—and to an even greater degree, sprouted broccoli seeds—has been linked to a rather impressive list of health benefits. Research has shown broccoli has the capacity to prevent a number of health issues, inc
luding but not limited to:
Hypertension Osteoarthritis , Cancer Heart disease Allergies Diabetes Ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylor UV radiation damage to your skin, when applied topically
Some of the latest research into this “super food” suggests that broccoli sprouts may help detox toxic pollutants. As reported by Time Magazine:
“Broccoli sprouts specifically are a source of glucoraphanin, which creates sulforaphane when chewed or swallowed. That compound accelerates the body’s ability to detoxify from various pollutants…”
After urine and blood tests were collected and analyzed, the researchers found that the test group, who received the broccoli sprout powder, excreted far greater levels of two carcinogens. Excretion of benzene increased 61 percent, and the rate of excretion of acrolein increased by 23 percent.
Although broccoli sprouts contain the highest amounts of isothiocyanates, other cruciferous vegetables also contain this anti-cancer compound, including watercress. This often-overlooked, leafy green is a close cousin to mustard greens, cabbage, and arugula.
When phytochemicals like sulforaphane are excluded from the equation, watercress may actually be the most nutrient-dense vegetable out there—scoring higher on nutrient density scores than both broccoli and sunflower sprouts.
Previous studies have also found that a compound called phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) in watercress may suppress breast cancer cell development and prevent DNA damage in cells—just like broccoli sprouts.
Growing Your Own Sprouts Is Easy and Inexpensive
Sprouts are far less expensive (90 percent or greater) if made at home rather than purchased, so I strongly recommend growing your own sprouts. It’s easy and can radically improve your overall nutrition. Just consider this: sprouts can contain up to 30 times the nutrients of organic vegetables! They also allow your body to extract more of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fats from the rest of your diet.
Add to that the boon of requiring very little space, and the ability to grow them indoors, year-round. I’m working on a comprehensive guide to sprout-growing, but in the meantime, you can find instructions on rawfoods-livingfoods.com.
I started out growing sprouts in Ball jars about 15 years ago, but I’ve found that growing them in potting soil is a far better option. With Ball jars, you need to rinse them several times a day to prevent mold growth and it is a hassle to have them draining in the sink, taking up space. Trays also take up less space. When grown in soil, you can harvest your sprouts in about a week. I strongly recommend using organic seeds, and a pound of seeds will probably make over 10 pounds of sprouts.
As mentioned, you can use sprouts in salad, either in addition to or in lieu of salad greens, or add them to vegetable juice or smoothies. When it comes to which sprouts to grow, taste preference may ultimately guide your selection, but I’d encourage you to consider growing some of the most nutritious varieties, which include:
- Sunflower sprouts. They will give you the most volume for your work and, in my opinion, have the best taste. They also provide some of the highest quality protein you can eat, along with plenty of iron and chlorophyll, the latter of which will help detoxify your blood and liver. In one 10×10 tray, you can harvest between one and two pounds of sunflower sprouts, which will last you about three days. You can store them in the fridge for about a week.
- Broccoli sprouts look and taste similar to alfalfa sprouts. Again, when you consider the nutrient-density of sprouts, calculations suggest 10 pounds of broccoli sprouts translate into as many cancer-protecting phytochemicals as 1,000 pounds (half a ton) of mature broccoli!
- Pea sprouts, like sunflower sprouts, provide high-quality protein. They’re also an excellent source of bioavailable zinc and magnesium.
- Watercress. Based on their exceptional nutritional profile, watercress may turn into a new favorite of mine. I recently started growing some to try them out.
Sprouts—An Ideal Home-Grown Food for Small Spaces
Sprouts are an authentic super food that many overlook or have long stopped using. In addition to their superior nutritional profile, sprouts are really easy to grow if you’re an apartment dweller, as they don’t require an outdoor garden. During sprouting, minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, bind to protein, making them more bioavailable. Furthermore, both the quality of the protein and the fiber content of beans, nuts, seeds, and grains improves when sprouted. The content of vitamins and essential fatty acids also increase dramatically during the sprouting process.
Watercress, sunflower seed, and pea sprouts tend to top the list of all the seeds that you can sprout and are typically each about 30 times more nutritious than organic vegetables. As discussed above, many sprouts also contain compounds with anti-cancer and detoxifying properties. Speaking in general terms,
- Support for cell regeneration
- Powerful sources of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes that protect against free radical damage
- Alkalinizing effect on your body, which is thought to protect against disease, including cancer (as many tumors are acidic)
- Abundantly rich in oxygen, which can also help protect against abnormal cell growth, viruses, and bacteria that cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment
article source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/06/30/broccoli-sprout-detox.aspx?e_cid=20140630Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20140630Z1&et_cid=DM51172&et_rid=569238607
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