05 Jun Eating Tiny Sprouts
Eating Tiny Sprouts – Why Sulforaphane Is Beneficial
Baby plant shoots from cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, are sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables have many health-promoting properties. These miniature greens have a reputation of being called antioxidant-rich, nutrient-dense, micro-greens, chemo-protective, and wonderfully delicious!
Sprouts supply a defensive one-two punch nourishing your body. These tiny plants have a positive and protective result on almost every cell in your body. They are packed with sulforaphane. Hundreds of scientific publications focus on this health benefit.
What Exactly Is Sulforaphane?
Without getting too scientific, sulforaphane is part of a group of plant-based phytochemicals called isothiocyanates. Yes, that’s a mouthful! These disease-fighting isothiocyanates seem to block particular cancer-activating enzymes in your body.
Young sprouts of broccoli are good sources of glucoraphanin (GRN). Chewing these baby plants create the enzyme myrosinase. The combination of glucoraphanin and myrosinase produces remarkable, highly beneficial, sulforaphane.
7 Health Benefits of Sulforaphane
- Encourages weight-loss
- Balance hormones
- Free radical scavenger
- Promotes detoxification
- Increases glutathione
- Slows aging
- Promotes brain health
Encourages Weight Loss
Most of us realize that obesity is tied to all manner of negative health repercussions, metabolic disorders, and low self-esteem. Note that unhealthy weight patterns can be both over or underweight.
Problems of both include:
- Brain fog
- Poor circulation
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Thyroid problems
- Hormone imbalances
- Low energy
- Susceptibility to virus
In February 2014, The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, noted that sulforaphane attenuates obesity inhibiting adipogenesis and activating the AMPK pathway. Interestingly, an article in Primal Herb states, “It (sulforaphane) reduced the body’s tendency to build up fat stores, and instead switched the body’s metabolism towards burning it more efficiently.”
I am often asked by my clients for a quick magic trick to losing weight. My answer is always, eat real, nutrient-dense food. Try not to eat anything that sports a label, wears a package or flaunts a box. Losing weight is common sense – there is no magic involved.
You and I know that losing weight doesn’t happen overnight. However, weight loss therapies including sulforaphane rich foods can help. Eating sprouts regularly, happily aids in your weight loss routine.
The S.A.D. (standard American diet) is loaded with horrible trans fats, refined sugars, processed foods, and GMO’s (genetically modified foods). This lack of vitamins and minerals annihilates your immune system, creating hormone irregularity and nutrient deficiency.
Another detrimental result of eating the S.A.D. diet are xenoestrogens, estrogen mimickers. They wreak havoc in your body disrupting and killing homeostasis. Nearly all disease is rooted in hormonal imbalance.
In a March 2019 article by HealthyRD, it states, “Indoles from Brassica have the ability to favorably alter hormonal cell signaling of insulin and growth factors, making it a very promising therapy for estrogen-sensitive tissues, but also for diseases where insulin is known to cause damage like diabetes and heart disease.”
Sulforaphane works by blocking the pro-inflammatory NfkB pathway, turning on the anti-inflammatory Nrf-2 pathway. Let me illuminate.
These tiny sprouts containing sulforaphane act as a powerful linebacker. Nrf-2 halts the pro-inflammatory play, turning on detoxification hormones and survival genes. This brings you back into beneficial homeostasis.
The term homeostasis originated by the physician Walter Cannon in 1930. In his book, The Wisdom of the Body, he outlines how the human body works to maintain a steady level of stability, balance, and equilibrium. Every single cell in your body needs to be in homeostasis for optimal wellness. Sulforaphane aids in this process.
Free Radical Scavenger
Free radicals are an especially reactive atom that has one or more unpaired electrons. Normally, your body can handle harmful free radicals. However, if antioxidants are lacking in your diet, or if free radicals become excessive in your body, aging, illness, and chronic disease result.
A huge benefit of consuming sulforaphane is that it delights in sharing an electron with a free radical. This sharing of an electron changes the toxic free radical into something that benefits your body, strengthening your immune system, promoting cellular health.
As I stated above, sulforaphane is found in a variety of cruciferous vegetables. This amazing nutrient was first detected as a chemoprotective substance decades ago by Paul Talalay and Jed Fahey at Johns Hopkins. Beginning in the early 1990s, the group found that 3-day-old sprouts contained 10 to100 times higher concentration of GRN (glucoraphanin), the precursor of sulforaphane.
Bottom line: Eating your sprouts encourages nasty free radicals to turn friendly.
Detoxification has two parts or phases. Simply stated, phase 1 detoxification converts toxins like chemical and heavy metals (from food, water, and air) into less harmful chemicals. Enzymes are used to hammer down these toxins supporting your liver.
Phase 2 detoxification involves converting the fat-soluble toxic chemicals into water-soluble chemicals. Why water soluble? So you can release them through your body fluids like sweat, bile, or urine.
Phytonutrients from cruciferous vegetables have been shown to support detoxification. Hero foods filled with sulforaphane from the cruciferous (brassica) family like cabbage, broccoli, and broccoli sprouts contain chemical properties that stimulate both phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification enzymes.
Tough little broccoli sprouts stimulate the production of glutathione. This nutrient is known as, the mother of all antioxidants. Glutathione supports an essential role in maintaining antioxidants in its active form. It’s a super antioxidant involved in the protective properties of every single cell in your body.
In a recent article by Dr, Jockers DNM, DC, MS, doctor of natural medicine, he states, “It is estimated that each cell in the body withstands 10,000 hits by free radicals each day. Glutathione disarms these free radicals before they wreak havoc and mops up the oxidative stress-related damage that has occurred.”
Sulforaphane is a powerful efficacious Nrf2 activator, switching on anti-oxidants like the mighty glutathione. Nrf2 is a protein that lives in every cell of your body. This amazing protein behaves by reducing inflammation, signaling nearly 200 anti-stress genes, triggering glutathione to perform supreme on your behalf.
Your skin is your largest visible organ, highlighting age. Have you ever had a friend who seems to keep their youthful appearance well into their senior years? They have no major wrinkles or slackness to their skin. And irritatingly, they seem to have an abundance of vigorous energy.
Perhaps, you’ll need to inquire what they’ve been eating. Your friend has probably had a diet well-rounded in antioxidant-rich food, replete with sulforaphane.
Just a side note, there are about 650 scientific publications that suggest key compounds found in broccoli sprouts play a potent role in supporting cellular and ultimate body health. When you have cellular health, aging will slow dramatically.
Promotes Brain Health
In a study published in the journal Genesis in March of 2017, Chinese researchers found that sulforaphane may have significant restorative hallmarks found commonly in neurodegenerative diseases. The authors theorize that powerful sulforaphane seems to alleviate these factors while stimulating brain neural stem cell activity.
Note that Sulforaphane:
- Reduced inflammation
- Returned calcium homeostasis
- Attenuated oxidative stress
- Stopped neuronal death
A PubMed article noted that, “A naturally occurring compound that is found in cruciferous vegetables, offers cellular protection in several models of brain injury. Sulforaphane has been demonstrated to attenuate blood-brain barrier permeability and reduce cerebral edema.”
Clear-minded brain function will add significantly to your overall wellbeing. As we age, sulforaphane seems to naturally reign supreme supporting brain health. This includes memory, focus, and protection against stroke.
Food in its natural state is the best way to receive vitamins and minerals. Think apple, eggs, avocado, nuts, or steak. However, due to chronic disease or inflammation, it’s often necessary to take a supplement to gain quicker sufficiency.
Sulforaphane is available in a supplement form called a nutraceutical. The focus of nutraceuticals is to retain the plant bioactive, in as close to its native state as possible.
Finally, 2,400 years ago Hippocrates stated, “Food is medicine.” This statement remains true today. Consider adding sulforaphane into your diet. The benefit of eating beautiful, green, tiny sprouts, might just be the game-changer you’ve been looking for.