Sulforaphane is an amazing compound. It reduces CRP levels in smokers, protects against cartilage damage, slows osteoarthritis, kills breast and prostate cancer cells, reduces oxidative stress and has been shown to help with autism. That’s a lot of goodness from a plant compound.
Supplement companies know it’s good stuff and have come out with pills claiming to have loads of the stuff. But studies show the pills do next to nothing (if this surprises you, you have not been listening to us talk about supplements).
Where can you get sulforaphane? That is a great question?
This compound is made by all the cruciferous veggies. BUT – only after you chop them and before you cook them. Once you cook them, the enzyme needed to create the sulforaphane is killed. That means that frozen veggies, which are blanched before being frozen, can make it.
You could chop your broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, etc and leave it sit on your counter for 40 minutes to make sulforaphane before you cook it (once the sulforaphane is made, it sticks around through cooking). Or you can eat all your cruciferous veggies raw.
There is a third option – sprinkle mustard powder on your veggies after they are cooked. Mustard is a cruciferous vegetable. The powder, made from mustard seeds, has the enzyme in it needed to create sulforaphane. Yay! That’s an easy fix.
There is an even BETTER option. Two to five-day old broccoli sprouts have 10x more sulforaphane than regular broccoli. They are easy to eat raw (we put them on pretty much everything), they are easy to grow and seeds are REALLY cheap. You can get seeds for pennies a serving delivered directly to your door. (We use this kind) A quarter of a cup to a cup and a quarter of sprouts a day has been shown to have amazing cancer killing properties (this does not mean you should stop listening to your doctor if you are fighting cancer).
You can get sprouting trays and special lids for canning jars. I just use a glass jar leftover from buying salsa or olives or whatever, a coffee filter (I am unclear why we have coffee filters since I have never had a drip coffee pot) and a rubber band. I also use a tea strainer to catch the seeds that want to pour out when I rinse the seeds the first couple of days (I grew up on a farm. I’m good at making do with what I have).
The process is easy and broccoli seeds sprout really quickly.
How to Grow Broccoli Sprouts at Home
- Make sure your jar is clean
- Add one tablespoon of broccoli seeds
- Cover with water (put the water in gently or the seeds will splash up on the sides)
- Cover with a coffee filter held in place with a rubber band (keeps dust and summer gnats out of your sprouts)
- Let sit on your counter overnight
- Drain (I set the jar on its side so the seeds spread out on the side of the jar). Place out of direct sunlight
- Rinse once a day (Make sure you drain all the water out. The only time I’ve had a problem is when I left the seeds sitting in water. They will rot.)
You can start eating them the day after you see them break through the shell. Once they get to day five, eat them or put them in the fridge. I try to have two jars going about four days apart (it doesn’t always happen, but I try).
It is also perfectly fine to buy broccoli sprouts. They don’t have the issues with food poisoning that alfalfa sprouts do.
Broccoli sprouts are amazing food. Start eating them more often and in greater quantities.
Are you convinced that eating more plants is right for your health but unsure how to get started? Send us an email Health@RnRJourney.com. We have several different ways to work with us and get you on the path to better health.
Dr Robyn is a former competitive volleyball player turned psychologist with continuing education in nutrition. Russ is a former competitive bodybuilder and trainer on the Mr. Olympia Tour. They are the co-founders of Whole Food Muscle and the authors of How to Feed a Human The Whole Food Muscle Way. To work with them one on one to improve your health and fitness or to have them speak at your event or organization email them at Health@RnRJourney.com.