The Nutritional Profile of Broccoli Sprouts and Why They’re Good for You

If the sight of broccoli makes you want to go and get something more appetizing, like ice cream, but you still eat it because it’s healthy, keep reading.

If you don’t like broccoli, maybe you’ll like broccoli sprouts.

Sprouts and microgreens, the edible seedlings of vegetables and herbs, have been gaining a lot of attention lately due to the increasing evidence of their high nutritional profile.

They’re even considered as superfoods because they contain numerous bioactive compounds giving them antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, and antidiabetic properties.

A review recently published in the special issue of the journal Plants discusses the nutritional profile of broccoli sprouts.

Here are the highlights.

What’s Important

Broccoli sprouts are an abundant source of health-promoting nutrients, including:

  • Phytochemicals (nitrogen-sulfur derivatives and polyphenols)
  • Minerals (selenium, calcium, potassium, and manganese)
  • Vitamins (A, C, E, K, and B6)

These nutrients are in concentrations higher than in the mature broccoli florets, making broccoli sprouts a great choice to add to the diet.

Regular consumption could help strengthen the immune system and lower the risk of different chronic diseases, like metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Some Details

The presence of antioxidants such as phenolic compounds and vitamins C and E gives broccoli sprouts the ability to scavenge free radicals.

Broccoli sprouts have also shown to possess antimicrobial activity.

Some studies have shown that broccoli sprouts with high levels of gallic acid and ferulic acid had a detrimental effect on foodborne pathogens. [1]

Also, it was demonstrated that the daily intake of broccoli sprouts reduced gastric bacterial colonization and alleviated gastritis caused by Helicobacter pylori. [2]

The anti-inflammatory effects of broccoli sprouts make them effective in preventing and treating inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. [3]

Broccoli sprouts have also shown to be beneficial in managing type 2 diabetes by decreasing insulin concentration in serum and therefore lowering the complications. [4]

The Takeaway

Even though they are somewhat novel as functional ingredients, broccoli sprouts are no doubt a nutritional powerhouse.

So, even if you don’t like broccoli, consider adding broccoli sprouts to your diet and reap the benefits.


Resource: Le, T.N.; Chiu, C.-H.; Hsieh, P.-C. Bioactive Compounds and Bioactivities of Brassica oleracea L. var. Italica Sprouts and Microgreens: An Updated Overview from a Nutraceutical Perspective. Plants 2020, 9, 946. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9080946 

References:
1.https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/8/11/532
2.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20459098/
3.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31049133/
4.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/09637486.2012.665043
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