Monday, September 9, 2013

Sprouting and its health benefits

A friend, Linda Daniels, introduced us to sprouting several years ago. She was told about the health benefits of sprouts and gave a mini class. Since the class, we have enjoyed lentil, red clover, and broccoli sprouts daily on our salads or just by the handful. Sometimes we sprout sunflower seeds and buckwheat grouts for greens as well.
She made a how-to video and recommended we follow the sprouting 101 school at

Today Dr. Joseph Mercola sent an article on broccoli and broccoli sprouts. The link is at the bottom. I found this portion of the article interesting.
"Sprouts—An Even More Potent Alternative
As stated earlier, about 10 broccoli spears per week has been shown to offer protection against prostate cancer, which isn’t a whole lot, but research14 has shown that fresh broccoli sprouts are FAR more potent, allowing you to eat far less in terms of quantity. This is also an excellent alternative if you don’t like the taste (or smell) of broccoli. In terms of research, even small quantities of broccoli sprout extracts have been shown to markedly reduce the size of rat mammary tumors that were induced by chemical carcinogens. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University15:
"Three-day-old broccoli sprouts consistently contain 20 to 50 times the amount of chemoprotective compounds found in mature broccoli heads, and may offer a simple, dietary means of chemically reducing cancer risk.”
When compared to either broccoli or cauliflower, which also contains sulforaphane,16 three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain anywhere from 10 to 100 times higher levels of glucoraphanin, compared to the mature varieties. Best of all, you can grow broccoli sprouts at home quite easily and inexpensively. Another major benefit is that you don't have to cook them. They are eaten raw, usually as an addition to salad.
Furthermore, if you opt for mature broccoli heads, it becomes more important to make sure you’re purchasing a variety of high potency.17 In tests, the chemoprotective abilities of samples from 22 varieties of fresh and seven brands of frozen mature broccoli varied greatly. Fresh broccoli sprouts, on the other hand, are far more uniform in their potency.
Interestingly, researchers have found that an extract of broccoli sprouts helps protect your skin from sun damage, which could potentially lead to skin cancer. According to Dr. Paul Talalay, a professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore:18
"Cells contain an elaborate network of protective genes that code for proteins that protect against four principal injurious processes to which all of our cells are exposed and which are the causes of cancer, degenerative disease and aging. Those four processes are: oxidation; DNA damage; inflammation and radiation, namely ultraviolet radiation. The cells' protective system normally operates at about one-third capacity, so the real question is what would ramp up that system.
The highest doses of sulforaphane extract reduced UV-induced redness and inflammation (erythema) by an average of 37 percent, although protection varied from 8 percent to 78 percentIf you apply an extract of broccoli sprouts that contains high levels of sulforaphane to regions of human skin, you can protect them very substantially.” [Emphasis mine]

How to Grow Your Own Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts look and taste similar to alfalfa sprouts, and are easily grown at home, even if you’re limited on space. I strongly recommend using organic seeds, and a pound of seeds will probably make over 10 pounds of sprouts. From the researcher’s calculations mentioned earlier, this can translate up to as much cancer protecting phytochemicals as 1,000 pounds (half a ton) of broccoli!
I used to grow sprouts in Ball jars over 10 years ago but stopped doing that. I am strongly convinced that actually growing them in soil is far easier and produces far more nutritious and abundant food. It is also less time consuming. With Ball jars, you need to rinse them several times a day to prevent mold growth. Trays also take up less space. I am now consuming one whole tray of sprouts every 2-3 days and to produce that much food with Ball jars I would need dozens of jars. I simply don't have the time or patience for that. You can find instructions on how to grow sprouts by viewing a step-by-step guide at" "

 I love this quote from another link "The researchers also found that while the sulforaphane in broccoli is powerful, broccoli sprouts have more than 50 times more sulforaphane than the matured plant."
Read more at 

Here is a soaking/sprouting charts

great article from Hippocrates Health Institute on sprouting

A video from


  1. Thanks for the post. I've been wanting to try sprouting, but have been a bit hesitant

    1. let me know how it goes. i was surprised at how easy it is.