Why would you want to sprout broccoli seeds if you have breast cancer? It has to do with a powerful compound called sulforaphane, and a natural protective process in the body called apoptosis. Keep reading to learn how to grow broccoli sprouts from home.
Why Broccoli Sprouts
Sulforaphane is found in sulphur-rich cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, arugula, cabbage, bok choy and cauliflower. While these foods are health-promoting, sprouting increases the nutritional profile up to 100 fold.
The alchemy that takes place during sprouting is nothing short of amazing. The good news is that sprouting broccoli seeds is an easy process, and is a great way to consume a broad array of nutrients, as well as protein, fiber, and life-sustaining enzymes.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been found to have profound implications in regard to cancer prevention. Sulforaphane has demonstrated efficacy in inhibiting CSCs in the breast. This is highly significant considering that breast cancer stem cells play a key role in carcinogenesis of the breast – CSCs are responsible for cancer development, spread, and recurrence.
Even new therapies that target proliferating cells, fail to target stem cells. This is because CSCs circulate slowly and don’t deliberately proliferate. This factor may explain the failure behind breast cancer management. It’s no wonder broccoli sprouts have been extensively studied. They are an invaluable addition to cancer protocols that focus on boosting the immune system and stem cell eradication
Apoptosis is a cellular process of self-death in which the body rids itself of defective cells, including cancer cells. This mechanism is especially crucial for mammals that live long lives. In Greek, the word “apoptosis” means “falling off” – like leaves falling off a tree.
The body is miraculous in what it can do in terms of maintaining health and preventing disease. Consider this – when the nervous system is in the developmental stages, more than half of the nerve cells die after formation. Astonishingly, billions of cells die every hour in the intestines and bone marrow of a healthy adult human. The human body is truly remarkable in its design and function.
Why this massive cell-death? For one, it precisely balances cell division to keep tissues from growing or shrinking. For instance, when a tadpole changes into a frog, its tail is no longer needed, so the cells die. When the process of apoptosis is hindered, cells are able to survive for longer periods of time, giving them the potential to mutate and become malignant.
Mutations correlate with an increase in tumor progression, cell differentiation, and angiogenesis. The latter is a process of new blood vessel formation, which enables cancer to spread. Apoptosis is tightly regulated, and is activated under conditions of uncontrolled proliferation and DNA damage. You can see why this process is so critical in preventing cancer.
Benefits of Sprouting Broccoli
The benefits of sprouting broccoli are numerous:
- Slows cancer growth
- Has antineoplastic (anti-tumor) properties
- Is cancer-protective
- Reduces the damage caused by free radicals
- Metabolizes estrogen and environmental toxins
- Inhibits pathways that fuel inflammation
- Activates the Nrf2 pathway (regulates cellular defense systems)
- Triggers apoptosis or programmed cell death
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and diabetes
- Packed with antioxidants, enzymes, fiber, and micronutrients
- Fights infections
- Promotes detoxification
- Silences retroviruses
How To Grow Broccoli Sprouts Step-By-Step
Follow these steps to sprout broccoli seeds from home:
3. Rinse the seeds 2-3 times throughout the day for 3-5 days. Keep the seeds moist and out of direct sunlight. They will start to sprout on the 3rd or 4th day.
4. The sprouts can be placed near a window for a day or two once they’ve begun to sprout. Sunlight will expedite the process. Sprout for another day or two. The entire process takes less than a week. That’s all there is to it…
Broccoli sprouts are very versatile. You can put them on sandwiches, toss them in smoothies, throw them in soups, sprinkle on salads, or eat them plain. Be sure and chew the sprouts thoroughly to break down the sulforaphane. The daily dosage is 1-2 tablespoons. Sprouts are crunchy, delicious, nutritious, inexpensive, and easy to make – a win-win combination all the way around. You can also buy broccoli sprout supplements:
Broccoli sprouts are nutritional powerhouses that are used both preventatively and therapeutically. Sprouting broccoli seeds is one of those little effort, HUGE reward type of things. I usually have a batch sprouting on my counter at all times. If you have cancer or any type of chronic disease, please consider incorporating broccoli sprouts into your immune-boosting protocol.
Are you going to try your hand at growing broccoli sprouts? Let me know in the comments:)
(1) Cell-Logic: 5 Amazing Health Benefits of Broccoli Sprouts
(2) Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Broccoli Sprouts
(3) NCBI: Programmed Cell Death (Apoptosis)
(4) NCBI: Apoptosis: A Target for Anti-Cancer Therapy
(5) NCBI: Sulforaphane, a Dietary Component of Broccoli/Broccoli Sprouts, Inhibits Breast Cancer Stem Cells
(6) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Stem Cells and Cellular Origins of Breast Cancer: Updates in the Rationale, Controversies, and Therapeutic Implications
(7) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Clinical Impact of Breast Cancer Stem Cells in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients
(8) Future Medicine: Targeting cancer stem cells with sulforaphane, a dietary component from broccoli and broccoli sprouts