If you’re health conscious and looking to fight disease, illness, and the effects of aging, then it’s likely that you’ve tried at least a few ‘superfoods’ over the years. The problem with many supposed superfoods is that they don’t provide results to match the claims, and there’s usually little or no scientific literature behind them.
Sulforaphane, a natural compound produced from broccoli microgreens and other cruciferous vegetables, has been the subject of intense research in recent years. Broccoli microgreens are one of the latest superfoods to hit the public consciousness. The difference is that there is actual evidence to show that all microgreens, and particularly sulforaphane-rich broccoli microgreens, can have significant health benefits.
If you’re looking for a completely natural supplement that can help you to live a fuller and disease-free life, then you’ll want to know about the top 10 ways that sulforaphane-rich microgreens can improve your health and wellbeing.
Broccoli Microgreens and Sulforaphane
Sulforaphane is a sulfur compound that is released from cruciferous vegetables when they are crushed, chopped, or chewed. While the compound is produced by all cruciferous vegetables, the highest concentration comes from the young sprouts of broccoli, more commonly referred to as microgreens.
Sulforaphane has no toxicity effects on the body, even in high dosages, and it has been well tolerated in controlled studies. The myriad benefits of sulforaphane make the daily consumption of broccoli sprouts one of the best ways to naturally fight disease.
10 Scientifically-Backed Ways That Sulforaphane Improves Your Health
1. Sulforaphane Can Protect You from Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a common neurodegenerative disease that usually affects the elderly, although pre-symptoms can start appearing before middle age. Effective therapies are not yet known, so, many people are instead turning to natural defenses. The sulforaphane found in Broccoli microgreens is one of those defenses.
Sulforaphane is a powerful antioxidant. Oxidative stress inside the body can cause or exacerbate many conditions, with Alzheimer’s being a prime example. Researchers have found that a pure sulforaphane extract can protect against oxidative stress and inflammation of the brain. Researchers also found that sulforaphane can protect against memory deficits that are symptomatic of Alzheimer’s disease  .
Studies performed on mice indicate that sulforaphane provides overall benefits to brain health by preventing degeneration at a cellular level. If you have a history of Alzheimer’s in your family or if you simply want to protect brain function in the most natural way possible, then increasing your sulforaphane intake with broccoli microgreens is the easiest way to do it.
2. Sulforaphane Can Help to Prevent Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is another neurodegenerative disease that affects a large segment of the senior population around the world. There is no cure for Parkinson’s and existing treatments are only supportive, meaning that they don’t get to the root of the problem. Parkinson’s is related to the degeneration of various neuro-pathways in the brain. Neurons are lost in specific areas, leading to symptoms like loss of motor control, shaking, and a decrease in overall mobility.
Sulforaphane can reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s due to the way it protects neural pathways in the brain. A 2016 study found that sulforaphane reduces oxidative stress in the brain, and specifically regulates the mechanisms of cells to stop degeneration . Most importantly, the study found that the compound can protect against motor dysfunction originating from the brain.
3. You Can Improve Natural Detoxification with Sulforaphane
Toxins in your body can lead to various illnesses and diseases, causing inflammation, problems with digestion, hormone imbalance, skin problems, and loss of cognitive function. The body has powerful detoxification processes, but modern diets and exposure to synthetic toxins mean that sometimes you need a little help to keep your system clean and functional.
Sulforaphane has been identified as a powerful and natural detoxifier. A 2015 study examining the potential of broccoli sprout extract found that xenobiotic substances (synthetic chemicals) are more easily expelled from the body when consuming a sulforaphane-rich extract. Sulforaphane induces the activation and production of liver enzymes and glutathione, which both help to filter and expel toxins before damage can be caused .
4. Sulforaphane Can Regulate Glucose Production to Treat or Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Sulforaphane can help to regulate blood glucose (sugar) levels in otherwise healthy people, pre-diabetics, and people with fully diagnosed diabetes.
One study that looked at thousands of different drugs and natural extracts found that sulforaphane can reduce blood glucose levels by 10%, reverse damage in the liver caused by high glucose, and regulate fasting glucose levels between meals .
Not only does this make sulforaphane a potential treatment for those who suffer from diabetes; it also means that otherwise healthy people can use sulforaphane broccoli microgreen extract to regulate blood sugar, and potentially stop Type-2 diabetes from developing.
5. You Could Maintain Your Weight with Broccoli Microgreens and Sulforaphane
Liver health and weight are closely linked, with many liver conditions leading to poor nutrient absorption and eventual weight gain. The consumption of broccoli microgreens containing sulforaphane can balance problems in the liver and help you to maintain your weight within a healthy range.
A Japanese study from 2015 found that both liver weight and body weight loss occurred when participants were treated with broccoli microgreen extract. Compared to a control group, body weight loss averaged 17%, and liver weight loss averaged 29% .
Sulforaphane could help you to maintain your target weight range while consuming a normal diet. It is also effective at reducing fat in the liver, leading to better liver function and improved processing of toxins.
This study used natural sulforaphane extract that included the precursor glucoraphanin, which is typically only available through natural microgreens rather than unregulated sulforaphane tablets.
6. You Can Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally with Sulforaphane
Studies have shown that the consumption of cruciferous vegetables high in glucoraphanin can reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood . Broccoli microgreens have a higher concentration of glucoraphanin when compared to fully grown vegetables.
A diet that is high in glucoraphanin can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 5.1%, whereas a diet supplemented with standard cruciferous vegetables only achieves a 2.5% reduction. It is clear from the results of the study that a sulforaphane and glucoraphanin rich food source like broccoli microgreens will have the best result on your cholesterol levels.
Keeping your cholesterol down is important. You’ll reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease, greatly reducing the chance of stroke or heart attack in the future.
7. Anti-inflammatory Properties Can Help Treat Depression
New evidence has found that sulforaphane supplementation can act as an antidepressant when tested on laboratory mice. While human trials are limited, the similarities in biology and brain chemistry mean that we can draw significant correlations from the growing body of evidence.
Testing found that sulforaphane’s neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative properties helped to treat depression. Sulforaphane supplementation made mice more physically responsive, while also reducing the display of behaviors linked to anxiety .
Chronically stressed mice treated with sulforaphane displayed lower levels of key compounds linked to depression and anxiety.
Consumption of whole broccoli microgreens also kicks up the support for your mental health by increasing your fiber intake. Healthy gut flora can minimize the risk of developing depression or help to treat depression that has already been diagnosed .
8. Sulforaphane from Broccoli Microgreens Improves Heart Health
Because sulforaphane can reduce bad cholesterol in the blood, it can keep arteries free of clogs, drastically reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Sulforaphane’s antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties also help to minimize the risk of heart disease by suppressing inflammation in the arteries at a cellular level .
Brassica vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli, can all provide heart health benefits and are recommended as part of a balanced diet. By concentrating your dosage of sulforaphane with broccoli microgreens, you can get a powerful boost of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
9. Fight Various Forms of Inflammation with Sulforaphane
The anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane will provide other benefits outside of heart health. Numerous studies have found that sulforaphane can reduce inflammation from within cells.
Preventing degenerative conditions, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, and even reducing inflammation in the liver are just some of the ways that sulforaphane has been proven to work.
Inflammation can be triggered by a variety of factors. Immune system response, pathogens, cell damage, toxins, and other irritants that are ingested or inhaled can cause inflammation. Sometimes inflammation is a natural response to help heal your body, however, chronic inflammation is something to be avoided altogether.
Chronic inflammation in the body, whether it’s in your digestive tract, or even in the form of arthritis, could be alleviated by consuming sulforaphane through fresh broccoli microgreens. This can relieve discomfort, give you more mobility, or even prevent the development of chronic conditions in the future.
10. Proven Cancer Risk Reduction and Treatment with Sulforaphane
With all the benefits listed so far, sulforaphane is already one of the best compounds to emerge from the recent trend of superfoods. Unlike some other options that are promoted by nutritionists and other health professionals, sulforaphane has a mountain of evidence to back up its efficacy.
Cancer prevention and treatment is one area where sulforaphane has been well studied, and the findings are extremely positive.
Sulforaphane fights cancer in numerous ways. It promotes cell death in unhealthy cells, reducing the chance of DNA damage and tumor growth. It can stop cell migration in the body which can prevent the spread of cancer. It also protects DNA from corruption.
Cancer cells can be made completely inactive by sulforaphane, and existing tumors can be reduced in size. Research on cancer stem cells found that sulforaphane can be used as a chemoprevention method as well as a potential treatment for breast cancer  .
Sulforaphane also provides protection against carcinogens taken in through food, drinks, and breathable air, effectively reducing the risk of cancer for those who regularly consume broccoli microgreens .
Sulforaphane is One of the Most Powerful Disease Fighting Compounds Known to Man
Sulforaphane fights disease on so many levels that it’s impossible not to look at broccoli microgreens as a superfood. The seemingly simple sprouts can provide numerous health benefits that could allow you to live a more active life, with a reduced risk of developing common diseases and illnesses.
If you want to live healthier and are tired of the supplements that don’t offer tangible benefits, then broccoli microgreens could be exactly what you’re looking for. Ever increasing scientific evidence continues to support sulforaphane as one of the best naturally obtainable health supplements today.
- https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/06/07/sulforaphane-may-prevent-alzheimers.aspx - Sulforaphane May Prevent Alzheimer's
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29714053 - Sulforaphane Upregulates the Heat Shock Protein Co-Chaperone CHIP and Clears Amyloid-β and Tau in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4995453/ - Sulforaphane protects against rotenone-induced neurotoxicity in vivo: Involvement of the mTOR, Nrf2, and autophagy pathways
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4572790/ - Broccoli sprout extract induces detoxification-related gene expression and attenuates acute liver injury
- http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/9/394/eaah4477.full - Sulforaphane reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4649129/ - Sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract improves hepatic abnormalities in male subjects
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4692095/ - Diet rich in high glucoraphanin broccoli reduces plasma LDL cholesterol: Evidence from randomised controlled trials
- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432815303399 - Sulforaphane produces antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects in adult mice
- https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/link-found-between-gut-bacteria-and-depression/ - Link Found Between Gut Bacteria And Depression
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3405367/ - The influence of sulforaphane on vascular health and its relevance to nutritional approaches to prevent cardiovascular disease
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2862133/ - Sulforaphane, a Dietary Component of Broccoli/Broccoli Sprouts, Inhibits Breast Cancer Stem Cells
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394840/ - Absorption and chemopreventive targets of sulforaphane in humans following consumption of broccoli sprouts or a myrosinase-treated broccoli sprout extract
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC23369/ - Broccoli sprouts: An exceptionally rich source of inducers of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogens