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Broccoli Sprouts 101: Food for Slowing Aging

Find out how to grow your own broccoli sprouts and turn them into a delicious salad for a wide range of health benefits.

Broccoli sprouts are grabbing the wellness world’s attention, and for good reason. Broccoli sprouts, and cruciferous vegetables in general, are full of fiber, protein, and glucoraphanin, a compound that the body converts into sulforaphane. Sulforaphane activates the NRF2 pathway which “affects the expression of over 200 genes including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory genes and genes that inactivate harmful compounds” (Dr. Rhonda Patrick). When sulforaphane activates the NRF2 pathway, cellular and DNA damage is slowed which then slows the aging process and helps to prevent tumor growth. The compounds from broccoli sprouts also inactivate and usher out carcinogens that we are exposed to. According to Dr. Rhonda Patrick, sulforaphane also boosts our immune response, reduces oxidative stress that is the cause of many brain diseases, and more. Needless to say, consuming broccoli sprouts on a regular basis will do a lot of good for your body. 

Where can you purchase broccoli sprouts?

You can typically find all kinds of sprouts at your local farmer’s market or health foods grocery store. Just make sure that you trust your source to ensure that you are getting the best quality possible.

How to Sprout at Home

How can you sprout your own at home?

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Growing your own sprouts is not only easier than it may seem but it will also save you money. Please note that there is risk of contamination so keeping a clean space and being diligent are key to sprouting. Make sure your jar, lid, and utensils that may come into contact with the seeds are clean. Don’t put wet sprouts into the fridge as this can breed mold. If your sprouts start to get an unpleasant smell, trust your gut and throw them away. If they smell like broccoli, you are good to go!

What you will need

–   Wide mouth, quart-size canning jar

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–   Cheese cloth or mesh canning jar lid

–   Filtered water

–   Broccoli seeds

How to drain the sprouts in between rinses.

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How to sprout

  1. Add your broccoli seeds to your canning jar and fill up to the neck of your jar with filtered, lukewarm water. Soak the seeds overnight at room temperature.
  2. After your seeds have soaked overnight, you want to drain the moisture out. Drain the water through the cheese cloth or mesh canning jar lid. Place the jar in a bowl at a 45 degree angle with the top facing down to continue to drain.
  3. For the next 2-3 days, rinse and drain your seeds twice a day. To do this you will fill the jar with filtered, lukewarm water, swirl it gently, drain the water through the cheesecloth or mesh lid, and place back at an angle faced down in a bowl. Store at room temperature.
  4. By the 4th or 5th day, your sprouts should be ready. To store your sprouts, make sure they are dry (you can dry them by laying them on a clean towel or paper towel for an hour) and store in the fridge in glass tupperware or a glass canning jar with a metal lid. They will only last about 2 days, 3 days maximum.

Broccoli Sprout Salad Recipe

Salad Ingredients

–   1 cup of chopped romaine or butter lettuce

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–   ½ cup spinach

–   ¼ cup broccoli sprouts

–   ½ an avocado, diced

–   ½ a red bell pepper, diced

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–   ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Dressing Ingredients

–   1 tablespoon EVOO

–   1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

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–   Pinch of red pepper flakes

–   Sea salt and pepper to taste 

Method

–   Whisk your dressing ingredients together and set to the side.

–   Add the rest of your ingredients to a big bowl. Drizzle salad with your dressing and toss until everything is evenly coated.

–   Enjoy!

 

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Taylor Marks
Taylor Marks is a certified holistic health coach and current student at The Institute of Culinary Education studying health supportive culinary arts. Her passions include making nourishing food taste and look delicious and guiding others towards feeling their best.

 

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