Tag Archives: cancer and broccoli

Are broccoli sprouts better than mature broccoli?

Just about everyone knows about the health benefits of broccoli. All vegetables wish they could be like broccoli. When it comes to cancer prevention, broccoli has no rival. This is because it contains a bunch of different nutrients with anti-carcinogenic effects, like diindolylmethane, glucoraphaninindole-3-carbinol, and various carotenoids.

With all these health benefits, you may be wondering how it is even possible that an even more powerful form of broccoli exists.

Yet, according to this study, Broccoli sprouts: An exceptionally rich source of inducers of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogens by Jed W. Fahey, Yuesheng Zhang, and Paul Talalay from http://www.pnas.org:


Large quantities of inducers of enzymes that protect against carcinogens can be delivered in the diet by small quantities of young crucifer sprouts (e.g., 3-day-old broccoli sprouts) that contain as much inducer activity as 10–100 times larger quantities of mature vegetables. Moreover, the inducer activity arises primarily from glucoraphanin (the glucosinolate of sulforaphane) and such sprouts contain relatively low quantities of indole glucosinolates, which are potential tumor promoters. Because little is known of the metabolism of glucosinolates in humans, we have undertaken studies (to be published separately) that demonstrate efficient conversion of glucosinolates to isothiocyanates in humans in the absence of plant myrosinase.

So if you really want to do all you can to prevent cancer, go for the broccoli sprouts. There’s nothing wrong with mature broccoli, it’s just that the sprouts are a more concentrated source of the anti-cancer chemicals. And try not to cook them too much, eat them raw if you can. Heating can destroy some of these amazing natural chemicals.