Good things often come from bad things.
During my stint on the low FODMAP diet, which I’m finishing up in the next few weeks, I discovered some useful tools to improve my health.
One of those things was broccoli sprouts.
As a digestive health coach, my biggest concern about following the low FODMAP diet was nutritional deficiencies and starving healthy bacteria in my large intestine.
To combat the reduction of nutrient dense cruciferous veggies in my diet and a general reduction of salad greens due to their difficulty to digest, I replaced those lost nutrients with broccoli sprouts.
Not only are sprouts easier to digest that adult vegetables, but they contain a compound called sulfurophane, that fights cancer and eradicates bacterial infections like h. pylori.
Even if you eat a nutritious and balanced diet, poor or weak digestion, in the form of low stomach acid, deficient enzyme production or bacterial imbalance in the small intestine (SIBO), interferes with the body’s ability to assimilate nutrients that feed our cells. This can result in nutrient deficiency and malnutrition.
That’s why I’m a big fan of predigested meals. Predigested means the dish is cooked for a long time (like a stew) or pureed or blended so the food begins to break down chemically before it enters your body.
Thus, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to break down and assimilate nutrients and you get fed instead of the yeast or bacteria that lives in your small intestine.
Because broccoli sprouts are very young vegetables, they have not developed the fibers and other compounds that protect them as they grow. Therefore the nutrition they contain breaks down easily.
To make them even more digestible I blended them in my morning smoothie. And I couldn’t taste them.
Sprouts can help you digest the food you eat them with because they are bursting with enzymes. There are 10 to 100 times more enzymes in broccoli sprouts that in most other fruits and veggies.
Sprouts also provide valuable energy needed to detoxify the body and bolster the immune system.
Here are just a few more benefit of broccoli sprouts:
- They contain powerful antioxidants and minerals to help fight free radicals that accelerate disease and aging.
- Combat inflammation.
- Improve liver function.
- Reduce the risk of developing cancer due to sulfurophane content, and have 20 to 50 times more of these protective compounds than mature broccoli, without the gas and bloating of adult broccoli.
- Broccoli sprouts are completely low FODMAP.
- They combat h. pylori.
- Are easily digested and absorbed.
- Some studies on mice have shown that broccoli sprouts help ease anxiety and depression because they inhibit the adrenal and inflammatory response to stress.
- Another study has shown sulfurophane to have an antidepressant effect.
How to grow sprout
There are two ways to reap the benefits of sulfurophane.
You can take it in supplement form. I like this brand.
Or you can grow your own.
I highly recommend growing your own because it couldn’t be easier and it’s pretty fun. Here’s a crop of sprouts that only took 4 to 5 days to grow.
All you need is a pack of organic broccoli seeds. I got mine here.
And a seed sprouter, I used this one. I like that it has 4 trays so I can stagger them daily so I have a fresh batch ready to eat every day.
The instructions for growing sprouts is easy.
Just soak a teaspoon of seeds for 6 to 8 hours in water.
Transfer soaked seeds to one of the trays and water two to three times daily with a cup of water. The water drips down into the bottom tray, that needs to be emptied once or twice a day.
Keep it out of direct sunlight.
When the sprouts are done in 4 days time you can add them to your stews, salads, smoothies or eat as is. They taste pretty good.
If you are also concerned about h. pylori, nutritional deficiencies or low energy, broccoli sprouts hold a lot of promise.
Angela Privin is proof that IBS is NOT an incurable disease or a disease at all. IBS is a body out of balance. It’s an invitation for change. After solving her own IBS mystery more than a decade ago Angela trained as a health coach to help others.
Angela uses both science and intuition to help people figure out what’s out of balance in their body. She works with lab tests, dietary changes, supplementation and nervous system rebalancing. Get help rebalancing your digestive system and solving your IBS mystery here.