Increased levels of inflammation and oxidative stress have been linked to the increased risk of diabetes and diabetes-related complications. When the body is unable to fight disease-causing radicals such as reactive oxygen species, it becomes overwhelmed leading to oxidative stress. Cruciferous vegetables like:
- broccoli sprouts,
- Brussels sprouts and
contain active plant chemicals commonly known as glucosinolates in high quantities. The body metabolizes these glucosinolates into isothiocyanates which are very powerful anti-carcinogens and antioxidants. This helps reduce oxidative stress which is associated with insulin resistance and diabetes.
How can broccoli sprouts benefit Diabetes patients?
Broccoli sprouts are the richest source of a chemo-protective compound known as glucoraphanin (SGS-Sulforaphane glucosinolate). Glucoraphanin protects your body against cancer and also improves the body’s ability to excrete or eliminate toxic substances. However, it is important to understand that broccoli sprouts contain up to 50 times more glucoraphanin than mature broccoli. This is mainly because the plant develops its nutrients in a concentrated way when it is young. These detoxifying enzymes and antioxidants help protect your tissues and cells. Glucosinolate glucoraphanin improves kidney function and blood pressure. On the other hand, it boosts the cell enzymes that protect cells from cancer causing chemicals and molecular damage. Sulforaphane is a mebolite of glucosinolate glucoraphanin which normalizes DNA methylation. This is a very important part of the normal cell function that regulates gene expression and activates more than 200 genes. Moreover, Sulforaphane restores the immune system as you age and also increases the liver’s ability to get rid of free radicals and carcinogenic compounds. Therefore, besides its antimicrobial and anti-diabetic properties sulforaphane also slows the growth of tumors by killing cancer stem cells. The phytochemical sulforaphane is one of the most powerful compounds in broccoli sprouts. It stimulates the production of vital enzymes that reduce the number of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that cause cell damage. This is very beneficial especially for diabetics primarily because they face a higher risk (up to 5 times) of developing various cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attacks. Since sulforaphane reduces the amount of Reactive Oxygen Species by up to 73%, the risk of developing heart attacks and strokes which are linked to cell damage and damaged blood vessels is greatly reduced.
What is the best way to eat broccoli sprouts?
In order to enjoy more broccoli health benefits, opt for broccoli sprouts because they allow the body to extract more minerals, vitamins, essential fats and amino acids from the rest of the diet. Just 0.17 ounces (5 grams) of broccoli sprouts have a concentration of glucoraphanin equal to that contained in 5.2 ounces (150 grams) of mature broccoli. The way you cook broccoli sprouts can also alter the nutrient content. If you microwave it, the beneficial compounds will be reduced by 74% to 90%. However, steaming or eating your broccoli raw is a good way to ensure that its phytonutrients are kept intact.
Broccoli Sprouts for Diabetes, Powder Form
Real Sprouts VS Sprout Powder?
Yes, fresh broccoli sprouts are great to eat and of course, still very beneficial for your health, especially for diabetics – however keep in mind, you may get tired of eating soo many Broccoli sprouts a day and they do go bad if not eaten after a few days. Another option for getting your good dose of sulforaphane, is by taking it in powder form.
Benefits – Broccoli sprout powder can keep for months – doesn’t need refrigeration, but obviously it would last longer again. Convenient when traveling – just sprinkle a spoonful in with your juice or smoothie of a morning. HINT – Always remember if you are adding the powder to your cooking, always do so just prior to serving to ensure you are getting the maximum health benefits.
Adding organically-grown, whole foods in your diet is one of the most effective ways of achieving optimum health and preventing disease. Therefore broccoli sprouts for diabetes patients especially, should definitely be part of the pre-diabetic (metabolic syndrome) and diabetic diet.