Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli Sprouts
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Broccoli sprouts are likely safer and more nutritious than alfalfa sprouts.

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Last year’s scientific data gave us reason to stop eating raw alfalfa sprouts, because of the related outbreaks of food poisoning. But what about broccoli sprouts? Check out this study.

They burned someone’s arm with a UV laser, here and here. Same burn, but on the left side they had first essentially just rubbed some broccoli sprouts on the skin, and you can visibly see the cellular protection. And this is not like sunblock. The researchers repeated the experiment in a different place, but this time they rubbed on the sprout extract, washed it off, and then waited three days before burning the person again. The left side had some broccoli sprouts rubbed on, essentially, and washed off three days prior, and you can still see how protected the cells are.

But what about the risk of food poisoning? Five million packages of broccoli sprouts were tested for pathogens. Overall, did they find that raw broccoli sprouts are harmful, harmless, or helpful? Less than one in 1,000 containers were contaminated. So, go for it!

Though raw alfalfa sprouts are indeed too risky to eat, eggs are linked every year to literally a thousand times more food poisoning than sprouts. Salmonella-infected eggs cause a foodborne epidemic every year in the United States, sickening more than 100,000 Americans annually.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore and Karen Belfi.

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To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Last year’s scientific data gave us reason to stop eating raw alfalfa sprouts, because of the related outbreaks of food poisoning. But what about broccoli sprouts? Check out this study.

They burned someone’s arm with a UV laser, here and here. Same burn, but on the left side they had first essentially just rubbed some broccoli sprouts on the skin, and you can visibly see the cellular protection. And this is not like sunblock. The researchers repeated the experiment in a different place, but this time they rubbed on the sprout extract, washed it off, and then waited three days before burning the person again. The left side had some broccoli sprouts rubbed on, essentially, and washed off three days prior, and you can still see how protected the cells are.

But what about the risk of food poisoning? Five million packages of broccoli sprouts were tested for pathogens. Overall, did they find that raw broccoli sprouts are harmful, harmless, or helpful? Less than one in 1,000 containers were contaminated. So, go for it!

Though raw alfalfa sprouts are indeed too risky to eat, eggs are linked every year to literally a thousand times more food poisoning than sprouts. Salmonella-infected eggs cause a foodborne epidemic every year in the United States, sickening more than 100,000 Americans annually.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore and Karen Belfi.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Doctor's Note

More on broccoli sprouts:
Broccoli: Sprouts vs. Supplements
Sulforaphane: From Broccoli to Breast
Biggest Nutrition Bang for Your Buck

And food poisoning:
Who Says Eggs Aren’t Healthy or Safe?
Chicken Salmonella Thanks to Meat Industry Lawsuit
Foster Farms Responds to Chicken Salmonella Outbreaks
MRSA Superbugs in Meat

Want to know whether raw or cooked broccoli is better? Click here to find out!

For more context, check out my associated blog post, Breast Cancer Stem Cells vs. Broccoli.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

26 responses to “Broccoli Sprouts

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    1. Karen: That’s great! If you like them they’re easy to sprout yourself!

      Please feel free to leave any other comments or pose questions below. Want to know whether raw or cooked broccoli is better? Click here to find out!




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      1. I have tried to sprout broccoli seeds, inspired by your video, Dr. Greger, but with scant success. I did everything right, but no luck.




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        1. Arun: Sorry to hear you had so no luck sprouting the broccoli seeds. I was able to get it to work both with the bag method and the jar method. I wonder if you used special sprouting seeds? Or just regular broccoli seeds? Just a thought. I’m no expert in sprouting. I just want people to be successful since sprouting is so cool. Good luck.




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          1. I did use special sprouting seeds which I bought from my neighbourhood health store. I have sprouted other types of seeds without any problem. Have ordered a new batch of seeds from another source and will try my luck with them. Thanks for your comment.




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  1. I will trust certain suppliers that test for pathogens and continue to sprout. Best thing ever invented. I especially love the mixed salad seeds I’ve been using lately. Good variety. The label says,”Bottled by EasyGreen Factory Co.”




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  2. Michael your great man Im in SA 21 years old and i follow you almost every day your videos are somewhat of a relaxation time to me and watch it when i take breaks etc its not only entertaining but its also very helpful and informative! If i could see into the future it could have probably saved my life so much appreciated and please keep up the good work god bless




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  3. P.s. i would of probably only realized a lack in vitamin b12 etc too late in my vegan lifestyle and could have been very damaging so thank you for all ur information I’m really just overly grateful that there are doctors helping people and not just trying to get paid




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  4. Since I turned 74, I’ve been quite interested in foods and their health. In my early days, I lived on a farm in PA.born 1/1/39. All foods were grown or bought fresh. When I went to college, I learned about fruit and vegetables in stores, and the chemicals that were used. Life continued and I ate anything I could buy cheaply (I didn’t really know about the difference. Currently I have a routine I and am sticking to my diet – fresh fruit for lunch, and fresh vegetables as an appetizer before evening. All is well and delicious, ….”healthy as a horse” they say.! This web page is a very valuable place t go. THANK YOU!




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  5. HI everyone check out supersprout.com.au for great USDA certified organic broccoli sprout powder from Australia. 100% pure and natural just scoop and add to your favourite savoury recipes! Just as good as fresh!




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  6. Are broccoli sprouts high in oxalates? In other words, are the goitrogenic? Having a history of goiter, I generally only eat cooked crucifers… But enjoy broccoli sprouts raw, of course. Is this safe at a 1/4 cup serving 1 – 3 days per week?




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  7. The Hippocrates Health Institute puts out…..some…..excellent information and insights. Based on your evaluation, I am very suspect of their effusiveness regarding Blue Green Algae/and Green Algae…which they seem to think is “da bomb”. I am also curious as I don’t see you getting all hoppity about Broccolli Sprouts/which/along with a variety of other sprouts/seems to be a HUGE portion of what they and the meals they offer are all about. Protein and nutrients are 30/50/70 times greater in the spouts of seeds????? I imagine sprouts are good/very good…..but green leafies……..which are too a very big thing…..and better than the chlorella they talked about….are better (?) The whole supplements……Bio-Active versus chemical……/I just don’t see many supplements as being necessary/they site a Doctor Lee/early 20th century….. Anyone with too many supplements et.al. in their store/make me suspect. Your independence makes me come here first/and above most all other sources. Even Fuhrman’s store makes me question some of his advice/while knowing he has made a HUGE difference in my /and many other lives.




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  8. I question the one egg is harmful. Do these one egg a day eaters have the same diet as the vegetarians Dr Greger is quoting? Seems egg eaters might also do a lot of other things not good for health.




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  9. BROCCOLI SPROUT NUTRIENT DATA

    Is there a place I can see what the actual nutritional content of 100g of broccoli sprouts?

    In a serious effort to lower my LDL levels to below 80, I am finally at the point of giving up my beloved egg breakfast to see if it has a serious impact on my blood levels. This will also drop my dietary choline intake from about 500mg to below 300. Though Dr Greger doesn’t seem concerned about low choline levels, I would like to stay much closer to current RDA of 550.

    Considering broccoli is a decent vegan source of choline, and that broccoli sprouts have a higher concentration of most nutrients, I am wondering if the broccoli sprouts I already eat already close the choline gap. However, there doesn’t seem to be a single database that lists all the nutrient values for broccoli sprouts or have broccoli sprouts in the database at all including the USDA.

    Where can I find this information?




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  10. Todd, thanks for writing. You are correct – the folks at USDA’s Nutrient Data Lab (NDL) usually do this kind of analysis, and I don’t seen any evidence that it’s been done. I would advise widening the scope of your efforts from simply lowering LDL to eating a healthier diet overall. Although the egg yolk CAN raise LDL, the more central problem is that it causes inflammation, because it contains oxysterols, advanced glycation end products, and other proinflammatory compounds. the resultant inflammation contributes to far more than atherosclerosis and coronary disease. See this article for more: Dietary cholesterol and egg yolk should be avoided by patients at risk of vascular disease, at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28191513




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  11. Dr. Greger, I have tried broccoli sprouts but don’t like the taste. Would broccoli shoots have as much sulphoraphane as the sprouts?




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  12. Would love to sprout broccoli, however I wonder about how much is safe to consume. Maybe too many antioxidants? There is another doctor who pointed out that a study found that it disrupts DNA. I looked at the study and although I can usually follow these, I could not understand this one. I was wondering if you ever saw it and could comment about it. The name is “Off target effects of sulforaphane include the de-repression of long- terminal repeats through histone acetylation events”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4019935/




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    1. I would also love to hear Dr. Gregor’s thoughts on this study…impacting gnome stability doesn’t sound very good. I’m not sure if we should continue to eat brocolli sprouts.




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    2. Hey Ann Marie, thanks for writing. I came across many studies like these as I was reviewing the literature for a book I wrote on cancer prevention back in 2004-2006. The bottom line is, in order to determine if there is really a significant risk, we need to follow research results up from studies done in the test tube (in vitro), to ones done in small animals and then primates, and to see evidence in population studies (epidemiology) before we can even begin to think humans could be hurt. Given all the evidence of a protective effect of broccoli, it’s doubtful that what was seen in this study translates to a clinical level.




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  13. Are broccoli sprouts high in oxalates? I try to watch my oxalate content after being sensitized to oxalates as a result of my carrot juice consumption.




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