Cruciferous vegetables’ healing powers have been known for thousands of years. Since ancient times, natural healers and herbalists have known of the beneficial and disease-fighting effects of cruciferous vegetables. Astonishingly, some even noted their ability to treat cancer.
Cato the Elder, a Roman historian who lived in the second century BC, wrote that cabbage not only eased “crapulence after exceeding wine consumption” – in a word - hangovers – but could also treat serious diseases such as cancer. Verbatim translations make it clear that Cato the Elder advocated treating “cancerous ulcers of the breast” by applying a cabbage leaf poultice.
More and more, modern research is verifying this traditional wisdom. Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, and in particular broccoli sprouts, have thus been hypothesized to play a role in the amelioration of gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and stomach cancer as well as a variety of oxidative and degenerative conditions. This includes cancers, at a variety of organ sites, as well as working to repair age-related macular degeneration, and hypertension.
One of the best chemoprotective nutrients from cruciferous vegetables that prevents the formation of free radicals and growth of tumors is sulforaphane.
Broccoli sprouts are one of the best foods for the bioavailability of sulforaphane. Other excellent food choices of cruciferous vegetables are cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale. These foods are also high in chemoprotective nutrients glutathione, amino acids, chlorophyll, and a variety of other vitamins and nutrients to improve health.
Eating sprouts can help promote good health. They contain fiber, manganese, riboflavin, copper, protein, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. When you eat sprouted foods, you increase highly concentrated proteolytic enzymes, which are necessary to make carbohydrates and proteins digestible.
During sprouting, minerals bind to protein in the seed, grain, nut, or bean, making them more useable in the body. This is true of alkaline minerals like calcium, magnesium, and others that help us to balance our body chemistry for weight loss and better health.