Why eat sprouts?
Alfalfa is North America’s favorite sprout and is considered more nutritionally concentrated than other sprouts, primarily because of its rich concentration of minerals. It will act as a diuretic, will benefit the urinary and intestinal systems, and will help to detoxify the body. Alfalfa’s rich content of nutrients include protein, carotene (equal to carrots), calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, vitamin K, bioflavonoids, and abundant chlorophyll. It also contains 8 enzymes which help assimilate protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
Broccoli sprouts are packed with cancer-protective compounds. One compound in particular called sulforaphane has been shown to improve the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogens and other toxic compounds. 3-day-old sprouts of certain cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower, contain 10-100 times higher levels of sulforaphane than do the corresponding mature plants. In fact, just one ounce of broccoli sprouts contain an equivalent amount of sulforaphane to one-and-a-half pounds of mature broccoli!
- Sprouts make great replacements for lettuce on sandwiches
- Sprinkle tossed green salads with a mix of alfalfa and broccoli sprouts.
- Make a powerfully healthy burrito by adding a handful of sprouts.
One word of caution about alfalfa: this seed has higher than usual amounts of an amino acid called canavanine, which has been associated with worsening of inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions, including autoimmune conditions, may want to avoid alfalfa sprouts for this reason.