Search Term: " SPROUTING "
How to grow garlic from a single clove
February 24, 2017 11:19 AM
There is a way to grow garlic from a single clove. Garlic has been used for various purposes since ancient times. It was once described as being a cure for many different medical conditions. Over the years, science has actually backed up many of his claims. It can help to lower your cholesterol and also lower your blood pressure.
"While the optimal planting time to produce beautiful, large bulbs is fall, just after the first frost has passed, cloves can also be planted in late winter or early spring."
Top health benefits of broccoli - Best health and food tips
January 28, 2017 11:16 AM
Broccoli is a healthful food that may have a wide variety of beneficial effects on your health, due to its high levels of potassium, zinc, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene. These nutrients may help to regulate blood pressure, promote eye health, protect the bones, boost immunity, improve heart health, and avoid birth defects caused by certain maternal vitamin deficiencies. It may even improve the health of your skin, and may protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation when applied to the skin as an extract.
"Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowering head is eaten as a vegetable."
What Are The Cruciferous Vegetables With Indoles?
October 18, 2011 02:19 PM
A cruciferous vegetable is a common category of vegetables. The term cruciferous is used to refer to vegetables which have a cross - shaped pattern that can be found under the core of the plant's stalk. This classification of vegetables includes:
1. CABBAGE. This vegetable is a common leafy green vegetable of the specie Brassica oleracea. It is an herb - like, biennial flowering plant which has a short stem with a jam - packed mass of leaves. The leaves are generally green to light green but variety comes in red or purple color. An immature cabbage has a characteristic compact and circular cluster of young leaves.
2. BROCCOLI. A kind of vegetable which is categorized in the Italica cultivar plant cluster. This is different from cabbage because it has large flower heads which is usually dark green in color. It is arranged in a small tree – like manner on branches which is SPROUTING from a solid edible stalk. This vegetable is similar to cauliflower, another cruciferous vegetable.
3. CAULIFLOWER. Like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is also a member of the species Brassica oleracea. Unlike cabbage, this cruciferous vegetable is an annual plant which is reproduced by seeds. The appearance of this plant is like that of a broccoli. The floral meristems are usually eaten only while the stalk and leaves are utilized in vegetable broths.
4. BRUSSEL SPROUTS. This is a cultivar of cabbage family which is cultivated because of it edible buds. It is named after the city in Belgium which is believed to be the origin of the vegetable.
Cruciferous has many health benefits. Aside from its fiber – rich content, cruciferous vegetables has a promising benefit of lowering the risk of cancers specifically with that of the colon, breast and prostate. The special chemical compound in cruciferous vegetables is called “Indoles”. Indoles are considered as a phytonutrient which can benefit the body in many ways.
Since the ancient times, Indoles have been used for many medicinal purposes. In fact, most Roman health practitioners during the olden times have utilized Indoles as treatment for ulcerated breasts. Therefore, without a surprise Indoles found in cruciferous vegetables are widely used for the prevention of breast cancer. Clinical studies have revealed that the mechanism of action of Indoles in relation with decreased risk of cancer is that Indoles can effectively decrease the so – called C16 estrogen and increase C2 estrogen. The latter is helpful in preventing the development of abnormal breast tissue growth or cancer.
Furthermore, Indoles have also been found out to have important benefit in detoxifying the body from free radicals, thus preventing the body from free radical damage and promoting a healthy cellular production and growth. Other theories have stated that Indoles in cruciferous vegetables can block carcinogenic chemical compounds from mutating the cell’s DNA and neutralize the effects of estrogen associated with cancer development.
Other vegetables which contain Indoles are onions and garlic. The Indoles component of these vegetables effectively works hand in hand with antioxidants in protecting the body from harmful substances and toxins.
Aside from these natural vegetables, Indoles chemical compound can also be made available to the body in the form cruciferous vegetable extracts. This supplement has adequate amount of balanced Indoles compound which can equate with the body’s daily recommended intake of Indoles necessary to fight against free radical damage and cancer. However, extra caution must be observed to prevent untoward side effects and unnecessary drug interactions.
Cut the calories, try Indoles in supplement form!
Why Are Fresh Sprouts Like Alfalfa, Barley, and Wheat So Good for Your Health?
May 24, 2011 11:22 AM
Sprouts For A Healthier Body!
Fresh sprouts are among the healthiest of all foods. They are rich in enzymes that are not found in the human body. These enzymes help facilitate better absorption of vitamins and minerals. Alfalfa, barley, and wheat are examples of plants that are capable of SPROUTING when soaked in water. They are best consumed fresh when they still contain all of their nutrients. They make excellent ingredients to salads and sandwiches that can complement any meal. They can be processed in juicing machines, too.
You might have heard of the nutritional value of grasses and legumes. Wheatgrass is becoming increasingly popular nowadays as they have been receiving a lot of good press lately. Wheatgrass and barley grass has in fact earned the moniker superfoods. Alfalfa, on the other hand, is a legume recently rediscovered for its phytochemical content. It has been a forage crop for centuries, but human consumptions have steadily increased in the past few years. Apart from the fact that wheat, barley, alfalfa can be consumed as fresh sprouts, they also bring similar benefits to human health.
Restore Normal pH Levels
Proponents of the alkaline diet believe that the body is in a constant cycle of alkalinity and acidity, which is partially dependent on the foods that we eat. The body raises alkalinity with every acidic by-products of digestion to maintain pH balance. That being said, a significant fraction of the human diet is acid-forming, tipping the balance in the process. Fresh sprouts are often linked to the alkaline diet, which aims to restore pH balance of the body.
Have High Nutrient Content
Alfalfa, barley grass, and wheatgrass are very good sources of vitamins and minerals. They are particularly rich in dietary minerals that help the body function at its best. Plus, they contain amino acids, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates in amounts adequate to complement any other foods that make up a healthy diet. One of the very noticeable improvements after months of consuming fresh sprouts is the increase in red blood cell count.
Cleanse the Body of Toxins
Aside from the fact that fresh sprouts are effective free radical scavengers, they also improve the natural antioxidant defense of the human body. Wheat, barley, and alfalfa are reliable sources of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and selenium, all of which are involved in chemical reactions that lead to effective removal of toxic by-products of metabolism. Fresh sprouts are capable of neutralizing reactive oxygen species such as free radicals. Furthermore, they facilitate the excretion of toxins.
Promote Heart Health
Fresh sprouts are particularly good for the cardiovascular system. They maintain the health of red blood cells. They limit the releases of low-density lipoproteins into the blood, thus lowering bad cholesterol and free fatty acids. They help control high blood pressure and promote normal blood flow. They maintain healthy levels of blood sugar by improving glucose metabolism. And, of course, their antioxidant profile enables them to protect the heart and arterial walls from lipid peroxidation.
Have you had your sprouts today?
The “Power” of trace Minerals…
October 08, 2005 11:56 AM
The “Power” of trace Minerals…
These articles piqued hartley’s interest with information about the amazing results people were receiving from drinking a little bit of sea water each day. This led him to research the great salt Lake, an inland sea located near his home. He found that the Great Salt Lake not only had the same minerals and balance discussed by George Crane, but that it was 6 to 10 times more concentrated than regular sea water without the pollution. Hartley knew there was a need for these minerals himself and had seen results from other people that the company was established with initial product sales.
Science was slow to provide answers as to why the minerals from this desert sea caused such a dramatic and varied results in people, but Hartley knew from his growing stack of testimonials that the company’s first product, Inland sea water, was effective. He and his wife, Gaye, founded Trace Minerals Research in 1968 and started selling pure Great Salt Lake water to the public and a short time later, they discovered how to use nature’s own processes to remove the sodium, thereby creating low-sodium, Concentrace TraceMineral Drops.
Hartley and Gaye founded their company on the principle that nutritional supplements should get results and that if a customer does not actually feel an improvement in their health, they should not have to pay for it. This same principle is still evident today in Trace Mineral Research.
Not a single bottle of product leaves our manufacturing facility unless we can confidently back it up with the guarantee of “Feel the Difference or your Money Back.” This guarantee is made possible because minerals and trace minerals needed by Americans today are found in rich abundance, a natural balance and a highly assimilable principle ionic form from the Great Salt Lake. Trace Mineral Research sent most of their products into development because of the spectacular results many people were already discovering from low sodium ConcenTrace and Trace Mineral Drops. The company then combined their formulas of vitamins, herbs, enzymes and other nutrients to enhance the specific benefits people were reporting.
Trace Minerals Research now has a complete line of highly effective nutritional supplements each backed by our guarantee of “Feel the Difference of Your Money Back”. These products are also backed by research and we are continually researching new information on our existing and new products.
Our Philosophy at Trace Mineral Research has always been that the Earth was created with the prefect balance of all the nutrients that humans need to be healthy and happy. The only problem is that over the years humans have become victims of the water cycle. Dr. U. Aswathanarayana states, “Soil erosion leads to the depletion of essential nutrients elements in crops grown in depleted soil. When people consume a diet derived from such crops, the intake of essential elements becomes inadequate. This leads to the impairment of the relevant physiological functions, and causes disease.” For millions of years, every SPROUTING seed and towering tree has dissolved minerals to ionic form and raised them from the depths of the soil where they could easily be washed away by water. To add to this problem, aggressive farming has further depleted the soils. Furthermore, many fertilizers and pesticides bind trace minerals in the soil so that fewer minerals are absorbed by fruits and vegetables. The importance of minerals in the soil and their effects on human health are not new concepts. Dr. Alexis Carrel, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1912, states, “Soil is the basis of all human life and our only hope for a healthy world… All of life will be either healthy or unhealthy according to the fertility of the soil. Minerals in the soil control the metabolism of cells in plants, animal and man … Diseases are created chiefly by destroying the harmony reigning among mineral substances present in infinitesimal amounts in air, water and food, but most importantly in the soil. Even the AMA recognized the importance of minerals in our diet. “Variations in the distribution of certain minerals in the environment are known to have an effect on health.
The Lack of minerals in our soil is evidenced through the need for constant fertilization. Plants need nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, chlorine, carbon, boron, sulfur, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and molybdenum, some of which are commonly replaced through fertilizers to provide maximum crops through minimum investment. However, humans are known to additionally need calcium, sodium, fluorine, bromine, chromium, iodine, silicon, selenium, beryllium, lithium, cobalt, vanadium and nickel, which would not necessarily be replaced through fertilization for plants.
This continual cycle of soil depletion and minor replacement of minerals through fertilization in conjunction with a diet of processed foods has left many Americans deficient in minerals and trace minerals. This does not need to follow the water cycle. As water goes through the constant cycle from evaporation to precipitation, minerals are transported through rivers and streams where it is then collected in the seas thereby creating a natural equilibrium.
Today, Trace Minerals Research harvests minerals and trace minerals from the Great Salt Lake, a uniquely rich and pure desert sea. These minerals are the basis for each of their unique products and help provide a strong foundation for balanced supplementation.
America's Most Wanted
June 14, 2005 05:23 PM
America's Most Wanted
by Brian Amherst Energy Times, January 6, 2000
The United States eats well, a little too well, according to experts. Amply supplied with a large supply of high-calorie food, our diets might seem to be chock full of every conceivable nutrient. Well, to the question "Getting all the right vitamins, minerals and other nutrients?" the most appropriate answer seems to be "Not exactly." Eating a lot doesn't equal eating a lot of the most important vitamins and minerals. So, which vitamins and minerals are likely to show up in short supply in the typical American diet? Calcium certainly sits at the top of list. According to the most recent Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, which is conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), women and girls age 12 and up are not consuming adequate calcium from their diet. Research reveals that about 1200 mg. day suffices for those over age 50 and 1000 mg a day should be adequate if you're between the ages of 19 and 50. Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Stanford University, ". . .osteoporosis is a pediatric disease." For long-range protection against that bone-weakening disease, kids should eat calcium-rich, low-fat dairy products and plenty of leafy greens (broccoli, cabbage, kale) as well as salmon (with bones), seafood and soy. But the calcium campaign does not end in early adulthood. Bone mass begins to deteriorate at about age 30. Menopausal hormonal changes can exacerbate bone brittleness. Medical conditions, including cancer, liver disease and intestinal disorders; prescription drugs; tobacco and alcohol indulgence; or a decline in activity, especially the weight-bearing kind, also jeopardize bone strength. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about one in every two American women will break a bone after age 50 due to osteoporosis. That translates into about half a million fractured vertebrae and more than 300,000 shattered hips. Frequently, those breaks are life-threatening.
The critical role of calcium in many body functions is perhaps the most extensively clinically documented among nutrients. Researchers in the Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, reviewed epidemiological and clinical studies conducted over the past two years on the relationship between dietary calcium and blood pressure (J Am Coll Nutr October 1999: 398S-405S). "Nearly 20 years of investigation in this area has culminated in remarkable and compelling agreement in the data," the researchers report, "confirming the need for and benefit of regular consumption of the recommended daily levels of dietary calcium." Investigators at the State University of New York, Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, presented results of their studies of calcium and vitamin C and gum disease at the June 26, 1998 meeting of the International Association for Dental Research. Two separate inquiries revealed that people who consumed too little calcium as young adults, and those with low levels of vitamin C in their diets, appear to have nearly twice the risk of developing periodontal disease later in life than folks with higher dietary levels of either nutrient.
Calcium: Much Documented Researchers offer extensive evidence of calcium's benefits on many fronts: n Osteoporosis poses a threat to older men as well as women, according to Randi L. Wolf, PhD, research associate at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Wolf presented her award-winning study to an October 3, 1999 meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Dr. Wolf suggests that men increase their consumption of calcium, particularly after age 80, to avoid age-related declines in the amount of calcium absorbed. According to Dr. Wolf, "It appears that the hormonal form of vitamin D, which is the main regulator of intestinal calcium absorption, may have an important role. We are conducting more research to better understand the reasons for why calcium absorption declines with age in men." n Scientists at Tufts University in Boston did some earlier work on the calcium-vitamin D connection and reported it in the September 4, 1997 New England Journal of Medicine. Using the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) increased recommended daily intake of 1200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 international units of vitamin D for people over 50, the Tufts researchers found that with supplementation of the nutrients, men and women 65 and older lost significantly less body bone and, in some cases, gained bone mineral density. n Two studies published in American Heart Association journals show that atherosclerosis and osteoporosis may be linked by a common problem in the way the body uses calcium. The September 1997 Stroke revealed that, in a group of 30 postmenopausal women 67 to 85 years old, bone mineral density declined as atherosclerotic plaque increased. Researchers reporting in Circulation (September 15, 1997) advanced the theory that the osteoporosis-atherosclerosis connection may be related to a problem in handling calcium. n For people who had colon polyps removed, taking calcium supplements decreased the number of new polyps by 24% and cut the risk of recurrence by 19%, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. The study, published in the January 14, 1999 New England Journal of Medicine, was a first in crediting calcium with anti-cancer properties.
The D Factor
Without adequate vitamin D, your absorption of calcium slips and bone loss can accelerate, increasing the risk for fractures. Fifty percent of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fractures at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston had a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 28, 1999). University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers told participants at the April 14, 1997 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research that vitamin D "significantly inhibits highly metastatic, or widespread, prostate cancer in animals," suggesting its potential for treating men with similar conditions. Few foods that Americans eat, except dairy, contain much vitamin D, but we can usually synthesize sufficient amounts from as few as five minutes' exposure to the sun. But as skin ages, its ability to act as a vitamin D factory decreases. According to Michael F. Holick, the director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center, upwards of 40% of the adult population over age 50 that he sees in his clinic are deficient in vitamin D. Recently, the National Academy of Sciences (the official body that decrees the required amounts of necessary nutrients) increased the daily recommendations of vitamin D to 600 IU for people over 71, 400 IU for those aged 51 to 70 and 200 IU for people under 50. The best dietary sources, apart from dependable supplements, are dairy and fatty fish like salmon. Four ounces of salmon provide about 300 IU.
The Facts About Fats
The American lust for low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets filled with sugary foods has exploded into nothing short of "obsession," according to experts at the General Research Center at Stanford University Medical Center (Am J Clin Nutr 70, 1999: 512S-5S). That mania oftens robs us of the crucial balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids typical of the Mediterranean diet that protect us from heart disease by controlling cholesterol and making blood less likely to form clots. These fatty acids cannot be made by the body but are critical for health: n Omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic acid) comes from fresh, deepwater fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) and vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed and walnut. n Omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) found primarily in raw nuts, seeds and legumes and in saturated vegetable oils such as borage, grape seed, primrose, sesame and soybean. The American Heart Association recommends limiting total fat consumption to 30% of daily calories. Saturated fats like those in dairy and meat products as well as vegetable oil should comprise 10% of total calories; total unsaturated fat (fish oils, soybean, safflower nuts and nut oils) should be restricted to 20 to 22% of daily calories.
Be Sure About B12
Vitamin B12 presents a particular problem for the elderly because older digestive systems often don't secrete enough stomach acid to liberate this nutrient from food. (The elderly have no problem absorbing B12 from supplements, because it's not bound to food.) Vitamins generally moderate the aging process but, ironically, that process and the diseases that frequently accompany it affect vitamin metabolism (Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 83, 1994: 262-6). And because of those changes, we need more of certain vitamins. This is the case for vitamins D, B6, riboflavin and B12. Crucial for health, B12 is necessary to prevent anemia, and, according to recent studies, needed (along with folate and B6) to help stave off heart disease. B12, with thiamine and niacin, boosts cognition (Adv Nutr Res 7, 1985: 71-100). Screening for vitamin B12 deficiency and thyroid disease is cheap and easy and can prevent conditions such as dementia, depression or irreversible tissue damage (Lakartidningen 94, 1997: 4329-32). In the January 5-12, 1999 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA urged doctors to screen levels of homocysteine (the amino acid byproduct of protein digestion that damages arteries, causes heart disease and, possibly, strokes) in patients at high risk for heart disease. They also recommended all Americans to up their daily levels of vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid. Since fruits, vegetables or grains lack B12, vegetarians need B12 supplements. And they're a good idea for the rest of us, too.
Folic Acid Benefits
Folic acid made headlines in the early 1990s when the U.S. Public Health Service declared that "to reduce the frequency of neural tube defects [spina bifida, or open spine, and anencephaly, a lethal defect of the brain and skull] and their resulting disability, all women of childbearing age in the United States who are capable of becoming pregnant should consume .4 milligrams (400 micrograms) of folic acid per day." This recommendation followed voluminous research that showed taking folic acid was associated with a significantly reduced risk of birth defects. (The advisory is based on the fact that nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned. If you think you are pregnant, consult your health practitioner for supplementary advice.)
A Team Player
Folic acid's efficacy intensifies when it works with other nutrients. Among many studies on the preventive powers of folic acid on birth defects, one published in The New England Journal of Medicine (327, Dec. 24, 1992: 1,832-1,835), disclosed an even greater decrease in neural tube defects when supplements of folic acid contained copper, manganese, zinc and vitamin C. As a warrior against homocysteine, folic acid joins the battalion of B12 and B6 in detoxifying this harmful protein. At the University of Washington's Northwest Prevention Effectiveness Center, researchers recently analyzed 38 published studies of the relationship between folic acid, homocysteine and cardiovascular disease and, according to associate professor Shirley A. Beresford, MD, folic acid and vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies can lead to a buildup of homocysteine.
Canadian researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (275, 1996: 1893-1896) that men and women with low folic acid have a 69% increase in the risk of fatal coronary heart disease. This 15-year study of more than 5,000 people stressed the need for dietary supplementation of folic acid. Folic acid also has been credited with the potential to protect against cancers of the lungs, colon and cervix. It appears to help reverse cervical dysplasia, the precursor cells to cervical cancer, especially for women taking oral contraceptives, which may cause a localized deficiency of folic acid in the cells of the cervix. According to Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning, authors of The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery), folic acid derivatives work with neurotransmitters, the chemicals that permit signals to be sent from nerve fiber to nerve fiber. A lack of folic acid can cause some nervous-system disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and dementia; it also may be related to some forms of mental retardation. Other supporting roles of folic acid, according to researchers: the formation of normal red blood cells, important for preventing the type of anemia characterized by oversized red blood cells; strengthening and improving white blood cell action against disease; limiting production of uric acid, the cause of gout.
The Best Sources
Many foods are rich in folic acid: beef, lamb, pork and chicken liver, spinach, kale and beet greens, asparagus, broccoli, whole wheat and brewer's yeast. But experts believe that only 25 to 50% of the folic acid in food is bioavailable. Processing also reduces an estimated 50 to 90% of its content. Folic acid supplementation overcomes these obstacles with little risk, as it has no known toxicity. Women taking folic acid who are current or former users of oral contraceptives may require additional zinc. And be sure to augment your folic acid supplement with its synergistic counterpart, vitamin B12.
Focus on Fiber
The American Heart Association came out squarely behind fiber in a June 16, 1997 issue of its journal Circulation: Double your daily intake to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. The American diet is consistently low in fiber, notes Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, author of the article. Twenty-five to 30 grams a day from foods (or supplements) are not only heart healthy but seem to aid weight control.
Getting enough iron? An estimated 25% of adolescent girls in the United States are iron deficient, according to an October 12, 1996 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, which reported that girls who took iron supplements performed significantly better on verbal tests than those who took a placebo. "Teenage girls should be regularly tested for iron deficiency because rapid growth and the onset of menstruation during puberty increase the body's need for iron," says Ann Bruner, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and a lead author of the study.USDA data reveal that women up to age 50 also tend to get much less than recommended levels of iron, a lack of which leads to anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells, hemoglobin or volume of blood. For kids, deficiency is more common from six months to four years and during the rapid growth spurts of adolescence when the body is growing so quickly that the body's iron stores may sink to dangerous levels. Vegetarian women run the greatest risk for deficiency, as meat is iron-rich; foods like beans, grains and vegetables also contain some iron. Supplements, of course, supply easily absorbable iron. And to absorb iron from vegetarian sources, take vitamin C with your meals. That boosts the amount of this mineral you will take in. Bear in mind, however, that certain folks-older men and post-menopausal women-generally have adequate dietary supplies of iron. Of greater concern, in fact, is excessive iron, and for these folks iron-free multivitamin and mineral supplements are available.
Ante Up the Antioxidants
Antioxidant nutrients help protect the body from oxygen-scavenging molecules called free radicals. The products of pollution, the body's own metabolic processes and other sources, free radicals are linked to heart disease, cancer and other chronic health problems. The most important antioxidants, which include vitamin C, E, beta carotene, and selenium, are often lacking in the American diet. Plus, optimal amounts of vitamin E cannot be consumed from food. You need supplements. The bottom line: even though we live in a land of plenty, you can still miss vital nutrients. So make sure to consume these vital substances.
Source of Missing Nutrients In the search for the nutrients missing from America's diet, one big help is the sprout. The sprout is truly one of nature's heavyweights: fresh, tiny and moist, its power punch of vitamins, minerals, protein, chlorophyll and disease-busting phytochemicals land it in a weight class far beyond that of its full-grown competitors. Size does NOT matter to this nutritional giant. A championship belt currently wraps around the miniscule broccoli sprout, catapulted into the ring by Paul Talalay, MD, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Talalay discovered that the seedlings contain substantially more of the cancer-fighting substance sulforaphane than mature plants (Proc. Natnl. Acad. Sci. USA, 94, 10367-10372). Sprouts, the quintessential health food of the Sixties, provide a wonderfully varied and versatile way to get your daily greens. Raw or cooked, strong or mild, vegetable and grass sprouts and their algae cousins add low-calorie texture to recipes and a rich, diverse complement of nutrients and fiber.
Ancient Asia to the Modern Lab
Asians stir-fried sprouts as one of the earliest fast foods as long as 5,000 years ago. The ancient Chinese relied on sprouts for year-round vegetables in colder regions of their vast country. Today, researchers studying sprouts and adult plants have identified their important chemoprotective and other health-bolstering substances. In Paul Talalay's research project at Johns Hopkins, scientists found that three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain up to 50 times more sulforaphane than mature plants, which prompts the body to produce an enzyme that prevents cancer tumors from forming. Uniform levels of the compound saturate the shoots, unlike the chemically uneven adult plants. The Brassica family of broccoli and cabbage is richly endowed with phytochemicals that also help reduce estrogen levels associated with breast cancer. Other phytochemical compounds in the Brassica family are associated with the prevention of stomach and lung cancers. Most of the initial landmark work on phytochemicals' cancer-fighting powers has taken place since 1989 under the aegis of the National Cancer Institute's "Designer Food Program," which isolated, for example, the isoflavones in beans that seem to neutralize cancer-gene enzymes.
Strong Suit: Soy and Spirulina
The isoflavones and phytosterols in soy produce an estrogenic effect that appears to relieve menopausal symptoms and help prevent breast cancer. Soy foods expert Mark Messina, PhD, has done extensive work on the subject, some of which has been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-6. Researchers also have synthesized a bone-strengthening form of soy isoflavones called ipriflavone, following impressive clinical trials in the treatment of osteoporosis (American Journal of Medicine, 95 [Suppl. 5A] (1993): 69S-74S). Spirulina and other micro-algae are fascinating organisms that inhabit a niche between the plant and animals kingdoms. Named for its tiny spirals, spirulina, a blue-green algae, grows in saline lakes but is cultured for maximum nutritional content. In her book Whole Foods Companion (Chelsea Green), Dianne Onstad notes that spirulina contains "the highest sources of protein, beta carotene and nucleic acids of any animal or plant food." Its nucleic acids, she says, benefit cellular regeneration; its fatty acids, especially GLA and omega-3 acids, make it one of the most complete foods. Sprouts, like any other produce, should be rinsed thoroughly before serving. People at high risk for bacterial illness-young children, the very elderly or folks with weakened immune systems-should limit their consumption of raw sprouts. But no matter how you eat them, you may find more spring in your step from these tiny, SPROUTING nutritional wonders.