Broccoli Sprouts Vs Mature Broccoli: Why are Broccoli Sprouts Healthier Than Mature Broccoli?

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In this article we are comparing Broccoli Sprouts Vs Mature Broccoli and why examine whether Broccoli Sprouts are healthier than mature broccoli.

It’s clear that broccoli has amazing health benefits. From being a powerful antioxidant to having anti-inflammatory properties. It might even be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase “eat your greens.” 

But when people think of broccoli, they normally think of mature broccoli, the type that you often see at the supermarket. However, very few are aware of broccoli sprouts

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You might be asking – What is it? Are they not just the same thing? Why should I even care about broccoli sprouts? 

Well, let me help you understand the differences. 

What is Mature Broccoli? 

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable. This means that they are vegetables of the family Brassicaceae (also called Cruciferae.) Other vegetables from the same family include things like Brussel sprouts, kale, and cabbage, just to name a few. 

Fully grown broccoli, the ones you commonly see at the supermarket take between 100 – 150 days to grow and harvest. 

They are often steamed and mixed into a dish. 

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What are Broccoli Sprouts?

Broccoli sprouts are also cruciferous. They come from the same broccoli seed. 

However, the key difference is that broccoli sprouts are picked 3-4 days after they’re planted. This causes them to be dramatically different from fully grown broccoli; in appearance, taste, and nutritional value. 

Broccoli sprouts are small, thin white stems with a green tip. They make a nice crunchy snack and is a feisty addition to any salad. 

Due to the fact that mature broccoli and broccoli sprouts are harvested at two different stages of growth, their respective nutritional value differs greatly. 

Nutritional Comparison: Broccoli Sprouts Vs Mature Broccoli

Here is a table comparing the amount of nutritional content of mature broccoli and broccoli sprouts: 

Mature Broccoli (per 76g) (per 1 cup serving) Broccoli Sprouts (per 76g)(per 1 cup serving) 
Calories24.323.1
Carbohydrates4.78 g3.3 g 
Protein2.09 g 1.32 g
Fiber1.82 g2.64 g 
Calcium 35 mg51.5 mg 
Potassium 230 mg60 mg 
Vitamin A6.08 mcg59.5 mcg
Vitamin C40.5 mg35.6 mg
Vitamin K 0.8 mcg 76 g
source

As you can see, broccoli sprouts have an impressive advantage over mature broccoli when it comes to calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin K

However, broccoli sprouts fall a little short when it comes to Vitamin C and potassium content. 

But what really puts broccoli sprouts ahead isn’t any of these. 

It’s sulforaphane. 

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What is Sulforaphane? 

Sulforaphane is a sulfur-rich compound that is known for its astounding health benefits

Sulforaphane is known to have anti-cancer and anti-diabetic qualities. It protects your skin from sun damage and it can improve constipation. As well as these, it promotes heart health and it can even treat certain symptoms of autism. 

According to Irena Macri, broccoli sprouts can have a  20 – 100x amount of sulforaphane in comparison to mature broccoli. 

That is what really sets broccoli sprouts apart from mature broccoli! 

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Benefits of Mature Broccoli

A Mature Broccoli in a basket - Broccoli Sprouts Vs Mature Broccoli

As well as being extremely nutritious, broccoli can also have some noteworthy health benefits

  1. Broccoli can prevent cancer 

Cancer is often linked to an excess in oxidative stress. Broccoli is packed with compounds, sulforaphane, and antioxidants that reduce the amount of oxidative stress you have in your body. 

  1.  Broccoli can help control cholesterol levels

The soluble fiber in broccoli draws cholesterol out of the body. The fiber binds with bile acids and makes it easy for your body to excrete it out of your system. 

  1. Broccoli can reduce inflammation 

Broccoli has significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. 

  1. Broccoli can help your heart health 

The myriad of fibers, fatty acids, and vitamins that broccoli contains helps your body regulate blood pressure levels. 

  1. Broccoli can help your eye health

Vitamin A deficiency is a factor that contributes to night blindness. Broccoli has high vitamin A content so this may help improve your eye health. 

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Benefits of Broccoli Sprouts

Eating broccoli sprouts reaps all the above benefits. 

  1. Broccoli sprouts can help prevent cancer
  2. Broccoli sprouts can reduce cholesterol 
  3. Broccoli sprouts can reduce inflammation 
  4. Broccoli sprouts can help your heart health 
  5. Broccoli sprouts can help your eye health 

This is because broccoli sprouts have the same nutrients as mature broccoli. However, the reason why eating broccoli sprouts are better than mature broccoli is that broccoli sprouts can contain up to 20 – 100 times more nutrients

So, essentially, you need to eat a lot more mature broccoli to consume the same nutrients as a few broccoli sprouts. 

Where to find Broccoli Sprouts?

You can find broccoli sprouts in your typical health shop. Depending on where you are, you might even find broccoli sprouts in your local supermarket. 

However, you can also grow broccoli sprouts at home. Here’s a step-by-step guide. 

Who Should Consume Broccoli Sprouts?

Everyone should eat broccoli sprouts. No matter what age you are or what condition you are in health-wise, you should consume broccoli sprouts. 

There are significant benefits of eating broccoli sprouts, and it is crystal clear that broccoli sprouts are extremely good for you. 

However, individuals who are suffering from high cholesterol, individuals who have high blood pressure, and people who are at risk of cancer, should make a special effort to incorporate broccoli into their diet. Be it mature broccoli or broccoli sprouts.

How Much Broccoli Sprouts Should You Consume Per Day?

According to Dr. Rhonda Patrick, she advises that an effective daily dose of sulforaphane ranges from 40mg to 60mg. 

Each gram of fresh broccoli sprout typically has 0.425mg of sulforaphane. That means that to reach your effective daily dose, you would have to consume approximately 100 – 140 grams of broccoli sprouts. 

Bear in mind that the amount of sulforaphane may differ in mature broccoli.

Conclusion 

Without a doubt, mature broccoli is extremely beneficial for your health. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can slow down cancer. It can help you reduce cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, and it’s good for your eyes. 

However, broccoli sprouts, the often-overlooked wonder can hold 20-100 times more nutrients than that of broccoli. 

Despite their differences, mature broccoli and broccoli sprouts are both extremely beneficial for your health. And they should bee incorporated into anyone and everyone’s diet.


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Gerry Yang
Gerry Yang

Gerry is a nutrition fanatic and an avid self-experimenter. He has experience living as a vegetarian, vegan, and has experimented with a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. While Gerry is primarily a pianist, he loves to write about the nutrition research he does. And most of all, Gerry loves to share what he has learned. 

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