Broccoli & Broccoli Sprouts: Similar, but Different
Broccoli, the infamous healthy vegetable, universally hated by children and loved by all parents is once again on the minds of everyone. This time in more than one avatar. If you’ve been keeping up, chances are you’ve heard about broccoli sprouts. And if you have heard of the sprouts, you might also know about broccoli sprout extract powder. They are the talk of the town. Although, if by chance you have missed on what are these broccoli sprouts really, then here is a quick intro!
Broccoli sprouts come in the category of microgreens; one can think of them as baby broccoli. Essentially, these are broccoli seeds that undergo germination by the method of sprouting. This sprouting is done by steeping the seeds in water for a few hours and then rinsing the seeds with water for a few days until shoots appear to grow. Once they are sprouted, one can consume them raw or like us, convert them to a powder form to reduce food waste, and make them even more versatile!
1 healthy vegetable, 3 different forms!
Which one to consume? Which is the healthiest?
This blog post will give you all the answers so that you will never be confused about the whole thing again.
So, What Really is So Healthy About Broccoli?
Broccoli is a type of cruciferous vegetable. Some other cruciferous vegetables are kale, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts to name a few. All these vegetables have something special in them that links them to a reduced risk of heart diseases, certain cancers, gut problems, and certain other chronic diseases.
This something special is called Sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane is a part of a family of compounds called ‘glucosinolates’. These are sulfur-containing compounds found in all cruciferous vegetables. Sulforaphane has many healing properties with respect to diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic inflammation, and mild to serious cognitive disorders.
In order to know more about how Sulforaphane improves our health, read our detailed post here!
The Big Choice!
The truth is all these forms of broccoli are really healthy and contain a varying degree of sulforaphane too. All three of them have at least one unique feature that makes them incomparable. We have compared these products on the basis of these 4 factors:
Ease of Access and Consumption
Relative Cost Factor
With respect to the nutrient profile, we are comparing raw broccoli and broccoli sprouts. Broccoli Sprouts Extract Powder is represented by broccoli sprouts as it does not have any additional fortified nutrients and is in a dried form with just the water taken out.
As mentioned earlier, the special ingredient that causes all the difference between the two forms of broccoli is Sulforaphane. Broccoli Sprouts win in this comparison as they have 10x greater sulforaphane content than broccoli (see Table 1).
Additionally, raw mature broccoli is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C by a significant amount than broccoli sprouts, but the latter wins in containing significantly higher calcium content. It also has a slightly higher iron content than broccoli.
Let us look at this table in order to understand these differences even more clearly. 
2. Sulforaphane Absorption
Sulforaphane is a compound that has a broad spectrum of benefits. You might think, who would go through the painstaking process of sourcing broccoli seeds, sprouting them and then consuming them within a week before they go bad. Right? So, why not simply make broccoli a part of your daily life? It is so much easier.
But, that’s where the problem is.
If you are looking to rev up your daily consumption of sulforaphane, broccoli is not going to be of much help. The reason? It needs to be cooked. Research has found that sulforaphane is sensitive to heat and when you cook your broccoli, you are dramatically reducing the amount of sulforaphane your body can absorb.
This decrease in sulforaphane can be quite dramatic. In a study that was conducted in 2011 at the University of Illinois, sulforaphane absorption was compared by measuring the amount of sulforaphane excreted in the urine. If the amount excreted was high, the sulforaphane absorption was less.
The percentage of absorption is explained in the table below.
3. Ease of Access & Consumption
Broccoli sprouts definitely are a superior source of Sulforaphane, but consuming them on a daily basis requires the rigorous process of sprouting and storing. It can be especially tough for those who find themselves busy.
This is where the Broccoli Sprout Extract Powder can be a great alternative.
The benefits of sulforaphane are unparalleled but our busy lives do not always give us the luxury to sprout the broccoli seeds regularly. Or even if you do have the time, there will be days when you could be travelling and might not find a way to get proper nutrition. Hence, it is advisable to keep the extract powder on your shelf, even if it is for those few days.
4. Relative Cost Factor
By this time, we can see how all the three products bring something unique to the table. But still, when it comes to choosing 1 out of the 3, one of the practical things is the cost involved. Especially if you are driven to consume sulforaphane as a daily supplement in your diet. Between broccoli sprouts and broccoli sprout extract powder, which one is the cheaper option?
Before we go on to compare costs, it is important to know how much Sulforaphane should you be consuming in a day. Two different in vitro studies have suggested a dose of 0.5mg of Sulforaphane per Kg of body weight in order to really get the antioxidant benefits. Read in more detail about this here.
So on an average, a 70kg person needs 35mg of Sulforaphane. Let us see how much that costs us with respect to different broccoli products.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that broccoli as a vegetable in any form is a great way to supplement your daily requirements in terms of fibre and nutrients. But, when it comes to Sulforaphane, broccoli sprouts are definitely the healthiest and cheapest option especially if you are sprouting at home for getting your daily dose of Sulforaphane. Although if you are not sprouting at home every day, then ready-made sprouted broccoli and our broccoli powder will cost you the same.
If you have a busy lifestyle or travel frequently and can’t always depend on sprouting and need a reliable supply of Sulforaphane, then get yourself our Broccoli Sprout Extract Powder. The fun way to feed your kids the goodness of broccoli in the form of their favourite smoothies, yoghurts or muffins!