When you were growing up, your mother may have urged you to eat all your greens because they were good for you. Of course, Mom was right.
Green vegetables are among the most valuable because they contain lots of fiber, vitamins, and plant-based nutrients essential to health. Recent research indicates that cruciferous veggies, like broccoli sprouts, may be even better for diabetics.
What’s Up With Sprouts?
Broccoli sprouts are one of the hottest health food trends right now. It’s believed that they contain hundreds of times more beneficial enzymes and nutrients than a mature plant. Specifically, sprouts contain large quantities of glucoraphanin, which is a precursor of sulforaphane. The former is converted into the latter by the action of mechanically chewing, cutting or mashing your food before eating.
Basically, you need to break it up. Doing so helps to release myrosinase (also present in the sprouts) which works with the natural bacteria in your mouth to activate the sulforaphane.
Still following along?
Good. So, researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden wondered if this activated enzyme could help control high blood sugars. To find out, they gave 97 people one daily dose of 150 micromoles of concentrated broccoli sprout extract for 12 weeks.
What the Study Found
At the end of the study, the researcher noticed that patients taking the extract had both a lower A1C and fasting blood glucose levels compared to their placebo group. They also found that patients who had higher blood glucose levels, higher triglycerides, or were obese saw a bigger drop in these numbers.
Essentially, the powdered broccoli sprout extract was most effective for those who had higher glucose and fats. But on average, the improvement was about a 10 percent drop in fasting glucose levels.
While this study used an extract of broccoli sprouts, on can hope to get some benefits from eating fresh, whole sprouts. You may even be able to see some results from other cruciferous vegetables, although they don’t contain as much glucoraphanin in them.
5 kilograms of broccoli in a pill slashes diabetics’ blood sugar. URL Link. Accessed June 16, 2017.
Sulforaphane Reduces Hepatic Glucose Production and Improves Glucose Control In Patients With Type 2 Diabetes. URL Link. Accessed June 16, 2017.