If you’re looking for ways to detox your body, improve mental health, and even decrease the risk of cancer, then broccoli sprouts may be your answer. Here’s what you need to about their health benefits and how you grow them at home.

Have you heard of broccoli sprouts? These little gems are packed with nutritional goodness while being easy on the wallet. But what are they and how do they aid with detoxification? Keep reading to find out!

What are broccoli sprouts?

Broccoli sprouts are tender, baby broccoli plants that are 3-5 days old. They can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Just one 3-ounce serving of broccoli sprouts provides [1]:

  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Vitamin C: 60% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin A: 10% of the DV

Benefits of broccoli sprouts

Broccoli sprouts contain a compound called glucoraphanin, which is converted by your body into sulforaphane [2]. For it to be activated, it has to come in contact with the enzyme myrosinase, which is only released when the plant is damaged (through heat, chewing, cutting, or chopping). Sulforaphane has been shown to protect against inflammation and disease, and is found in all cruciferous veggies including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, arugula, collards, brussels sprouts, watercress, bok choy, and radishes [3].

Here are some of the science-backed benefits of broccoli sprouts.

Detox your body: Sulforaphane activates enzymes to help your liver counteract and eliminate potential cancer-causing effects of toxins from food and the environment [4]. Studies have even shown that consuming broccoli sprouts leads to a higher excretion rate of benzene and acrolein, two toxic chemicals that can have a negative impact on health [11]. This process supports detoxification, and can greatly improve overall health.

Cancer prevention: The high content of sulforaphane has proven to be an extremely powerful anti-cancer compound. Studies have shown that these anti-cancer properties are due to sulforaphane promoting cancer cell apoptosis, which reduces inflammation, lowers susceptibility to cancer-causing substances, and inhibits angiogenesis [4, 5].

Improves brain and mental health: Research shows that sulforaphane can protect against and improve symptoms of some brain conditions including stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and even autism spectrum disorders [6]. Moreover, sulforaphane can decrease brain cell death and reduce the amount of brain tissue lost in strokes, protect dopamine producing cells from oxidative stress, and protect brain cells from beta-amyloid toxicity in Alzheimer’s [6, 7].

Better immune response: Due to the high concentration of vitamin C and other antioxidants (like sulforaphane), broccoli sprouts provide immunity and virus protection benefits [4]. Additionally, these antioxidants have been shown to protect against oxidative stress, support cellular functions of the innate and adaptive immune system, as well as lowering susceptibility to infections [8].

Promotes gut health: Evidence shows that sulforaphane can improve the function of intestinal cells, modify the friendly bacteria in your gut, and postively impact bowel movements [9]. Sulforaphane has also been shown to reduce H. pylori infections as well as gastric inflammation, both of which can negatively affect gut health [10].

Additionally, sulforaphane have been shown to improve liver function, help treat stomach ulcers, reduce the risk of heart disease, improve symptoms of depression, and help manage type 2 diabetes.

Where can you get them?

You can get broccoli sprouts at the grocery store, or you can grow them your own. But it’s really not as complicated as it sounds–you can grow your own broccoli sprouts with only a sprouter, seeds, and some water. We love sprout people’s at home stainless steel sprouter, as this is a great way to grow your own sprouts, even if you don’t have a green thumb. Plus, growing them yourself is an even more affordable way to enjoy these sprouts!

Here are some simple steps you can follow to help grow your own broccoli sprouts at home:

  1. Seed prep
  2. Soak
  3. Rinse
  4. Drain
  5. Sprouting
  6. Greening and dehulling

Learn more about how to grow these sprouts at home with this article.


Broccoli sprouts contain a sulfur-rich compound called sulforaphane, which is found in all cruciferous veggies including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, arugula, collards, brussels sprouts, watercress, bok choy, and radishes. This compound has been shown to help detox the body, improve liver function, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, improve mental health, boost the immune system, and help manage type 2 diabetes. Whether you buy broccoli sprouts at the store, or grow your own with a stainless steel sprouter, you can detox your body and improve health just by adding more of them into your diet. Grab a handful for a snack, toss on top of a salad, or even add a pinch to soup.


  1. (2020). Sports Nutrition Facts, International Sprout Growers Association. https://isga-sprouts.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/SproutNutritionFacts.pdf
  2. Fahey, J. W., Holtzclaw, W. D., Wehage, S. L., Wade, K. L., Stephenson, K. K., & Talalay, P. (2015). Sulforaphane Bioavailability from Glucoraphanin-Rich Broccoli: Control by Active Endogenous Myrosinase. PloS one, 10(11), e0140963. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0140963
  3. Fahey, J. W., & Kensler, T. W. (2021). The Challenges of Designing and Implementing Clinical Trials With Broccoli Sprouts… and Turning Evidence Into Public Health Action. Frontiers in nutrition, 8, 648788. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.648788
  4. Nandini, D. B., Rao, R. S., Deepak, B. S., & Reddy, P. B. (2020). Sulforaphane in broccoli: The green chemoprevention!! Role in cancer prevention and therapy. Journal of oral and maxillofacial pathology : JOMFP, 24(2), 405. https://doi.org/10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_126_19
  5. Mandrich, L., & Caputo, E. (2020). Brassicaceae-Derived Anticancer Agents: Towards a Green Approach to Beat Cancer. Nutrients, 12(3), 868. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030868
  6. Sun, Y., Yang, T., Mao, L., & Zhang, F. (2017). Sulforaphane Protects against Brain Diseases: Roles of Cytoprotective Enzymes. Austin journal of cerebrovascular disease & stroke, 4(1), 1054. https://doi.org/10.26420/austinjcerebrovascdisstroke.2017.1054
  7. Schepici, G., Bramanti, P., & Mazzon, E. (2020). Efficacy of Sulforaphane in Neurodegenerative Diseases. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(22), 8637. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228637
  8. Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients, 9(11), 1211. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111211
  9. Yanaka A. (2018). Daily intake of broccoli sprouts normalizes bowel habits in human healthy subjects. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition, 62(1), 75–82. https://doi.org/10.3164/jcbn.17-42
  10. Yanaka A. (2017). Role of Sulforaphane in Protection of Gastrointestinal Tract Against H. pylori and NSAID-Induced Oxidative Stress. Current pharmaceutical design, 23(27), 4066–4075. https://doi.org/10.2174/1381612823666170207103943
  11. Egner, P. A., Chen, J. G., Zarth, A. T., Ng, D. K., Wang, J. B., Kensler, K. H., Jacobson, L. P., Muñoz, A., Johnson, J. L., Groopman, J. D., Fahey, J. W., Talalay, P., Zhu, J., Chen, T. Y., Qian, G. S., Carmella, S. G., Hecht, S. S., & Kensler, T. W. (2014). Rapid and sustainable detoxication of airborne pollutants by broccoli sprout beverage: results of a randomized clinical trial in China. Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.), 7(8), 813–823. https://doi.org/10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0103