Maybe you’ve spotted them in the produce section and wondered what they were. Or perhaps you’ve never seen or heard of broccoli sprouts before.
Either way if you’re concerned about blood sugar, it’s time to add them to your shopping list. Because researchers say this superfood could be a powerful weapon in the fight against type 2 diabetes.
Broccoli sprouts can easily be mistaken for regular alfalfa sprouts. But unlike alfalfa this cruciferous vegetable is hiding a compound that scientists say can significantly reduce blood glucose levels.
And best of all it might be the most effective for the folks who need it the most… those who have the poorest control over their blood sugar.
Cruciferous veggie compound could fight diabetes
Researchers at Lund University Diabetes Center in Sweden are at it again.
A couple of months ago I told you about the “carrot cure for diabetes” they discovered. Now their research has uncovered yet another natural way to fight this terrible disease.
According to their study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the vegetable extract called sulforaphane can drive down fasting blood sugar levels in folks with type 2 diabetes.1
You’ll find the compound in all kinds of cruciferous veggies including…
- bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- collard greens
And broccoli sprouts happen to be one of the richest sources of sulforaphane that exists.
Super nutrient sulforaphane is a potent multitasker
If you think you may have heard of sulforaphane before, you’re probably right. In fact, we’ve covered this compound many times in Healthier Talk before.
I first began writing about the cancer-fighting power or sulforaphane nearly seven years ago. Over the years studies have shown the extract, and foods rich in the compound, could help keep cancer at bay.
And for folks who’ve already received a cancer diagnosis sulforaphane may help keep the cancer from growing and spreading.
Plus, experts say the inflammation-fighting antioxidant inhibits certain joint damaging enzymes. And it can help keep your heart healthy by fighting high blood pressure and the hardening of your arteries.
Studies have even found sulforaphane can help protect against health-damaging pollutants.
And now researchers say the potent extract could even help treat type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes superfood blocks glucose production
The Swedish team started by searching for a needle in a haystack. They testing over 3,800 compounds on diabetes-linked liver cells in their lab.
Sulforaphane turned out to be the needle. It had the strongest effect on the genes associated with type 2 diabetes.
Next, they tested the compound on rats with type 2 diabetes.
The cruciferous veggie extract was again a clear winner. The diabetes superfood reduced sugar levels far better than any other compound tested.
Then it was time to test it on humans.
Diabetes superfood extract slashed blood sugar
The researchers recruited 97 overweight volunteers with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.
In the twelve-week, randomized, placebo-controlled study (the strongest kind), the volunteers received either a placebo or a broccoli sprout extract.
The fasting blood glucose levels in the lucky folks who got the sulforaphane plummeted, when compared to the volunteers who received the placebo.
More research is needed, of course. But a towering stack of studies has already proven that broccoli sprouts, and other sulforaphane-packed veggies, are terrific for our health.
So go ahead and toss some of this overlooked diabetes superfood onto your sandwiches and into your salads. And to boost your sulforaphane benefits be sure you’re taking a good prebiotic and probiotic supplement too.
Look for broccoli sprouts in your local grocery store or health food store. If you’re having trouble finding them, you can even grow your own at home. They’re incredibly easy to sprout using seeds and kits you can find online.
1. “Sulforaphane reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes,” Science Translational Medicine, 14 Jun 2017: Vol. 9, Issue 394.