Power of Sprouts

Utilizing a powerhouse nutrient packed in broccoli seeds to help us combat the toxins we face. 

Playing outside has been one of my healthiest forms of movement throughout life. Always either conditioning barefoot in the sand, climbing in the mountains, or surfing cold salt water. Fast forward to studying biochemistry, I realized this lifestyle tapped into ancient pure forms of biohacking – grounding, thermal stressors, and IR light from the sun.

Then I moved to LA/SLC and saw my first inversion – dark bronze air. And the black rain. A very blatant sign that our lungs are facing some gnarly particles. At this point, consumption of micro plastics, air pollutants, and toxins is virtually inevitable. It can be extremely overwhelming as their side effects vary from hindering athletic recovery/performance to serious metabolic disfunction. We are not left defenseless though! One thing we CAN do is aid our body’s own detox system in removing these toxins.

For this post I wanted to highlight inspirational benefits of an isothiocyanate found concentrated in tiny seedlings. Broccoli sprouts contain high levels of the defensive compound glucoraphanin and myrosinase enzymes. Chewing these sprouts activates the enzymes to convert glucoraphanin into a powerful antioxidant – sulforaphane. I first learned about sulforaphane (SFN) from Dr Rhonda Patrick’s deep dive into the scientific literature on this bioactive compound.  [article]

Her review also outlines some important mechanisms that pinpoint a few ways SFN lowers inflammation and acts as a potent antioxidant. Notably SFN’s activation of the NRf2 pathway. NRf2 turns on transcription of proteins that protect against oxidative stress due to injury, inflammation, and normal aging processes. 

As for air pollution, Dr. Patrick’s article explains a study that found supplementing with SFN directly increased peoples’ ability to detox airborne carcinogenic toxins benzene and acrolein.

*For those of you interested in reducing symptoms of Autism, SFN has been gaining more scientific studies in this aspect too! Evidence shows SFN counteracts biochemical abnormalities associated with ASD, such as neuroinflammation and excess oxidative stress. Researchers are continuing to look at SFN's ability to help aid the body in removing the build up of oxidative stress in people with ASDs.  

Years later I began to reprioritize broccoli sprouts once I learned about their ability to help reduce pms symptoms and optimize certain hormone levels.

Sulforaphane activated from these sprouts promotes healthy detox by turning up the production of enzymes. In particular, SFN assists the liver and gut in getting rid of excess + toxic forms of estrogen. 

Why does this matter?

Excess estrogen is often associated with heinous pms – pain, weight fluctuation, and exhaustion – that can make life and training an uphill battle at times.

Dr Joline Brighten published a great overview explaining what is currently known regarding the mechanisms behind sulphoraphane’s role in supporting both detox and hormone balance.


Love to eat from the garden? Try sprouting broccoli seeds. If eating full grown veggies, raw tends to have higher, but less available forms of sulphoraphane.

* steaming these veggies ~5 min increases the bioavailability while also preserving some of the sulforaphane content

Want a higher concentration? I’ve been taking Mara Lab’s BrocElite when traveling and before sauna sessions after training.

Check out their site for a few stacks they have with their BrocElite complex, including resveratrol and berberine. 

Additional Sources


Found My Fitness – sulphoraphane

Ben Greenfield Life – sprouting explained

Research cited and further reading here

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