Benefits of Sprouting: Why Should You Eat Sprouted Grains and Beans?

Benefits of Sprouting: Why Should You Eat Sprouted Grains and Beans?

Growing up in India I watched my dad carefully sprout beans, lentils or chickpeas and regularly eat them raw at breakfast. Mung bean sprouts are very common in Asian cuisine. Traditional cultures have considered sprouting to imbue magical properties to the grains or beans. And we think there is a grain of truth in this!

Sprouting Imparts a Life Force to the Grain or Bean

Grains and beans are seeds and when they sprout they are creating a new life. This is not just a new age thing... Sprouting kick starts the enzyme activity in the seeds necessary to sustain and grow a new life. These enzymes pack a nutritional punch. The enzymes are dormant when the seed is dry. Soaking or moisture starts to break down the hard outer walls and kick start the enzymes. The results include improved amino acid composition, reduction in phytates and better nutrient absorption.

Health Benefits of Sprouts

Complex starch in the seed (grains or beans) is broken down into simpler carbohydrates by sprouting. This makes the food easier to digest and can be helpful to people with digestive issues. Many grains, beans and legumes contain phytic acid that inhibits mineral and vitamin absorption in the body. Sprouting breaks down the phytic acid and this helps the body maximize the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Soaking the grains or beans provide similar benefits that are enhanced further with sprouting. Easier digestion and better vitamin and mineral absorption become very important as we age. We in the modern world are used to supplementing with multitudes of vitamins and minerals on a regular basis - a simple process of sprouting our grains holds the promise of dramatically changing our nutrient uptake for better.

Nutrients in grams per 100 grams of non-water components of kidney beans
Nutrient DRI Raw Beans Sprouted Beans Ratio
Protein (g) 50 26.72 45.15 1.7
Vitamin C (mg) 90 5.1 416 81.56
Thiamin (mg) 1.2 0.6 3.98 6.63
Riboflavin (mg) 1.3 .248 2.78 11.2
Niacin (mg) 16 2.33 31.40 13.47
Vitamin B-6 (mg) 1.3 0.45 0.91 2.02
Folate (µg) 400 446 634.25 1.422
Vitamin E(mg) 15 .25 0 0
Vitamin K (µg) 120 21.527 0 0

Source: Wikipedia

Are Sprouts Good for Weight Loss?

Sprouts can help you lose weight. Sprouts are high fiber and protein rich food and contains less calories than most snacks you may typically eat. Snacking on sprouts in-between meals or any time you want will keep you full and reduce your appetite for less healthy food. If you are exercising, the high mineral absorption helps you replenish your minerals that you lose through perspiration.

More Fiber in Sprouts Mean Healthy Metabolism

The fiber content in the sprouts help provide roughage and improves overall digestion. The metabolism boosting enzymes also improves the absorption of the essential nutrients from food that you eat.

Eat More Sprouts for Healthy Hair and Skin and Get some Amazing Anti Cancer Benefits

Sprouts are full of nutrition for your hair and skin. The high Vitamin C content in the sprouts act as an anti-oxidant and removes harmful free radicals. This prevents premature aging, skin wrinkles and graying hair or hair loss. The amazing benefits of sprouts don't end here. Extra anti-oxidants can help prevent skin cancer by eliminating harmful free radicals. Vitamin K content can help your hair grow fuller and thicker.

Sprouts can Help with Back Pain

Sprouts contain a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory and can help manage your back or arthritis pain.

What can You Sprout at Home?

You can sprout almost any legumes, seeds or beans at home. Some of possibilities are chickpeas, peas, mung beans, alfa alfa, onions, broccoli, sunflower, etc. If you choose to sprout kidney beans or quinoa, make sure you cook the sprouts thoroughly before eating as these beans/grains can be hard to for some to digest and may cause nausea or stomach aches.

Keep in mind that most seeds you buy in the grocery stores may not sprout. It is a common practice in the United States to irradiate seeds so they do not germinate before they hit the grocery shelves. To be sure, try to find sprouting seeds that are guaranteed to germinate.

How to Sprout Grains or Beans at Home?

If you want to give sprouting a try, the process is very simple.
  1. Start by soaking your seeds overnight (~8 hours) in water. Approximately a 2 to 1 ratio of water and seeds will work well
  2. In the morning, drain the water out. Rinse the seeds with fresh water.
  3. Rinse and drain about twice a day.
  4. Within a day or so you will see the seeds germinate. Continue rinsing and draining until the sprouts are of the length you prefer, possibly 0.5" - 2".

This article goes into much greater detail about the process. Keep in mind that not all seeds will sprout. Most of the grains and seeds sold in grocery stores are irradiated and can no longer sprout. If you are unsure, look for sprouting seeds at your favorite store. Sprouting is a great way to include healthy and natural food to your diet. You can add sprouts to your salads, cook them as lentils or beans or make soups or bake with them. These amazing health and beauty benefits are easily yours with a simple addition of sprouts to the food you already eat. Finally, sprouts give you another way of staying close to the nature in your own way.

Want to start your day off with fresh energy and zest for life? These sprouted rolled oats are easy to cook and free of chemicals.

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