What Are Sprouts?
Sprouting is a process where nuts, seeds, legumes, or grains are soaked for several hours and then allowed to grow for a few days. The exposure to correct temperature and moisture results in a sprout that is about ¼-2 inches long. These sprouts are then consumed raw or cooked.
This process of germination helps to break down the starch, which increases the nutritive value of the ingredients. It also enhances the bioavailability of minerals and vitamins such as calcium, iron, and zinc. Sprouting also lowers the levels of anti-nutrients present in the grains and seeds by 50 per cent by breaking the outer membrane.
How To Grow Your Own Sprouts?
Many varieties of sprouts such as lentils, mung beans, garbanzo, pea, buckwheat, amaranth, oats which are commonly found in markets can be easily grown at home. Among vegetables, mustard greens, fenugreek, and radish are great choices for sprouting. Here is an inexpensive and simple way to grow your own sprouts at home!
Want to bring a twist to your regular sprouts? Here is my favorite way of making sprouts at home: Pulse Sprouts Mix
The Unsaid Benefits of Sprouts
Supports healthy digestion
Many seeds and grains contain anti-nutrients, which reduce the absorption of other nutrients. These anti-nutrients can cause damage to the inner lining of the intestine and result in a leaky gut. Sprouting helps to reduce these anti-nutrients, making these foods easy to digest. Sprouting is also beneficial in increasing the fiber content, especially insoluble fiber, improving constipation. Those on a gluten-free diet can consume sprouts as soaking also reduces the amount of gluten.
DID YOU KNOW?
Legumes contain phytic acid (an antinutrient) which binds with calcium and iron, making it inaccessible to the body. Soaking these grains activated phytase enzyme which helps to break down phytic acid.
Helps in weight loss
Soaking and sprouting help to increase the fiber content in sprouted seeds and grains. Rich in protein and fiber, it helps to keep the stomach full for a longer period of time and thus regulates appetite. Also, sprouts are low in calories and hence can be consumed in between main meals to accelerate weight loss. Lentil sprouts such as Moong limits the release of ghrelin which is a hunger hormone.
Consuming a bowl of sprouts about 15 minutes before main meals aids in the weight loss process.
Rich in nutrients
Sprouts are a great source of Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, folate, and beta-carotene. The process of sprouting increases the content of Vitamin A and B complex vitamins and also increases the bioavailability of nutrients. They are also an excellent source of phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
DID YOU KNOW?
Broccoli sprouts contain a bioactive compound, sulforaphane which helps to increase the production of immune natural killer cells.
Here are some more great benefits of sprouting:
- Being rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, sprouts contain antioxidants and can help to fight off infections and build immunity.
- Helps to improve good cholesterol (HDL) and improve cholesterol levels.
- Great for diabetics as enzymes activated during the process of sprouting works with insulin to regulate blood sugar.
- Beneficial in improving eyesight as it is rich in Vitamin A.
- Being alkaline, it helps to regulate the pH of the body and hence provides relief from acidity.
- Sprouts are abundant in antioxidants which help to slow premature aging.
- A great source of Zinc that provides nourishment and hydration to hair, improving hair growth.
Wondering how to use these sprouts in day-to-day life? Here are a variety of ways in which you can use sprouts in the most delicious way possible!
Make sure to consume a batch of fresh sprouts within three-four days to avoid the risk of food poisoning.
Always use clean jars for storing sprouts to avoid cross-contamination.