The Benefits of Sprouting
Did you know that by investing less than $10 in equipment and by spending a few minutes a day, you can grow some of the most nutritious food on the planet? That’s right, you can do this with SPROUTING! Sprouts are edible little seeds that have just been germinated. They have been consumed for thousands of years by Chinese nobles, people in Eastern Asia and Europe and Captain Cook’s shipmates to ward off scurvy. Sprouts are an explosion of life and should be an important part of the diet. They are easier to digest so that your body can access their full nutrient profile. Today’s mass-produced and rapidly-supplied vegetables are coated with a multitude of chemicals, picked before they’re ripe, shipped thousands of miles, and stored for many days before they even reach the supermarket. By the time they reach your mouth they are far from fresh. By growing your own sprouts you can have beautiful, organic, fresh, nutrient-dense vegetables of all kinds any time of the year.
Sprouts have, pound for pound, the largest amount of nutrients of any food. Sprouting increases the vitamin content of seeds significantly and are a tremendous source of antioxidants, vitamin A and C, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, magnesium, selenium, iron and zinc. The sprouted seeds of some legumes, like lentils, peanuts, and soybeans, contain complete protein, as do many seeds.
The most popular seeds to be sprouted are grain, vegetable, nut and legume. Eating sprouts is a good way to supplement your diet with food enzymes that are critical for literally every biochemical reaction that takes place in your body. Sprouts can range from radish, onion, broccoli and kale to chia, flaxseed, buckwheat and mung bean. Almost anything can be sprouted and each type of seed is its own powerhouse when it comes to nutrition.
- Onion and garlic sprouts have a natural antibiotic affect on the body, making it more resistant to bacteria and parasites.
- Radish sprouts are great for clearing the respiratory system and sinuses during a cold.
- Red clover sprouts help to detoxify the body, purify the blood and relax the nervous system.
- Wheatgrass sprouts are amazing for helping all intestinal disorders, healing the body of many ailments and is an excellent tonic for the entire body.
- Sprouted wheat kernels have decreased amounts of gluten proteins and increased amount of folate and fiber.
Incorporating sprouts into your diet may significantly enhance your health, energy and longevity.
All seeds contain enzyme inhibitors (anti-nutrients) that allow them to remain dormant and be stored for years. These anti-nutrients also help plants to survive by warding off pests and insects because once ingested, the plant’s predators become sick. Once exposed to moisture and temperature, the enzyme inhibitors are neutralized and the seeds come to life. In this embryonic stage, sprouts are bursting with nutrients and are essentially a predigested food. Anti-nutrients like phytic acid or phytate locks up calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. Deficiencies in these nutrients can stunt growth, cause anemia and bone loss and a host of other health issues. Eating nuts and seeds that aren’t sprouted can be very problematic for those with weak digestion. The enzyme inhibitors found in plant foods can cause mental illness, allergic reactions and deficiencies in protein as the body has a difficult time breaking them down.
Our diets today are much different than our ancestors and we demand a lot more nutrients than ever before due to our stressful/busy lifestyles. By incorporating something as simple as sprouting, we are able to increase our nutrient intake ten fold. Sprouting is super easy, even a 5 year old can do it!
1-Use raw, unsprouted nuts, grains, seeds, sprouting vegetable seeds or legumes that are free from chemicals (I order mine from www.sprouting.com)
2-Get a sprouting jar or use a mason jar and cover with cheese cloth and an elastic.
3-Place seeds in jar and cover with clean water, rinse and refill jar with water and let sit (times will vary-follow directions on package).
4-Once they have been soaked for the appropriate amount of time, rinse and drain.
5-Place out of sun and upside down on a cloth (to catch extra moisture).
6-Rinse and drain morning and night until you start seeing little sprouts (using by day 3).
7-The sprouts will vary from 1/8 to 2-inches long. When ready, rinse and drain again and store in a jar or container in fridge.
8-Keep in refrigerator for up to 7 days, but everyday you need to rinse the sprouted beans, grains, nuts or seeds and put them in a fresh bowl. This will avoid having any mold or bacteria grow.