All around the world, experts suggest natural foods for fitness and health as they are unadulterated sources of nutrients to all of the humankind. For a long time now, good health and a good physique have been associated with the diet comprising fruits and vegetables primarily, owing to their being fat-free and big on all the essential nutrients the human body needs. Sprouts are part of this vast array of a fit person’s grain stock and even though they’re under appreciated sometimes, they still pack a wallop. Sprouts are basically skinny vegetables that are big on nutrition. Sprouts are commonly seen at salad bars and supermarkets and each kind have its own unique flavor.
Sprouts have a long history and were used for medicinal purposes in ancient China. So what exactly classifies as a sprout? Well, by definition, a sprout is a vegetable seed that just begins growing. Sprouts grow from seeds of vegetables, grains, and various beans. They’re the first edible shoots.
What makes sprouts nutritious?
Sprouts are very nutritious. They contain all the elements that a plant needs for life and growth. And they’re fairly easy to grow too. The simple process of sprouting brings out many enzymes in germinated seeds, legumes, and grains, making them easier to digest. It increases the amounts and availability of protein, vitamins and minerals from them, thereby transforming them into nutrition powerhouses. Overall, all the different types of sprouts provide a lot of excellent quality nutrients and are one of the richest and cheapest sources of an array of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
Where can I buy sprouts?
Sprouts grow in most weather conditions so, they can be found anywhere in the world in any regular grocery store. This makes them quite an accessible nutrient source. Natural food stores and a lot of online stores usually offer a wider variety of sprouts, ready to be used or seeds, grains, and beans that can be sprouted at home too.
Best Benefits Of Sprouts
There is an amazing increase in nutrients in sprouted foods when compared to their dried embryo. In the process of sprouting, the vitamins, minerals and protein increase substantially with the corresponding decrease in calories and carbohydrate content. These comparisons are based on an equivalent water content in the foods measured. Analysis of dried seeds, grains and legumes shows a very low water content. But this increases up to tenfold when the same food is converted into sprouts.
The increase in the availability of protein in sprouts is of great significance. It plays a crucial role in demonstrating the value of sprouted foods over the foods obtained by other conventional means. All the types of sprouts contain much lesser amounts of carbohydrate content, indicating that many carbohydrate molecules are broken down during the sprouting process in order to allow an absorption of atmospheric nitrogen and it’s reformation into amino-acids. The resultant protein is the most easily digestible of all proteins available in most foods.
One other significant nutritional change that can be seen in sprouted foods is the surge of sodium level. Sodium is essential to the digestive process within the gastro-intestinal tract and also to the expulsion and elimination of carbon dioxide. Together with the remarkable increase in vitamins to the food, sodium also contributes to the easy digestibility of sprouts.
Dried seeds, grains and legumes show no discernible traces of ascorbic acid, yet when sprouted, they show evidence of quite noticeably significant quantities which are quite important in the body’s ability to metabolise proteins. The drastic increase in ascorbic acid emerges from their absorption of atmospheric elements during growth.
Different types of sprouts have several benefits. They supply food in predigested form, that is, the food which has already been acted upon by the enzymes and made to digest easily. During sprouting, much of the starch is broken down into simple sugars such as glucose and sucrose by the action of the enzyme ‘amylase’. Proteins are converted into amino acids and amides. Fats and oils are converted into more simple fatty acids by the action of the enzyme lipase.
How to sprout
- Put some seeds in the bottom of a jar, fill the jar with water, cover it with a lid that has dents and leave the jar to soak for twelve hours. You can add just one type of seed or a mix of varieties if you choose to. It’s totally harmless and fun to experiment with the seeds. The seeds will expand a lot as they grow out slowly. Half to one inch (1 centimeter – 2 centimeters) of dried seeds can usually fill a jar. It varies between seeds.
- Twelve hours past, rinse the seeds carefully in water which is ideally, at room temperature. Next, drain the jar of water through the holes in the lid, leaving the seeds considerably damp.
- Repeat the rinsing every 12 hours for 2-4 days until the sprouts are ready. You’ll notice it as they’ll find the jar up by then, even if you’ve only started with a few of them.
- The sprouts are now ready to eat. You can also store them in a plastic bag in the fridge if you’d like, for later, and they’ll last for several days in there, probably a week, at most.
8 types of sprouts and their health benefits
Let’s take a look at some of the most important types of sprouts and what each of them are good for. We briefly explained all of them such that it will help you understand the health benefits. If you are not a regular sprout eater then you are missing up few great proteins, fiber, and vitamins which are pretty much essential for your body.
Mung bean sprouts
Mung bean sprouts are more commonly known as green gram sprouts. They are cultivated very commonly in China. India and South East Asia. Mung is used in a vast array of food dishes both sweet and sour. Mung is rich in fibers, iron and vitamins C, K and B.
Iron boosts our immunity by amplifying the growth of cells that cause immune responses. Vitamin C has anti-oxidants which protect our blood cells against free radicals. Vitamin C also reduces wrinkling of skin and protects our body from cancer and even common cold. Vitamin K improves the process of blood clot formation and bone formation and repair. It is also known to play a significant role in reduction of risks of cardiovascular diseases. Let’s look at some other types of sprouts.
Red lentil sprouts
Red lentil sprouts are one of the primary sources of protein and have low calorie content so they’re highly recommended food for when you’re dieting. They help lose weight while providing Vitamin C, Potassium and folate. Vitamin C improves your skin. Folate is important for RBC development and cell repair, maintenace and other micro-essential processes in the body.
Alfalfa sprouts, as the name suggests, are a part of the afalfa plant family. Alfalfa plants are very well known for their richness is a vast array of nutrients namely, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, folate, magnesium, iron and Vitamin K. They’re also one of the most important sources of phytoestrogens which reduce the risk of heart disease.
Chicken Pea Sprouts
Chicken Pea Sprouts have boatloads of carbs, fibers, protein, vitamins and minerals. They are very popular in the fitness industry as food sources during a diet. Their high levels of protein and extremely low amounts of fat make them perfect for being weight loss foods.
Bengal gram sprouts
Bengal gram sprouts are extremely common in India and can be found in most food recipes in the Indian cuisine, especially in curries. They’re also sold canned. They’re rich sources of Carbs, calories and dietary fiber and Vitamin B-6.
Thanks for reading through our article on the 5 Best types of sprouts and their health benefits and on sprouting mung beans. Which type of sprouts do you eat? Let us know in the comments section down below. If you’d like to give us a thumbs up, share this on your favourite social network. And if there’s any other health topic or tech you want our experts’ opinion on, they’ll be hanging out in the contact us section up top. As always, thanks for reading. Have a great day ahead. Cheers!