The Benefits of Sprouts
As a nutritionist, every one thinks I automatically like to cook. I have to admit, I am a pretty simple eater. This is because the easier the meal is to make and still healthy all the better for me!
This is why I love sprouts so much. I can grow them in my home and they take only days. It is great for kids who can see the sprouts grow each day and then in only a few days get to enjoy them.
I purchased a variety of seeds online at amazon and I also purchased three seed lids for the different size seeds. Not only are they easy to grow and great to munch on, but they are also filled with health benefits.
You can eat them by the handful, put them in lettuce wraps, on salads, top off a soup and add to tacos and stir-fry’s. They are a simple, nutrient dense food with many health benefits.
How To Grow Your Own Sprouts At Home
1. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the seeds into your mason jar and fill with water and use the appropriate size lid.
2. Leave the jar overnight in a dark place-I put it in a cabinet.
3. The next day pour out the water, rinse the seeds and place the mason jar in a bowl at an angle so the rest of the water can drain out. Continue to do this daily. During this time, continue to keep your jar in a dark place or covered with a towel.
4, The seeds will start to sprout-depending on the seed it could take 3-7 days for the sprouts to mature.
See how easy that is! Enjoy them in salads, on sandwiches, as a garnish, on top of your tacos and fajitas and more.
Reasons Why You Should Add Sprouts To Your Diet
Why should you add sprouts to your diet? Well growing your own is fun and in the long run cheaper than the ones you purchase in the store and you also have more choices and variety when you grow your own. It makes a fun activity to do with kids, but the real benefit is for your health.
- Nutrient Dense: There can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than in uncooked fruit and vegetables. What does this mean? Well, it means that you will extract more vitamins and minerals and amino acids from the food source. So for instance, broccoli compared to broccoli sprouts-while both are great to add to your diet, the sprouts will pack a nutritional punch in a small amount. Kids don’t like broccoli? Add broccoli sprouts to their diet then.
- Improved digestion: Since we need enzymes to help break down our food, sprouts will aid in digestive issues.
- Protein Rich: The quality of the protein improves when it is sprouted. So it improves the nutritional value of the bean, nut, seed or grain.
- High in Fiber: The fiber content is increased when sprouted. The protein content is also increased but the carbohydrate content is decreased.
- High in Vitamins: The vitamin content is also increased, especially for vitamin A, B complex, C and E. For instance, if you sprout mung beans, you can increase the thiamine content by up to 285 percent!
- Ph Balance: Sprouts are alkalizing to the body so they will assist with balancing your ph levels. Most of us have bodies that are too acidic due to all the processed food that we consume. Acidic body can contribute to disease.
- They contain Iron: this is good news for vegans and vegetarians who do not get their iron from meat sources.
- Cancer protection: Broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane, which is also found in broccoli, and has been found to inhibit breast cancer stem cells. However, you would need to eat a lot of broccoli to benefit, but only need small amounts of sprouts to benefit.
- They are Cheap!: Yes, you can afford to grow and eat homemade sprouts. You can eat healthy sprouts while still on a budget.
- Bioavailability: the vitamins, minerals and protein that you get by eating sprouts are more readily absorbed by the body because of the sprouting.
So go get some sprouts and start growing!
Haas, E. (2006) Staying Healthy with Nutrition. CA: Celestial Arts
Murray, M.(2005) The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. NY: Atria Books.
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Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and Herbalist is the author of Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and If Life is So Good, Then Why AM I Still Depressed? Discover the root cause for your depression and learn what to do to feel better and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC.
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As a nutrition professional, Karen does not treat, cure nor diagnose. This information is for educational purposes only.