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Sprouting: Benefits and 3 Best Sprouted Food Items for You

 

Sprouting is one non-cooking technique that significantly increases the nutrition profile of seeds and beans. The process involves germinating a given type of seed or legume or nut and thereby enhancing its nutrient quotient. According to a recent medical review, un-sprouted grains or seeds have a lower nutritional value as compared to sprouted ones. Moreover, the former has lower protein content and is more likely to cause gas and a bloated stomach (most of us suffer).  It is very important to know the details so that you do not lose onto any nutrient or benefit.

An Overview

The process of sprouting is an age-old hack that can elevate the nutrition quotient of a seed or a nut. This happens because the germinating process reduces the amount of anti-nutrients that can cause more harm than good. These anti-nutrients are naturally present inside the seeds in order to protect the plants from pathogens. Another responsibility of the anti-nutrient is to keep a seed from sprouting until it is ready to mature. Phytic acid is one anti-nutrient that your body might not like and probably reject off the system. The substance can be problematic for the digestive tract and impairs absorption of vital nutrients like iron and zinc. In order to reduce the phytates, sprouting is one of the many processes that can help.

When you put a soaked seed into the germination process, you actually let the item evolve into a nutrient-dense food. However, you should not underestimate the powerful positive effects this Phytic acid may have on your health. In most cases, consider sabotaging it.

How to Sprout a Given Seed or Nut

The process might not be a unique for many but it is still important to know the perfect technique to sprout your own grains. Heath food stores and grocery markets sell sprouted beans or legumes these days, but it would be best if you do it at-home in order to avert chances of adulteration. Here is an old school method that works extremely wonderful:

  1. Choose the item you want to sprout, such as a seed, legume, or a bean.
  2. Soak the seed for about 24 hours or overnight would do.
  3. Drain the water the next day and rinse the seed under clean tap water.
  4. Now take a clean cloth (cotton or synthetic), or a hemp bag and wrap around the soaked seeds in it and close the mouth of the cloth as you would wrap close a gift (like a toffee wrapper).
  5. Moisten the cloth from the bottom with water to provide apt temperature and humidity for the seed to grow.
  6. Leave the tightened seeds in cloth for at least 2-3 days to let it germinate.
  7. Enjoy the fourth day as a salad item, curry topping, or just like that with salt and pepper.

There are sprout cans/maker available as well, like this one. These makers have 2-3 compartments that make it easier for you to keep water in one and the other two as a space to let the seed germinate in the form of long shoots. You can easily pluck the shoots as desired. All the steps remain the same except the medium (cloth in first case). Here is a video demonstrating the process in brief:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk3jEE_8s1g

3 Nutritious Sprouted Foods Ever

Mung Bean or Sabut Moong Dal is one of the most popular legumes for sprouting and the benefits are many. The small, green legume belongs to the same plant family as peas and lentils and is an excellent source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. The legume is a favorite in the Indian cuisine and now many other countries are opening up to its taste. Mung Beans are nutrient-dense loaded with folate, magnesium, vitamin B1, B6, zinc, and calcium. With that said, nothing can sabotage the fact that the legume offers a plethora of health benefits. This includes but is not restricted to:

  • Anti-Cancer
  • Low Cholesterol levels
  • Treatment for Type-2 diabetes
  • Good source of proteins
  • Relieves symptoms of PMS

Sprouting this particular food will enhance its properties and lessen the effects of the phytate. This will further help in better absorption of the nutrients listed above. Moreover, there are certain types of carbohydrates like oligosaccharides, raffinose, stachyose and verbascose are present in raw (unsprouted) legumes. The ingestion or improper cooking of the legume activates these carbs and cause uncomfortable flatulence. Therefore, if you soak the legume for at least 24 hours or sprout, Mung Beans will benefit your body in multiple ways.

Grains:

This is not a new thing and every kitchen is stock-full with them. Grains like Amaranth, Wheat, Millets, and Quinoa are best when sprouted or soaked. You can sprout these in the same way as aforementioned and reap benefits from them. The main point of difference is the soaking time and time need for proper germination, such as Wheat takes 6 hours of soaking, Amaranth 8 hours, and so on. The minimum sprouting time is 2-3 days for each of these grains. Some of the other popular grains you can sprout are Oat groats, wild rice, and kamut. Grains are known to cause flatulence in some people in unsprouted form but if you leave them to germinate, you actually get rid of the unnecessary anti-nutrients. Moreover, the sprouted version of grains improves digestion, and makes your skin & hair perfect.

Nuts

Nuts are considered as Superfoods but you can enhance their powers if you choose to sprout them. Some of the recommendations could be Almonds, Hazel nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and pistachios. The soaking and the sprouting time would vary depending upon parameters like quality of nuts and fully raw or not. There are certain nuts you should not invest on if sprouting is not in the agenda, such as Pecans, walnuts, and Brazil nuts. Almonds are the ones that would sprout and for that, you would have to leave them for about 3-4 days. Rest of these nuts, you can just soak and eat in order to reap maximum benefits.

Sprouting and soaking (in some cases) reduce the poisonous anti-nutrients and help your body in better nutrient absorption.

Author Bio

Vineeta Tiwari is a software professional turned writer who has deeper interest in wellness and health community. She loves Yoga, running, diet, and alternative treatments. Her aim is to make people know and understand that Mother Nature has everything to heal and cure every possible ailment bugging them right now. Apart from this, her knowledge and interest in trades and real estate has also led her to contribute in websites like Inman. Connect with her at Healthxp.in.

 

 

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