Sprouts are one of the most complete and nutritionally beneficial of all foods. Their nutritional value was discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago. As an example, a sprouted Mung Bean has the carbohydrate content of a melon, vitamin A of a lemon, thiamin of an avocado, riboflavin of a dry apple, niacin of a banana, and ascorbic acid of a loganberry. Other studies have shown sprouts to be a powerful antioxidant and may assist in preventing some types of cancer.
Sprouts are the most reliable year-round source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and many B vitamins (such as folacin). Sprouting seeds, grains, and legumes greatly increases their content of those vitamins. For example, the vitamin A content (per calorie) of sprouted Mung beans is two-and-a-half times higher than the dry bean, and some beans have more than eight times more vitamin A after being sprouted. Sprouts preserve our body’s enzymes, which is extremely important. How do they do this? Sprouted beans, grains, nuts, and seeds are extremely easy to digest. Sprouting essentially pre-digests the food for us by breaking down the concentrated starch into simpler carbohydrates and the protein into free amino acids, so our own enzymes don’t have to work so hard. Sprouting also removes anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors, and that makes sprouts even easier to digest, further sparing enzymes. Another anti-nutrient is phytates, which is what stops some people from enjoying grains such as wheat. Many people who can’t eat unsprouted wheat find they can eat all the sprouted wheat they want with no problem
Sprouts like alfalfa, radish, broccoli, clover and soybean contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals [plant compounds, or nutraceuticals]that can protect us against illness. Sprouts also contain large amounts of plant oestrogen. They increase bone formation and density and prevent bone breakdown, or osteoporosis. They are also helpful in controlling hot flashes, menopause symptoms, PMS and fibrocystic breast tumours.
Whole Grains used for Sprouting:
Any whole bean can be sprouted – Garbanzo, Alfaalfa, Green Gram, Masoor Dal, Ragi, Bengal Gram, Black Eyed Peas, Fenugreek Seeds, Groundnut(no need to sprout, soak them overnite and eat), Soybeans, Peas, Goa Beans (alsande). Sprouts can be eaten raw in salads or cooked.
1. Wash Mung Beans well and soak them in Water overnight.
2. Drain all of the water from the Mung Beans.
3. Soak cheesecloth or thin dish towel in water and gently squeeze out the water (leaving a little).
4. Place soaked Mung Beans in a cheesecloth or thin dish towel and twist the sides of the cloth together.
5. Place cloth with Mung Beans inside of a container with a lid. Do not use a clear container.
6. Cover the container and keep it in a warm, dark place.
7. Leave the Mung Beans for 2 days checking on them occasionally. If the cloth seems to have dried up, lightly sprinkle water on it to re-moisten it.
8. In 2 days, the Mung Sprouts will be ready to eat, raw or cooked.
9. If you don’t want to use them right away, they can be refrigerated or you can freeze them.
10. Follow the same method for any type of whole beans.
Sprouts contain oxygen. Because sprouts are a ‘living’ food, they contain hundreds of molecules of oxygen, which is essential for healthy cells. Oxygen-rich foods can ward off viruses and even kill off bacteria. You need a fair amount of oxygen-rich foods in your diet to enjoy the benefits, and sprouts can help you achieve your nutrition balance for the day!
Sprouts have an alkalizing affect on the body. Your body needs to be alkaline in order to be healthy, and there are several foods and toxins that can offset this balance. Sprouts are very alkaline, so you’ll be helping your body achieve balance with ease.
Sprouts contain healthy fats. Sprouts contain EFAs, the essential fatty acids your body needs to perform basic body functions. You need a certain level of fat in your diet in order to ward off infections and strengthen your immune system. Sprouts are rich in EFAs, so they can support a healthy diet and keep your metabolism functioning at its optimal level.
Sprouts are natural sources of fiber. Fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy, and helps you feel fuller between meals. Eating more fiber can support your healthy diet and reduce the risk of constipation. Loading up your sandwich or a meal with sprouts can give your daily fiber counts a boost, and help you digest your meal easily.
Sprouts can give you a dose of vitamins B and C. Sprouts contain a number of vitamins and minerals, and the quantities are even greater when you soak the seeds overnight. Soaking the seeds overnight increases the levels of vitamin B, so you will always be doing your body a favor by doing this.
Eating sprouts increases your protein count. Sprouts contain a significant amount of vegetable proteins, and can support your healthy diet. They can even be a healthy alternative to meat, so if you’re vegetarian, sprouts should be a part of your daily or weekly diet!
Sprouts are very low in calories. If you’re watching your weight and cutting back on calories, sprouts will support your lifestyle. Sprouts contain only 9 calories per ounce, and these are a combination of healthy carbs, protein, and healthy fats. You can load up your pocket pita, sandwich and salads with generous amounts of sprouts to enjoy all of the benefits of this amazing vegetable – and do it guilt-free!