Sprouts are an amazing little nutrient dense, powerhouse superfood. Sprouts are shoots from a plant seed. They come in many different varieties and lucky for us a whole bunch of these are edible! Green, red leaf, alfalfa, radish, broccoli, and clover are a few different varieties of sprouts, but did you know that you can also sprout chickpeas, quinoa, lentils and even almonds?
There are many reasons why sprouting is a good idea: it is extremely economical, you can ensure that you are getting extremely fresh, organic, local food into your diet daily and you can do it from home all winter long. I don’t think there is one good reason not to sprout. Here are the top 10 reasons to eat sprouts daily.
It has been estimated that there can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than in uncooked fruits and vegetables. Enzymes are types of proteins that act as catalysts for all of your bodily functions. Enzymes extract more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids from the foods that you eat and ensures your body has the nutritional building blocks to ensure every process works as effectively as possible.
2. More Fiber
Fiber is an extremely important factor in any diet, did you know it actually binds to fats and toxins within our bodies and helps us eliminate them? It also ensures that any fat our bodies break down is moved through the body before it has a chance to reabsorb through the walls of the intestines.
3. Higher Vitamin Content
The vitamin content from certain seeds, grains, beans and nuts actually increases by up to 20 times the original value after only a few days of sprouting. Mung beansprouts, for example, increase in vitamin B1 by up to 285 percent, vitamin B2 by up to 515 percent and niacin by up to 256 percent.
4. Your Body Can Easily Utilize Sprouts
During the sprouting process, minerals bind to the proteins in the seeds, nuts or grains making them more useable in the body. This is true especially for more alkalizing minerals such as calcium and magnesium, they help us balance our body chemistry for potential weight loss and better health.
5. Sprouts Have The Highest Concentration Of Phytonutrients Of Any Food
That is a pretty bold statement, but according to this study from the Journal of Applied Science it is true. Phytonutrients play an active role in the amendment of disease.
6. Research Shows Sprouts May Prevent Cancer
There have been numerous studies done to show that the consumption of sprouts can actually prevent various forms of cancer. One study in particular that was led by scientists from John Hopkins, found that a highly concentrated source of sulforaphane, a compound they identified in 1992 that helps mobilize the body’s natural cancer-fighting resources and reduces the risk of developing cancer. Broccoli sprouts, contain unusually high levels of glucoraphanin, the naturally-occurring precursor of sulforaphane.
7. Sprouts Can Help Alkalize Your Body
Sprouts themselves are quite alkaline, eating them can directly help maintain the acid alkaline balance within the body, which ultimately leads to good health overall. Nobel Prize winner Otto Heinrich Warburgh stated
“Cancer cannot exist in an alkaline oxygen rich environment.”
The energy contained in the little seed, nut, bean, or grain is ignited through the soaking and sprouting process.
9. Extremely Economical
Sprouting is extremely cheap! Sure you can buy little plastic containers at the store for around $2-$4 for conventional and $3-$5 for organic. Or you could save your money, save the environment, save the trip to the store and sprout your own for just pennies a batch!
10. Sprouts Are Extremely Easy To Grow Yourself Anytime Of The Year
Sprouts are grown indoors, most varieties need only water, and many don’t even need sunlight. All you need is a jar, a piece of mesh or old pantyhose, water and sprout seeds!
Bonus: Sprouts are extremely tasty! I like to eat them sprinkled in salads, on sandwiches, and on flatbread type crackers with Vegenaise and tomato slices. Mmm mm good!
How To Sprout Your Own Sprouts
What you need:
- A thoroughly cleaned mason jar
- A piece of fine mesh or a piece from an old pair of pantyhose big enough to cover the top of the jar (cheesecloth doesn’t work very well for this because sometimes the seeds get caught in the material.)
- Sprouting seeds
- Put between 2 and 4 Tablespoons of any kind of sprout seeds you choose. I really like Mumm’s brand seeds. They are organic and they also have a variety of many yummy sprout combinations. My favorite is the “sandwich booster” blend. Sometimes I add a little “crunchy bean mix” and sprout these together. Its very simple.
- Cover the seeds with filtered water, let seeds soak for 8 hours or over night.
- Cover the top of the jar with the mesh or pantyhose and secure with either the ring only for the top of the jar or a tightly wrapped elastic band. Drain the water.
- Pour some more water over the seeds, then swirl the jar around to rinse them, then discard the water.
- Put the jar in a bowl or container so that it can sit downwards at about a 45-degree angle, so the water can drain out.
- Place the jar in a dark area, or in a cupboard. Rinse the sprouts and replace them in the downward position twice daily.
- Your sprouts should be ready in about 3-5 days, enjoy!
You can also buy nifty little sprouting devices in the form of jars or trays, but this isn’t really necessary. The method above has worked very well for me over the years. Happy sprouting!
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