The Amazing Benefits of SproutingSeptember 24, 2012
So for one of the radio show episodes I got the opportunity to interview Annette Larkins, one of my anti-aging SHE-ROES previously featured on this blog. If you haven’t check out the post on Annette please do, she is a clear, living example of the power of raw foods. While gleaning every nugget of information and longevity secrets from her that I could, I asked her about superfoods. She’s not a fan of superfoods, (You guys know I totally am!), and she said that if I began eating more sprouts, I may feel I need less of those superfood supplements. Well, I’m always one to take the advice that works for me and run with it. I’m keeping my superfoods, but the past week I also started sprouting again in these sprout trays and yielded a couple baggies full of sprouts that I’ve been adding into salads. After doing some research on the benefits of sprouting, I see why Annette considers sprouts a superfood.
Sprouting is literally the process of taking a dormant seed to a live plant. During this germination process, any nutrients in the seed that hinder nutritional advantages of the food are removed. An example of this is something called phytic acid, which binds calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc and makes it harder for the body to absorb and irritates your digestive system! Sprouting gets rid of this and other nutrient blockers. It also boosts the digestibility of food. If nuts or legumes cause you gas, soaking or sprouting will alleviate that and make them both able to be consumed gas-free. This is due to the fact that when you sprout beans you break down the complex sugars that would cause the gas in the first place. Beyond being easier for the body to assimilate sprouts are superfoods because during the sprouting process their nutritional value skyrockets. More so than even full-grown plants, sprouts have the greatest concentration of vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes, and chemo-protectants with fight toxins, stop cells from mutating, and boost immunity.
In addition to all of these jazzy reasons why sprouts are the bomb dot-com, in the 1920’s American Professor Edmond Szekely classified sprouted seeds and baby greens as the most beneficial foods, like on the planet, and recommended that 25% of daily food intake consisted of them. He called them: “life generating ‘bio-genic’ foods that offer the strongest support for cell regeneration.” Indeed sprouts can be a good source of omega-3’s, when grown to later stages when leaves are visible they have been proven to be effective in treating protein deficiency anemia, and their supply vitamin B complex and vitamin C can be increased by the process of sprouting from 100% to 2000%. Apparently the Chinese used to carry around mung beans, because of just this, and sprout them on long journey’s because the high vitamin C content in a highly absorbable form was enough to prevent scurvy. Sprouting also increases the amounts of carotene, and even just a good handful of sprouts has enough protein to ensure veggie lovers get their required protein intake without the fat, cholesterol, and calories that come with meat protein. Other nutrients available in sprouts include vitamins A,D, E, and K, iron, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, ad zinc. If you have never tried sprouting, it is much easier than you think and you can incorporate sprouts into salads, meals, and green smoothies. You can use a mason jar, with a fancy sprouting lid if you have one, or (ghetto-fab version) use an onion bag or some sort of cheesecloth type of bag and cover top of jar by rubber banding in place. I have sprouting trays, which have various levels and allow the sprouts to be in the dark and holes to drain out water after rinsing. Among all of the options online, I couldn’t decide on a decent sprouting video, so google how to sprout, find one that you like, and get your sprout on! -XoXo Raw Girl