Now let us dive more in depth also with sprouts. Sprouts are those young plants that are germinated from seeds, legumes, and grains. We were really surprised from the start, how easy and fast they can be grown.
Any food can be called with the word super when it is sprouted. So why sprouts are healthy? Sprout is indeed a healthy superfood, which holds the power to replace your daily dose of multivitamin pills. They are the germinated seeds of various plants, that when sprouted it offers a highly concentrated powerhouse of potent energy.
They are packed with predigested vitamins, minerals, protein-rich amino acids, fatty acids, calcium, potassium, fiber, Folate, Beta-carotene, sugars, chlorophyll, and a lot more nutrients. Available in a lot of varieties and are usually consumed raw. One seed holds within it a nutrient treasure waiting to be opened. They promote good health and are also vital for the overall growth of your body. Now let us look at why they are so healthy?
Different varieties of sprouts.
How sprouts are grown?
It’s absolutely easy to grow them at your home. All you need is a jar/container with a screen, water, and seeds. Pour your seeds (approximately 2-3 tablespoons) into the jar, and then add 2-3 cups of non-chlorinated water into the jar. Swirl the seeds well in the water and then drain it. Then add about 2-4 cups of water and let the seeds soak overnight. Soaked seeds will be 2-3 times larger in size as compared to the seed’s actual size. Soaking softens the outer coat of seeds and promotes easy germination. Another important purpose of rinsing, soaking, and sprouting seeds is to reduce the levels of phytic acid present in seeds, grains, nuts, beans, and legumes. Phytic acid is produced by plants as a defense mechanism but when we eat a large quantity of this plant compound it can restrict the vital micronutrient absorption. All that matters is what we absorb and not what we eat!
The next morning drain the water followed by rinse and drain. Now you have seeds in the jar but no water, it’s time to place the jar somewhere near the window. Don’t expose the jar to sunlight as the seeds need to germinate. Everyday morning and evening you can rinse and drain them. Within 2-3 days, you’ll start to notice germination. The length of it can be grown as per your choice by following the process for a few more days. Soon you will have a delicious, nutrition-packed, fresh jar of your favorite sprouts.
During the beginning stages of its growth phase, the germinating seeds will be bursting with nutrient content on their way turning out to be a fully developed plant. This will be resulting in nourishing food full of flavors and rich in fiber.
You can store them in the refrigerator for a couple more days. But don’t refrigerate when they are really wet. Make sure you properly dehydrate them (sprouts should be more dry then wet) and then store them in the refrigerator. It is recommended to eat them fresh rather than refrigerating them for a longer time. Fresh ones taste better, hold high nutritional value, and have no risk of microbial activity.
Delicious sprout salad.
Different types of sprouts
There are varieties of sprouts you can make; some of them are:
Alfalfa – these are great to mix with other seeds and they offer neutral balance with other flavorful types of seeds. They have a crunchy texture with a nutty taste, which is high in chlorophyll and Vitamin K. Can be a good addition to your salads and sandwiches.
Broccoli – they can be grown similar to microgreens. They contain cancer-fighting phytochemicals such as glucoraphanin, which makes sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS).
Buckwheat – can be grown on soil or hydroponically. Its texture and size are similar to pea shoots. Can be added to salads and it can be used to replace the lettuce leaf.
Lentil – these can be germinated from any of the lentils you buy from the market. This includes red lentil, green lentil, or French lentil. They are rich in protein and makes delicious foods when tried in combination with other green sprouts. Sprouting the legumes increases its nutritional value. Can be eaten raw or add them in soups.
Clover – it holds a similar and tastes that of alfalfa. It contains blood tonic property and can be beneficial to women for relieving hot flashes and menopause symptoms. It’s good to mix them with other seeds and is easy to grow.
Mung – they are sprouted from green mung beans. These can be added to tasty recipes, rich in amino acids, high in protein. It is a highly recommended sprout for its nutritional value.
Chickpea – Rich in protein, can be a good addition for making dips like hummus and other healthy spreads.
Soybean – They are rich in protein, for vegans soybean can be a good protein-rich constituent in their food to meet protein needs.
Fenugreek – these are the most aromatic ones rich in iron, protein, and fiber. Helpful for digestion, lymph cleansing, detoxification and lowers blood sugar levels.
Cress – these are called peppergrass. It has a spicy flavor similar to a radish, watercress, and mustard. Cress can be used in a sandwich.
Onion – these are nutty onion-flavored and sweet tasted. They don’t have an overpowering aroma like mature onions. This can be a delicious addition combo for a sprout salad.
Pea shoots – they are excellent in their tenderness and robust green in color. Can be added to a salad, stir-fry, or just steam and eat.
Radish – can be of two types of red radish or daikon radish and are rich in spicy flavor.
This is not the end of the list; you can find a lot more varieties as you explore the sprouts world.
Radish sprouts are so crunchy.
Health benefits of consuming sprouts
- Great source of fiber for the intestinal tract.
- Highly rich in phytonutrients and chlorophyll. It also helps in boosting the immune system and cleanses the body by helping in getting rid of toxins.
- Superior food absorption happens with chelated minerals and amino acids present in them.
- Build brain neurons and strengthen muscle tissue.
- Anti-aging antioxidants that protect DNA structure. This helps in repairing your skin and brings back your glowing, youthful skin. Promotes the regeneration of cells.
- It’s easy to digest them when compared to seeds or grains. High amounts of enzymes for maximum nutrient uptake. These are rich in enzymes which boosts chemical reactions, metabolic processes within the body specific to digestion.
- Eating sprouts can improve your hair growth, and controls premature greying of your hair. They are rich in zinc which stimulates the sebum production in the scalp which helps in keeping the hair strands and roots nourished and hydrated. This elevates the scalp cell’s regeneration.
This is a good way to grow sprouts.
- It can save you from anaemia, as it is caused due to iron deficiency. Adding a handful of them to your diet can help fulfill the iron requirement.
- Since these are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it can balance cholesterol levels. It increases HDL cholesterol which is good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) which in turn improves your heart health.
- Rich in nutrients and low in calories. Helpful for your weight loss goals. Whenever you consume them it is less likely that you’ll reach out to junk food, unhealthy snacks which ultimately helps you in reducing weight
- They are good at alkalizing the body and offer protection from various diseases like cancer. Reduces the acidity levels in the body.
- Improves eyesight as they contain vitamin A which is associated with improvement of vision. They have antioxidant agents that will protect your eyes cells from free radicals.
- It helps in building muscle in your body as sprouts are plant-sourced protein. The body requires protein for strong and healthy muscles, bones, and helps in repairing the organs. It certainly helps you to fulfill your daily intake of protein. Also boosts your energy levels and metabolism rate.
How to add sprouts to your diet?
- Sprouts are consumed in a variety of ways such as in salads, sandwiches, stir-fries, burger patties, omelets, rice dishes, soups. These can be added in smoothies, making a bread spread, pancake batters, or just eat them raw. You can add them to every meal as you like it. Eating them raw is highly nutritious, eat them on an empty stomach.Consider eating raw as much as possible as while cooking some nutrients might be lost. Steamed sprouts retain their nutrients pretty much, so often try steaming (don’t do excess steaming) rather than roasting them. Before eating make sure they are washed well.
How to store sprouts at your home?
If you’ve purchased sprouts from the market, it usually comes in a plastic bag and it’s also best to buy organic ones. First things first, take them out of the plastic and thoroughly rinse them. Rinsing can help in removing any dirt, soil, preservatives, or any rocks if present. Now place it on a paper towel for absorbing the excess water present in them. Once the moisture is gone, now put it in a cloth bag and store it in the fridge. If you don’t remove them from plastic bags it can cause slimy texture, bad smell and turns brown which gives an edge to microbial activity. You shouldn’t eat such sprouts because this will lead to health risks. Best for you is to consume it within 2 days of making it as then they are still fresh.
Are there adverse effects of eating sprouts?
Raw sprouts might contain dangerous microbes such as bacteria. Since they are consumed generally in raw form it increases the risk. Why these are risky to consume because they are grown in humid, warm conditions in which there is a high chance of harmful bacteria like E.Coli and salmonella, listeria to grow. Most easily elders or kids and people with low immunity might be affected. Rarely observed that people go through food poisoning if they have consumed infected sprouts, symptoms would be diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. It’s rarely a life-threatening scenario to consider, but it is better to be cautious while buying them or while growing them at your place. But let this don’t scare you and push you away from growing it. Those are things that can be present, but when following the instructions, this risk is very low.
To avoid the risk of contamination while buying sprouts from the market keep these things in mind that always look for fresh packages and refrigerated chilled ones. If you observe a slimy appearance or stronger smell it must be avoided. Before getting hands-on with your sprouts please wash your hands well. If you are storing them in your refrigerator maintain the temperature of 48°F or 8°Celsius.
Sprouting can be fun.
Why choose sprouts over seeds?
You could eat seeds there is no issue with that, it is proved that sprouts are way healthier than seeds. Some of the seeds don’t digest well and cause health issues. When you are eating a sprout, you are eating a whole plant at an early age, which means the head, stem, and root. Various glucosinolates (known for lowering the lungs and cardiac risks) are power-packed in different portions of the plant. These benefits are not available when you eat seeds instead of sprouts. Otherwise, Lentils and beans are considered an incomplete source of protein. However, sprouting makes them abundant in all the 9 essential amino acids making them a complete source of protein. A complete source of protein is essential for the nourishment of skin, hair, muscle, bodybuilding, and fat loss.
The best time to eat them is in the morning and before dinner time. You can carry them as a snack for your evening if you are a working professional. You can pack sprouts salads for kid’s lunch boxes and so on. As per your eating habits and comfort you can add them to your food. Easy to make as you can sprout them in your kitchen itself at low cost with minimal ingredients and equipment. And if you want to expand your knowledge, you can also start growing microgreens, check this post Grow your own and delicious microgreens at home.
A balanced diet is key to good health. Since they are living foods take out most care while consuming when and how as you may not get the desired nutrition. The nutrients in a sprouted seed get enhanced by about 400% grouping them among the healthiest foods on the planet. So add sprouts to your daily diet 🙂
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