Sprouts are edible seeds that have just germinated. They supply fresh greens year-round when grocery bins are filled with vegetables from faraway places that may have been chemically treated or irradiated to retain freshness and appearance.
Sprouting increases the vitamin content of seeds significantly. The vitamin C value of wheatgrass is 600 percent in the early sprouting phase and all sprouts contain more vitamin C than oranges by weight. Sprouts are also a tremendous source of antioxidants, vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, selenium, and zinc. The sprouted seeds of some legumes, like lentils, peanuts, and soybeans, contain complete protein, as do many seeds.
Sprouts fall into two categories: those made from seeds that produce chlorophyll and develop a green leaf and those that do not. Chlorophyll-producing sprouts include radish, cabbage, fenugreek, mustard, broccoli, cress, and other vegetable sprouts.
Broccoli sprouts may be the number-one beneficial sprouts. They contain more nutrients than broccoli florets.
Legume and grain seeds do not develop a leaf when sprouted. Legume seeds contain natural toxins that serve as a defensive measure, which aids the immune system. Large legume seeds, such as garbanzo, kidney bean, mung bean, and soybean sprouts, should be lightly cooked prior to serving to destroy natural toxins and facilitate ease of digestion. Smaller legumes, such as alfalfa and adzuki bean, do not lend themselves well to cooking and so should not be consumed raw in large quantities on a regular basis.
Below is a list of 9 ways sprouts are beneficial to your diet.
Improved Digestion- One of the best things about sprouts is that they contain an unusually high number of enzymes. This can help boost various metabolic processes and chemical reactions within the body, specifically when it comes to digestion.
Boosted Metabolism- The influx of enzymes represents a kick start for the body, and can seriously impact its metabolic activity.
Prevent Anemia- Anemia is the technical word for an iron deficiency . If you don’t consume enough food with iron, your red blood cell count drops, because iron is an essential part of red blood cell production.
Weight Loss- Sprouts are one of those foods that are very high in nutrients but very low in calories. This means that you can eat them without worrying about compromising your diet.
Improve Heart Health- Sprouts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and although these are technically a form of cholesterol, they are considered “good” cholesterol and can actually reduce the amount of harmful cholesterol in your blood vessels and arteries.
Boost Immune System- Its vitamin-C content alone makes it a powerful stimulant for the white blood cells in the body to fight off infection and disease.
Prevent Cancer- The antioxidant activity of the organic compounds found in sprouts makes it a very good anti-cancer choice for your diet. The vitamin C, and A, as well as amino acids and proteins, can also impact the free radical damage to your body.
Eye Care- Vitamin A has been associated with an improvement in vision health for many years. It acts as an antioxidant agent to protect the eyes’ cells from free radicals.
Relieve Cold Sores- Lysine is found in sprouts, which inhibits the growth of cold sores and treats them if they appear.
Eating sprouts is a good way to supplement your diet with food enzymes that are critical for literally every biochemical reaction that takes place in the body.
Incorporating sprouts into your diet may significantly enhance your health, energy, and longevity.
Balch CNC, Phyllis A.. Prescription for Dietary Wellness: Using Foods to Heal. Penguin Publishing Group.
“Benefits of Sprouts.” Organic Facts, 27 Dec. 2017, www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/sprouts.html.