More and more stores are offering vegetable sprouts, such as sprouted wheat, barley, or beans. Back in primary school, you’ve probably done some sort of experiment involving sprouting speeds. You were supposed to place them in a jar, add water, and wait for them to grow little green tails. Nowadays, health experts recommend sprouts as part of a balanced diet.
These superfoods are loaded with essential fatty acids, protein, fiber, and antioxidants that keep your body functioning at its peak. What makes them so healthy is that, in their initial phase of growth, they boast higher levels of nutrients. For instance, sprouted pea and sunflower seeds are up to 30 times more nutritious than the mature plant.
Why Sprouted Foods Are Good for Health
According to experts, sprouts contain about 100 times more enzymes compared to mature fruits and vegetables. Enzymes aid in digestive and hormone production. Sprouting also improves the quality of the protein in these foods and boosts their amino acid profile. Additionally, vegetable sprouts are higher in fiber, leading to improved digestion and healthy blood sugar levels.
Bean sprouts are particularly beneficial due to their nutritional content. Rich in vitamin C, they boost your immune system and relieve stress-related anxiety. A recent study indicates that kidney bean sprouts raise melatonin levels in the body, which helps balance your mood and improve sleep. These foods are also high in folate, a B vitamin that maintains eye health and prevents age-related macular degeneration.
Sprouted foods pack large doses of vitamin K, which aids in blood clotting and bone health. Just one cup of Brussels sprouts provides over 130 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Wheatgrass is loaded with vitamins B and E, iron, zinc, magnesium, and chlorophyll. About 26 percent of the calories in lentil sprouts come from protein.
According to the International Sprout Growers Association, these superfoods may provide relief from asthma, allergies, arthritis pain, diabetes, degenerative joint disease, stroke, and other common ailments. Additionally, the protein and minerals in vegetable sprouts are more readily available and easier to digest.
Are Sprouts Safe?
Just like any raw produce, sprouts carry some risk. Since they grow in warm, humid conditions, they’re more vulnerable to bacteria, such as listeria, E. Coli, and salmonella. To stay safe, choose a trusted provider or grow your own sprouts. Wash them thoroughly before serving, or cook them to kill any harmful organisms.