Reap the Benefits of Sprouting
Sprouts; natures most perfect food. In a previous article we taught you how to grow your own sprouts and what you could use them for. But why are they so important in your diet? Let’s check out below.
Sprouts are packed full of nutrients. Each species is rich in different vitamins and minerals, but no matter which one you choose, you’re definitely going to be adding a lot more nutrition to your diet. When you soak your sprouts they begin to germinate, and when this happens protein and starches within the seed begin to breakdown. That tiny little seed begins to sprout and swells up with all the nutrients it needs to make the plant.
Mung beans have been a common food in China for over 2,000 years. A powerful antioxidant, as well as being anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial. Mung bean sprouts were found to have 6x the amount of antioxidants when compared to their seeds. High in proteins, amino acids, and polyphenols. High in choline, which is important for liver and kidney health, as well as the health of a developing fetus. Choline is also being researched for its effects on cognitive development and function. Mung beans could help regulate our digestive flora, “good bacteria”, in our gut, as well as reducing LDL cholesterol and preventing heart disease.
Lentil sprouts are one of my favorites to throw on salads. Originally from India, they are packed full of protein, amino acids, folate, iron, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Lentils are powerful antioxidants due to the high number of phenolic compounds they contain. Compounds in lentils help to prevent cancer by inducing detoxification of carcinogens, and preventing the accumulation of reactive oxygen species, which play a large role in cancer development by damaging our DNA.
Broccoli sprouts are high in vitamin A, B, C, and potassium. A study done on broccoli sprouts revealed that one single sprout has all the sulforophane of an entire broccoli plant. Sulfurophane is found in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy) Why is this so important? Sulforophane has been extensively researched on it’s health benefits, including anti-cancer effects. Sulforophane can inhibit tumor development in animals, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, inhibit the actions of carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) and promote detoxification. Sulforophane helps induce apoptosis of cancer cells (mainly breast and prostate), which means that it helps the cancer cell to “commit suicide”, which is critical in preventing the metastasis and growth of cells.
Alfalfa sprouts are high in proteins, amino acids, digestive enzymes, many vitamins and minerals, and chlorophyll (which is why you leave them to get sunlight on their last day of sprouting). Chlorophyll is almost identical to the heme in our hemoglobin found in our red blood cells that carry oxygen, except that instead of iron as its central atom, chlorophyll has magnesium. Chlorophyll is amazing in that it can bind with carcinogens, including those from tobacco smoke and cooked meats, and interfere with our body’s gastrointestinal absorption of these, which limits the amount of carcinogens that reaches our tissues. Other foods rich in chlorophyll include spinach, parsley, green beans, and arugula. Alfalfa sprouts (and other chlorophyll containing sprouts) can only create chlorophyll with the help of sunlight, so don’t forget to allow them at least 1 day to do this!
Bottom line; grow some spouts, and put them on your food!
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