The Many Benefits of Sprouting
Seeds are full of nutrition, but many of these nutrients are unavailable to your body if you eat the seed. As soon as a seed begins to germinate, it’s as if something magical has happened. All of a sudden, you can digest the nutrients properly. That’s because germination changes the chemistry of a seed, transforming it from a simple food to super-food. Let’s see how this happens.
Sprouting neutralizes the effects of Phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors
Phytic acid is called an ‘anti-nutrient’ for good reason. It’s present in seeds, and its effect is to make minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron un-absorbable when the seeds are consumed. It’s also quite bad for you, since it irritates the digestive system – that’s why eating too many nuts is bad for you.
Once a seed begins to grow, the effects of phytic acid are neutralized and your body is able to absorb and use all the nutrients that were previously locked away in the seed. Seeds also contain enzyme inhibitors that help to keep the seed dormant. Unfortunately, enzyme inhibitors also work on human enzymes, impairing your digestion. Once a seed begins to grow, the enzyme inhibitors are no longer active.
Better for digestion
Vegetable proteins are quite difficult to digest because they are so complex. Germination transforms these proteins into simpler amino acids that your body can absorb and use. You’ll also free up more carbohydrate energy giving you better nutrition from the same volume of food. That’s why raw food fundies are so keen on sprouts!
There are lots of jokes about legumes and gas, and they’re based on reality. Complex sugars in legumes cause wind when you eat legumes, but sprouting breaks these down – no more bloating and wind!
Aflatoxins are produced by fungi, and are found in most grains. They’re highly carcinogenic, but sprouting works it’s magic on aflatoxins too.
Now that the seed is germinating, the little plantlet is producing nutrients at a rate of knots. You get increased concentrations of vitamins C and B-complex and Vitamin A levels may be up to eight times higher than they were before germination.
This effect has been known in Asia for hundreds of years – sailors used to make mung bean sprouts when they were on long voyages, and as a result, the scurvy that affected Western sailors was almost unknown.
Correct pH balance
In order to help our bodies to function optimally and remain healthy, we need to balance our consumption of acid and alkali forming foods. In general, we eat too many acid-forming foods and need to correct the balance. Although many seeds such as grains and legumes are acid forming, this changes when they have sprouted. Since a growing seed has become alkali-forming, it helps us to redress the imbalances found in most modern diets. Many nutritionists believe that the high incidence of cancer can be linked to a lack of alkali-forming foods in the diet.
Most of us don’t eat enough dietary fiber to keep our digestive system functioning properly. When seeds sprout, their fiber content increases. Not only does this help our digestive system to remain efficient, it also makes us feel more satisfied after eating, so we eat less food and have less feelings of hunger – good news for dieters.
More fatty acids
Remember that fatty acids encourage the body to burn up fat. The modern diet is deficient in this essential nutrient type, but you can address the problem by including sprouts in your diet.
Fresh, organic produce
When you make your own sprouts from seeds you obtained from a reputable source, you can be sure that your food is fresh and contains all the vitamins that it is meant to – you can also be sure that no pesticides or chemicals were used during the production process.
Let’s not forget that fresh sprouts are really tasty, and thanks to the variety of seeds that are suitable for sprouting, there are plenty of flavors to explore. Become famous for your deliciously crunchy sprout salads or explore oriental-style cooking with lightly stir-fried sprouts. You’ll soon add to your reputation as a stylish and creative chef thanks to your home-grown sprouts.