Sprouts are the nutritious tiny balls that can enhance total nutritional value of your meal. They are teeny-tiny nutritional powerhouses. Sprouts are also a rich source of antioxidants. Various grains are soaked in water to soften the outer membrane allowing them to sprout.
Regular consumption of sprouts may improve digestion and blood sugar level. Making them a constant part of your diet could provide various health benefits. They are super healthy when eaten raw.
So what are sprouts really? How is it prepared? And what are its benefits?
Let’s figure out all these questions and learn some more facts about sprouts-
What are Sprouts?
Sprouts are the germinated seeds that have grown into a young plant. The process of germinating seeds is called sprouting. When the seeds are soaked into water for some time, they start germinating. The outer layer of the seed tear opens allowing a young shoot to bloom.
Sprouts are generally consumed raw or lightly cooked.
Sprouting process increases the nutrient level in the grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It also makes them rich in protein and other nutrients.
Different types of seeds can be sprouted. They are available in a wide range.
Here are some most common sprouts available in the market or commonly grown in households-
- Bean sprouts:- When the beans undergo sprouting the amount of Vitamin C, folate, and proteins increases in them extraordinarily. Vitamin C is one of the most dominant and effective antioxidants. Folate affects the repair and maintenance of DNA cells. Such nutrients are essential for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
- Lentil sprouts:- Lentil sprouts contain a large amount of protein and are extremely low on calories. This makes them perfect to fit in any diet plan and weight loss program. It also goes well for the vegan diet as it contains such essential nutrients than can be obtained from animal-based sources. Remember that, split lentils will not sprout so you need to purchase whole lentils.
- Wheat sprouts:- There are numerous health benefits of wheat sprouts. These are packed with easily digestible nutrients and are extremely delicious. They are also a great source of Vitamin B, C and E. Consuming wheat sprout may keep your blood sugar level in check and improve metabolism. These sprouts also normalise the thyroid function.
- Sprouted Nuts:- Nuts become more nutritious when it starts germinating, just like other sprouts. People usually prefer soaking nuts as this increases their nutritional value. Soaking also makes sprouts easier to digest, even the most sensitive stomach can process them with proximate ease.
There are a number of grains that can be used for sprouting. Common ones are pulses such as soybean, moon, peas, dal, chickpeas, and oilseeds.
Benefits of having Sprouts
Sprouts are considered super healthy when eaten raw. It is a healthier addition to your meals.
But what makes them so healthy?
Sprouts are low in calories and a rich source of plant compounds. The Vitamin and mineral content varies based on the variety of grain you are sprouting. The process of sprouting increases the nutritional level and makes them rich in protein, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, Vitamin C and are the great source of antioxidants. Protein in the sprouts is easier to digest.
Sprouts are exceptionally good for your health, here are some amazing benefits of consuming sprouts regularly-
- Improves Digestion:- When a seed is sprouted, the fibre content in them increases. Sprouting increases the number of insoluble fibres that are good for your gut health. They also prevent constipation as they contain enzymes which help prevent constipation. To keep your gut health good eat fibre-rich sprouts.
- Help Lose Weight:- Sprouts are the healthiest munchies. They are low in calories and high in fibre. It keeps you fuller for a longer time, by this, cravings for unhealthy food will be reduced and eventually this may help you lose weight.
- Build Muscles:- Protein is essential for muscle building and for strong and healthy bones. It is also necessary for repairing organs. Sprouts are a great source of plant-based protein. Regular consumption of sprouts will help you meet your protein requirement. Adding sprouts in your regular diet may boost metabolism and improve gut health.
- Strengthens Immune System:- Sprouts may strengthen your immune system as it supplies you with an ample amount of Vitamin A and C. When the sprouts germinate Vitamin A content in it grows by about ten-fold. The high amount of Vitamin A increases production of white blood cells in your body. This strengthens your immune system and makes you less suffer infections, flu, common cold etc.
- Improve Heart Health:- Sprouts are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. The Omega-3 fatty acids regulate cholesterol level in your body. It supplies you with HDL cholesterol that is good for your body. Sprouts may improve heart health as they help in lowering bad cholesterol level and increases good cholesterol level in your body.
Tips for Consuming Sprouts
The process of sprouting seems to be very easy but if you do not know the right way of its consumption, you might not be able to enjoy all of its nutritional values. Here are some tips that you need to need to remember while consuming sprouts to get all the nutrients-
- Sprouts are best considered when eaten raw. Cooking them will destroy their nutrients. Eat raw sprouts or cook them lightly.
- You can steam the sprouts as steaming retains the nutrients. Do not fry or roast them as this will destroy all of its nutrients.
- Wash them well before eating.
- Sprouts are the best appetizers so it goes well with the salads.
- The best time to consume sprouts is early in the morning or right before dinner.
Sprouts are a nutritious and healthy addition to your meals. They come with loads of health benefits. You can easily add sprouts in your diet by adding them in your sandwiches, salads, and other cuisines. Sprouts add extra munch in your food. There are many interesting ways to add sprouts in your diet. Begin reaping its benefits by starting to soak them today for a meal tomorrow.