Consuming sprouts is like eating live vegetable food. Think for yourself, how nutrient-dense a growing food could be…
It is said that sprouts ‘represent the miracle of birth’. They are in the true sense, super foods. They are alkaline, whole, pure, and natural foods. It is inexcusable that though aware of their miraculous effects, we do not take full advantage of them. We scour departmental and organic stores, looking for health foods and recipes, but forget to eat ordinary sprouts on daily basis – considering them a poor cousin of high-fashion health foods.
Sprouts are the cheapest and most convenient source of complete nourishment. They are food for long-term health and wellness. If consumed judiciously and chosen over other foods, they can prevent diseases and lifestyle-related ailments. Sprouting a seed enables it to produce an enormously enhanced bundle of nutrients.
A sprout is at the transitional stage between seed and plant. It is, to put it simply, a baby plant. These are essentially pre-digested foods as the seeds’ own enzymes do most of the work. The nutritional changes that occur during sprouting primarily happen because complex compounds get broken down into simpler forms. This, added to development of some essential nutrients, constituents, and breakdown of anti-nutrients, makes the whole phenomenon of sprouting possible. Metabolic activity in dormant seeds is initiated as soon as they are hydrated during soaking.
Sprouted seeds acquire natural increased digestibility and nutrients as compared to unsprouted seeds. They provide us with all the essential minerals and vitamins, and must ideally form a part of our daily diets.
The sprouting process:
On sprouting, grains, legumes, and seeds turn into super foods. They then become an extremely sound source of protein, fiber, and vitamin B.
All edible grains, legumes, and seeds can be sprouted. The following are generally used for sprouting:
Grains: Wheat (wheat grass is the sprouted form of wheat. It must be juiced. Soak hard wheat grains for 12 hours and then grow in soil. It will be ready in 12 days’ time), maize, ragi, barley, bajra.
Seeds: Alfalfa seeds (sensitive to heat, ready in seven days), sesame seeds, radish seeds, fenugreek seeds (bitter in taste. To be mixed with milder sprouts to tone it down, ready in 9 days’ time), coriander seeds, pumpkin seeds, and musk melon seeds, groundnut.
Legumes: Green gram, Bengal gram, chickpea, kidney beans, dried peas.
Oats: (oat groats) to be used -- ready in 3 to 4 days), buckwheat, quinoas are foods which are lesser known as sprouts, but are at the same time, highly nutritious. They should be sprouted and consumed if readily available.
Alfalfa is called the ‘father of all foods’ or the ‘king of sprouts’. It is highly rich in minerals like manganese and is also a rich source of vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. It also contains all the essential amino acids. Alfalfa contains most of the essential amino acids and has a higher concentration of calcium than milk. The lesser explored sesame seed sprouts are also said to be great source nutrients. They too, contain most of the essential amino acids and are high in vitamin E and vitamin B complex, apart from other nutrients.