Chances are you’ve been in the supermarket produce aisle and noticed a little box of green or white vegetation that looked a bit like a tall grass. If you’re like most people, you bypass the sprouts and move onto the better known vegetables like broccoli or cucumbers. What you may not know is that sprouts are praised as one of the healthiest foods on the planet due to significant health benefits.
Interested in learning more? Let’s discuss the many benefits of sprouts.
What are sprouts?
All plant-based organisms start out as something called a “sprout”. These are the shoots that extend from a plant’s seed as it’s germinating, the most well-known being bean, alfalfa, sunflower, and rye sprouts. Now because every plant “sprouts”, there are so many MORE options of seeds, legumes, barley, grains to be discovered, many you many never have heard-of or thought-of as a sprout like chickpea, bengal gram, or radish. Lately I’ve been excited to see many of the forward thinking grocery chains and farmer’s markets offering a wider selection of sprouts.
And since these little plants come re-equipped with all the nutrients any growing plant would need, these super-foods pack quite a nutritious punch…
Benefits of sprouts
Aids in digestion
Nutrition experts assert that sprouts are excellent for aiding digestion because they boost a certain type of enzyme called proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes help the carbohydrates and proteins that you eat become more digestible. You may have heard of people taking additional enzymes with their meals in order to help with digestion and nutrition, but by eating sprouts consistently, you may be able to limit or eliminate these additional (and costly) enzyme supplements.
Additionally, whenever you eat sprouts, your body gains the ability to process other food more effectively too, extracting useful nutrients to feed your cells.
Protects against cancer-causing agents
Sprouts are among the various vegetables that help protect you against cancer-causing agents, which is good news for all. Yes, sprouts have up to 100 times more potency when it comes to glucoraphanin, which is a powerful enzyme that wards off agents that could play a part in cancer. What this means is that sprouts are power-packed with super-hero enzymes in comparison to fruits and vegetables that you eat uncooked.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t eat those fruits and vegetables. In fact, it’s a good idea to eat it all so that your body receives mega nutritional building blocks so that you can have optimal health!
Plenty of vitamins
As mentioned earlier, since sprouts are the hatching “egg” of the plant world, they contain all the basic nutrition to support a developing plant. As a result, sprouts are also loaded with vitamins, such as vitamin E, K, C, B6, magnesium, folate, manganese, riboflavin, copper, potassium, iron, and pantothenic acid.
Helps those seeking to lose weight
If you’re looking to slim down, know that sprouts can help boost your metabolism and give you a good dose of fiber, which helps your belly feel full much longer than if you ate say…a candy bar. Fiber also connects to harmful fats and toxins in your body and helps purge them out.
Helps reduce breast cancer stem cells
Studies have been done regarding breast cancer and spouts wondering if the key ingredient, sulforapane, which is found in broccoli sprouts, could help reduce breast cancer stem cells. Good news is that sulforapane in sprouts helped decrease breast cell population and cancer cell clusters. This is a significant finding!
Proteins get a boost
In terms of beans, seeds, grains, and nuts, the protein in such gets a boost in quality during the soaking and sprouting stages. Throw your beans in a pot of water at night and begin the sprouting process in the morning. Then, smile knowing that the soaking and sprouting process increases its nutritional value, which benefits your body.
Fatty acid boost
We all could use more fat-burning fats, as we just don’t get much of them in our typical diets. Goodness is that by eating sprouts, you can get an essential fatty acid boost!
Super Easy to Grow
Locally grown sprouts are the best and they are easy to grow. Go ahead and try it and know that you are helping the environment out at the same time- assuming you grow them naturally (which we just know you will).
The secret is out. Sprouts are a mega-healthy food. They are easy to grow and are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, enzymes, and other healthy compounds. Their crunchy, earthy taste is an inspiration for many recipes, and an increasing number of people are now growing them on their own. They are best when eaten fresh, so once you purchase them or snip them off, eat within a couple of days for the best taste and nutritional value.